Servers: The Right Compute
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Cost-effective, scalable storage for file, object and cloud computing


Blog written by: Michael D St-Jean, Strategic Alliance Manager – Converged Systems 


Quite often when we talk about the “Internet of Things”, we are talking about the mass proliferation of devices, such as smart phones and tablets, and how people are uploading more and more photos to Snapfish, or tweeting on Twitter, or posting updates on Facebook. From a social standpoint, it has gotten much bigger than that though - with content providers offering email and drop box utilities, the lines between social content and work productivity are starting to blur. In fact, IDC predicts 50% growth in volume of digital content through 2015 with an increasing upward vector.


Far beyond the impact of social content on data growth; however, is the massive scale of industry data that is being created, stored, archived and analyzed. Consider data and industries such as:

  • Digital imaging for Healthcare
  • Product design in Manufacturing
  • State and local governments collecting demographic data and traffic statistics, toll collection, etc
  • University research facilities sharing and collaborating findings
  • Gas and oil industries collecting and analyzing seismic data
  • Companies from virtually every industry collecting data around user preferences to better market their products and services.


Whereas traditional storage devices offer the management and performance required for transactional data, they cannot scale economically and effectively to meet the needs of organizations that are experiencing massive growth in object-based data. This is where Software-defined Storage can offer both economic and standardization benefits.


Red Hat and HP recognize the need for organizations to develop a strategy around software-defined storage and are delivering a purpose-built solution that offers the scale and features required for object storage with the economics necessary to meet the needs of every company.


Let’s take a closer look at Red Hat Storage Server’s features and benefits. The Red Hat Storage Server is software-only, open source, and designed to meet unstructured, semi-structured, and big data storage requirements. Red Hat also includes many features such as storage tiering by scripting RHS elastic volume, quota support at the cluster, volume and sub-volume level, load balancing and failover, geo-replication - and they are continually adding new functionality. For example, a Nagios plug-in is planned for June 2014 to enhance monitoring capabilities, and Red Hat will add support for Snapshots in June as well. The extra benefit to you?  All of these features come with a subscription for Red Hat Storage Server, as opposed to having to purchase separate licenses for different functionality, as is common with some competitive solutions. Another benefit is that Red Hat Storage Server is built upon industry-standard Red Hat Enterprise Linux, so there is a huge partner ecosystem that can be built upon the solution. (For example, Red Hat has partnered with Commvault to deliver application-level de-duplication.)


Organizations around the globe are leveraging Red Hat Storage Server as a building block for their Software-defined Storage strategy, but the real benefits start to develop as they choose a platform upon which to deliver their object store. Certainly in years past, organizations have deployed object storage on general purpose servers, such as the HP ProLiant DL380, coupled with JBOD (just-a-bunch-of-disks) – and while this provides a reasonable approach to delivering an infrastructure, it does not address the scalability, management, and flexibility required for a growing environment.


This is specifically why HP developed the HP ProLiant SL4540 Gen8 Server. This hyperscale server is purpose-built for the unique challenges of an object storage environment. Flexibility is key, whereas the SL4540 can be ordered with one, two or three compute nodes within each server chassis. This is because each compute node is configured with up to two processor sockets with a wide range of Intel processors, offering from four to twenty cores of compute power per node. The chassis also includes up to 60 direct attached disks, which can include any combination of Solid State (SSD), SAS, or SATA drives, depending on the performance requirements of the workload intended for the environment. They even offer a flash-based IO Accelerator card for those environments that need the additional I/O performance offered by ultra-low latency flash storage.


Coupled together, Red Hat Storage Server and the HP ProLiant SL4540 Gen8 Server offer an outstanding value for organizations that are building software defined storage.


Want to learn more or talk about this topic in person?  We will be participating in Red Hat’s Summit, April 14-17, 2014,and will be showcasing demos of the environment in Parnter Solutions booth #505 on the  show floor. There will also be a breakout session on Wednesday, April 16th at 10:40am where the reference architecture and benefits of the solution will be discussed, so we hope to see you there.


Can’t be there in person but still want additional information?  Check out these links:

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