Trying to build 7-45 TB storage on the cheap with only Dell hardware

bert hubert bert.hubert at netherlabs.nl
Mon Jun 2 08:34:25 CDT 2008


Hi everybody!

I hope you can help us - I am already talking to my account manager, but I
think the Linux perspective is better on this list.

I am looking for a storage solution, a DAS with a "flexible" growing
capability from 7 to 16, and possibly 45 TB.

As I am trying not to spend too much money, I am hoping to see if we can
let Linux do a lot of the heavy work so I don't need to get a NAS or a
SAN.

For convenience sake, I only want to use Dell hardware as this is easily
supported, and I don't want to trawl the web for separate solutions. 

My storage needs are mostly very large files, so I don't need a lot in the
way of dedicated filesystems.

The MD1000 seems promising, but will it do what I want? It seems to be a
great not too expensive solution, a bunch of disks for storage, connected to
a machine, or two machines, let Linux do the work, there you go.

Do the individual disks show up (/dev/sda, sdb sdc etc)? Or does the
controller already convert the disks into huge devices? Either is fine with
us, I have good experiences with md-support in Linux.

In other words, a 'dumb container of disks' would also be fine by me - but
the MD1000 appears to do more. If a 'dumb container of disks' is available,
which one works best?

Some more questions:

- Which card is needed in the poweredge servers to connect to the Dell
MD1000? A secondary perc6e sas raid controller card or a perc5e sas raid
controller card or something else?

- In a 7/8 split configuration with a second EMM in the MD1000, what kind of
card and cables do I need in the server(s)?

- With a second EMM in 7/8 split configuration (to separate servers) do you
get 2 connections of each 4 * 3 Gbps or two connections of each 2 * 3 Gbps?
In other words is the backend of the MD1000 capable of acting like two
individual MD1000, each filled with only half the disks?

- To be sure, is the size of the 7/8 split configuration expandable by
adding a secundary MD1000?

- Do you have any additional tips and tricks for the MD1000 - how to get
Linux to work with it to get the best performance.

Thanks!

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