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Solid Hardware

As before, the SR-71 faces the world with an ordinary, unassuming exterior. The tested configuration shown here had all 24 of its 2.5-inch hot-swap drive bays populated with high-performing 800-GB Intel 3500-series SSDs. The two dozen data center drives were configured as three RAID 5 arrays of eight drives each. The arrays were configured with four shares each, a total of 12 shares in all. For controlling the RAID arrays, ION moved away from the LSI cards used in the record-breaking SR-71 system. The mach4 variant employs a trio of Intel RMS25 RAID controllers, one as a daughter-card add-in (model CB080), and two in standard slots (model PB080). All use the same firmware and drivers.

At the far right, the SR-71's modest control panel provides buttons down the center for power, system ID (with LED), cold reset and a non-maskable interrupt (NMI, recessed). Other LEDs provide feedback on system status, storage activity and traffic on the four motherboard-integrated gigabit NICs. Click next to learn more about the hardware.