Monday Mar 24, 2008

Great Honeycomb Review in InfoWorld Today


Mario Apicella's InfoWorld review of the Sun StorageTek 5800 posted today, and we did extremely well, scoring a 9.3 out of 10, or "Excellent" rating.

Mario highlighted many of the ST5800's features, including its ability to quickly and automatically replace a failed master node with another node; its simplified administrative interface; and its storage management software commands that "are both intuitive and very powerful."

Mario goes on to say, "How Honeycomb stores objects is one of the secrets to its reliability and persistence ... Having objects spread across multiple nodes and spindles also favors fast performance and quick rebuilds after failure."

He included all performance tests he ran on the ST5800, including one where he abruptly pulled drives, shut down two nodes and killed one of the switches to trigger fail-over to the standby unit -- "In every case, the ST5800 kept on ticking and returned quickly to normal status when the failure was removed."
Honeycomb

In an attempt to "stir the honeypot" and push the ST5800 to its limits, Mario also powered down two nodes and then pulled out another drive (understanding that, if the ST5800 lost 8 of its 64 drives, the system would go into quiescent mode). He was very much impressed that the machine came back online almost immediately after he restored the drive.

In conclusion, Mario states that the ST5800's "good performance, easy management and incredibly resilient architecture make it a very attractive archiving solution at a price that, although significant, will challenge many competitors."

Sunday Mar 02, 2008

InfoWorld: "The death knell for RAID?"


InfoWorld reviewer Mario Apicella recently conducted a 3-day onsite evaluation of the Sun StorageTek 5800 System. We are expecting his full review in the near future. In the interim, he posted a blog on his evaluation this week, and mentioned that he "abruptly pulled out eight of its 64 drives, Honeycomb survived without losing data. No RAID system can compete with that."

Sun StorageTek 5800 System aka Honeycomb
(Image courtesy: Scott Camazine)

Tuesday Feb 26, 2008

InformationWeek on data compliance and fixed content storage


InformationWeek has an interesting article on data compliance in this week's print issue.

Due to government regulations and internal policies, organizations need to retain data and be able to track and verify that this data has not been modified or deleted. This is particularly important in the finance and health-care industries.

The InformationWeek article by Howard Marks focused on fixed content storage solutions that allow IT to store file data in a form that prevents end-users from modifying the data. This is where WORM (Write Once, Read Many) tapes come in play.

Per Howard, "All popular tape formats, from LTO in the midrange to Sun Microsystems' T10000 at the high end, have firmware in the drive that identifies special WORM cartridges, and once data is written to them, prevents overwriting or erasure. With capacities of 800 GB per cartridge, WORM tape, especially if used behind a RAID cache, is the lowest-cost, and greenest, solution for very large archives where IT can deal with file access times measured in minutes. RAID, or even MAID, uses power when not being accessed."
Honeycomb Open Edition Software

The same problem can be solved using another approach -- by having WORM functionality via software on NAS appliances. We can add Sun StorEdge Compliance Archiving offering's software-managed WORM feature to our NAS appliance, and voila -- we get another solution to the data compliance problem!

And finally... Don't forget Honeycomb -- Sun StorageTek 5800 system is the first integrated, fixed-content archiving system built using open source software, and is excellent for preservation and digital archiving. From the product page: "The system includes extensive metadata facilities, extreme data protection against data corruption and data loss, and enhanced reliability, availability, and serviceability (RAS)."

So what are you waiting for... :-)

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