Storage Options for Blade Servers – Blades Made Simple #blade #server #storage


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Storage Options for Blade Servers

As technology trends like software defined storage (SDS) become more adopted in data centers, it will be interesting to see how it will impact the blade server market especially with current research showing an expectation of growth over the next 5 years. To succeed, blade server vendors will have to find ways to adopt to changing technology trends- especially SDS. The problem is, there doesn t seem to be a lot of options when it comes to storage on blade servers. Even when you look at hyperconverged appliances from Dell EMC and HPE you find the underlying servers are rack servers, so if the future is hyperconverged, why aren t we seeing offerings on blade servers? Unfortunately, I don t have an answer to that question, however I think current blade environments offer a lot more than many people give them credit for, especially when it comes to storage options, so let s take a look.

Within the M-Series blade server portfolio, Dell EMC offers the PS-M4110 Storage blade. This blade is an iSCSI storage blade and offers features consistent with the Dell EMC P-Series (formerly EqualLogic) 4100 series storage product line. The PS-M4110 is a double-wide, half-height blade form factor and supports up to 14 x 2.5” drives. The PS-M4110 offers up to two, hot-pluggable 10GbE controllers with 4GB of usable memory per controller. It also features a dedicated 1 x 100Mb management port available through the Dell PowerEdge M1000e Chassis Management Controller (CMC). The PS-M4110 is available in 4 different configurations:

  • PS-M4110E – 14 x 1TB 7.2K NL SAS drives (14TB raw capacity )
  • PS-M4110X – 14 x 600GB, 900GB, 1.2TB or 1.8TB 10K SAS Drives (up to 25.2TB raw capacity )
  • PS-M4110XV – 14 x 600 GB 15K SAS drives (8.4TB raw capacity )
  • PS-M4110XS – 4 x 800GB SSD + 9 x 1.2TB 10K SAS drives (14.8TB raw capacity )

The 10U PowerEdge M1000e chassis can support up to 4 x PS-M4110 storage blades for up to 100TB of capacity.

Although these are iSCSI storage blades and any server in the datacenter environment can access them, they contradict the tenants of software defined storage and probably wouldn t be the best solution, but for traditional server-storage needs, the PS-M4110 could offer a unique solution placing both your compute and your iSCSI storage in the same chassis. To learn more about the PS-M4110, visit http://www.dell.com/us/business/p/equallogic-ps-m4110/pd .

In the PowerEdge FX2 family, Dell EMC offers the FD332 storage node. I wrote about this product last year [A Closer Look at the Dell FD332 for FX2 Architecture ] but in a quick summary, it provides up to 16 hot-pluggable 2.5 drives directly attached to one of the compute nodes within the FX2 chassis, and includes one or two RAID controllers for direct attaching to one or two compute nodes. Up to 3 x FD332 storage sleds can fit into a single 2U FX2 chassis for up to 188TB of capacity.

The FD332 can be used in different configurations and the available drive options are extensive (see the earlier post mentioned above) including SSD and SAS making the FD332 an ideal platform for SDS. It s also a key part of the VMware Virtual Ready Node I wrote about a few months ago [VMware Virtual SAN Ready Node on a Blade Server ] and would also be a great option for other software defined storage offerings like Dell EMC s ScaleIO. To learn more about the FD332 storage node, visit http://www.dell.com/us/business/p/poweredge-fx/pd .

Within the HPE BladeSystem product family, HPE offers the HPE D2220sb Storage Blade. This blade is a single width, half-height blade providing up to twelve (12) 2.5 hot-pluggable drives to a single C-class blade server. The D2220sb includes an integrated Smart Array P420i Controller and supports all small form factor (SFF) SAS and SATA HDDs and SSDs currently certified in HPE Smart Carriers although I haven t been able to find the detailed list of drives supported. Up to eight D2220sb storage devices can be supported off a single 10U BladeSystem c7000 enclosure for up to 192 TB of capacity. For more information on the HPE D2220sb Storage blade, go to https://www.hpe.com/h20195/v2/GetDocument.aspx?docname=c04111399 .

Within the HPE Synergy family, the HPE Synergy D3940 Storage Module can hold up to forty SFF drives and occupies two half height bays in the HPE Synergy 12000 Frame, with each frame supporting up to five D3940 Storage Modules. It also can provide direct attached storage for up to 10 compute modules with the optional SAS connectivity module in the chassis.

As with the other storage blade, the D3940 supports all small form factor (SFF) SAS and SATA HDDs and SSDs currently certified in HPE Smart Carriers but I haven t been able to locate specifics. For more details on the D3940, go to https://www.hpe.com/h20195/v2/GetDocument.aspx?docname=c04815141 .

The Lenovo Flex System offers a direct attach storage expansion for connectivity to the Lenovo Flex System x220 or x240 Compute Node. The Lenovo Flex System Storage Expansion Node provides up to 12 x 2.5 hot-plug drives and one RAID controller.

The supported drives include:

  • 300 GB 10K 6 Gbps SAS 2.5-inch SFF G2HS HDD
  • 600 GB 10K 6 Gbps SAS 2.5-inch SFF G2HS HDD
  • 900 GB 10K 6 Gbps SAS 2.5-inch SFF HS HDD
  • 1.2 TB 10K 6 Gbps SAS 2.5-inch G2HS HDD
  • 600 GB 15 K 6 Gbps SAS 2.5-inch G2HS HDD
  • 250 GB 7.2 K 6 Gbps NL SATA 2.5-inch SFF HS HDD
  • 500 GB 7.2 K 6 Gbps NL SATA 2.5-inch SFF HS HDD
  • 1 TB 7.2 K 6 Gbps NL SATA 2.5-inch SFF HS HDD

10 K and 15 K Self-encrypting drives (SED)

  • 1.2 TB 10K 6 Gbps SAS 2.5-inch G2HS SED
  • 600 GB 10K 6 Gbps SAS 2.5-inch G2HS Hybrid
  • 300GB 15K 6Gbps SAS 2.5-inch G2HS Hybrid
  • 600GB 15K 6Gbps SAS 2.5-inch G2HS Hybrid
  • 200 GB SATA 2.5-inch MLC HS Enterprise SSD
  • 400 GB SATA 2.5-inch MLC HS Enterprise SSD
  • 800 GB SATA 2.5-inch MLC HS Enterprise SSD
  • 200 GB SAS 2.5-inch MLC HS Enterprise SSD
  • 400 GB SAS 2.5-inch MLC HS Enterprise SSD
  • 800 GB SAS 2.5-inch MLC HS Enterprise SSD
  • 1.6 TB SAS 2.5-inch MLC HS Enterprise SSD

SSDs: Enterprise Value

  • 120 GB SATA 2.5-inch MLC HS Enterprise Value SSD
  • 240 GB SATA 2.5-inch MLC HS Enterprise Value SS
  • 480 GB SATA 2.5-inch MLC HS Enterprise Value SSD
  • 800 GB SATA 2.5-inch MLC HS Enterprise Value SSD
  • 120 GB SATA 2.5-inch MLC HS Enterprise Value SSD
  • 240 GB SATA 2.5-inch MLC HS Enterprise Value SSD
  • 480 GB SATA 2.5-inch MLC HS Enterprise Value SSD
  • 800 GB SATA 2.5-inch MLC HS Enterprise Value SSD

Disclaimer: The views presented in this blog are personal views and may or may not reflect any of the contributors’ employer’s positions. Furthermore, the content is not reviewed, approved or published by any employer.

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