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Reviews: Revenue-Generating Storage Appliances From Barracuda, ION

As part of Storage Week 2015, the CRN Test Center looks at two storage appliances that present revenue opportunities for solution providers.

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SpeedServer Config

The SR-71 is still built around a motherboard from Intel, but this time it's from the Wildcat Pass, a series of two-socket mainboards launched last year for Intel Xeon E5-2600 v3 processors. This allows the SR-71 to scale to as many as 18 cores per CPU, up from 12. It also boosts memory speed to 2,133MHz from 1,600MHz and doubles RAM channels to four and capacity to 768 GB in 24 DIMM slots. Expansion slots increase from six to eight with support for as many as 14 10-Gbps Ethernet ports or with a mixture of Fibre Channel ports. But according to ION founder Keith Josephson, core count is not the most important spec for systems like this. "On a storage system, a higher clock speed seems to help performance more than having more cores, depending on what you're doing." The tested system had two Intel Xeon E5-2690 v3 12-core processors running at 2.6GHz.

As for storage, the tested system had three RAID 5 arrays, each with eight Intel DC-S3610 800-GB data center drives controlled by an Intel-branded LSI MegaRAID SAS3 (12-GBps) controller. Even though the drives themselves provide a 6-Gbps interface, Josephson says that having a 12-Gbps SAS3 controller is still an advantage. "It can do more things faster, and having the SSDs as the bottleneck is not necessarily a bad thing." The SR-71 now has a maximum storage capacity of around 25 TB, up from 13 TB of the prior model.

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