Friday, October 12, 2007

Stanford's multi-tier solution: an Example

In my last post covering our year long foray into multi-tier storage, I promised I would detail the specific configuration of systems used at Stanford in production. Prominently featured are a NetApp FAS3050 (28TB raw, standard dual parity RAID4) used as the primary storage, as well as a Sun X4500 utilizing NexentaStor (24TB raw, RAIDZ). We have a secondary NexentaStor head for location independence as well as further expansion with both SCSI and iSCSI attached storage, adding about another 26TB. What's missing from the picture are two important facts. First, other general purpose file servers are also being tiered to the second head. The second point is that one of them is a 4TB NAS unit based on the same NexentaStor product. The various capabilites of Nexenta's product allow it to perform well as primary storage, but in the commodity hardware realm, you are currently lacking in some features the the most discerning of storage customers will still find in most integrated hardware solutions. Time alone will see where the proper mix of hardware and Nexenta's solution end up.