Monday Sep 28, 2009

Open Source SysAdmins: curious about Sun Storage 7000 series boxes?

A quick note that our friends at Sun BigAdmin have published a short paper of mine called "Joomla! Deployment Guide for Sun Storage 7000 Unified Storage Systems". We wanted to give a more hands-on constructive view of these very cool products from the sysadmin and open-source perspectives. These boxes work, work well, work fast, and bring intelligent network-based storage roaring into the Enterprise.

Thursday May 21, 2009

Sun @ OR09

Yep, we actually are working down here in the ATL...

Gail Truman, Minute Madness Queen

Art Pasquinelli, Patriarch, Lead Deep Diver

Sun: Studious keepers of the Silver Traffic Cones

Wednesday Mar 11, 2009

Drupal In A Flash


Flash at Sun

No, really, this isn't a Marketing or Sales FluffPiece! I promise!

Today, Sun announces SSD drives for our servers. One of the proof points we used in support of this was the Drupal CMS. While Drupal 6 doesn't always stress the I/O subsystems themselves (or maybe because of it!), we went ahead to test some pseudo-real-world workloads against Drupal/PHP/Apache/MySQL/Solaris/ZFS. The results are posted today here in the Drupal-on-Sun Wiki site.

What did we find?

  1. As predicted, more performance benefits were observed with Read-only or Read-Write loads than Write-only (we populated a Drupal MySQL database from script)
  2. Up to 50% performance improvement was seen in complex Drupal workloads when using SSDs compared to traditional hard disks
  3. A most cost-effective ZFS Hybrid Storage Pool (utilizing both technologies) provides more modest performance gains for less money

Hybrid Storage PoolExpected, yes, but still good when it proves out!

Intelligent site and database architectures will be able to take advantage of this technology in ways we've not yet envisioned, especially in a tiered approach that localized most-accessed data in the faster tiers (main memory, Flash/SSD, hard disk).

Tuesday Nov 18, 2008

Drupal Along the Amber Road...

Last week Sun announced the Sun Storage 7000 Unified Storage Systems (codenamed Amber Road). Because I was able to play with one of these puppies before its release, I thought I might useful to share my takeaways.

Um, what are these things really?  They're NAS-type storage appliances comprised of Sun server/storage hardware and Sun Open Source software stacks.

Why should I care? Aside from the incredible cool engineering inside (see here), these boxes impress me with:

  1)  OpenSolaris-based, which, among many other cool things, means ZFS top to bottom; reliable, scalable... it just works...

  2) Some very cool on-board analytics to tell you what's going on and what/how to tune it...

  3) Some pretty intuitive administration capabilities... again, it just works...

  4) Very good performance, thanks to ZFS and Flash drives... it just works fast...

What was that about Drupal? I tried it with Drupal 6, plus the Sun Coolstack (note: apps run on a server, not on the Amber Road box itself). You configure the thing as an NFS appliance or as an iSCSI target, tell MySQL to talk to it, then set up Drupal normally. While tuning takes place on the device itself or in MySQL, performance is good out of the box.

Again, it just works... are you detecting a theme here?

So, yes, this a very good start to Sun's OpenStorage line, and you can certainly read all the promo and marketing foo around it. I normally don't blog at Sun announcements, but given my very positive experience with, and appreciation of, these products, I felt a mention was in order.

Wednesday Nov 14, 2007

A new take on storage: Sun announces Project Honeycomb

Sun this week announced the StorageTek 5800 - it's a new approach to storage, especially for the retrieval of archived data. Product info here, good writeups here, here and here

Why am I blogging about this? Simply put, I'm also supporting several OSS Communities that will be working with this product/technology, and what better time/place to talk about it than at the launch of this storage product. By building in clustered storage and a metadata layer, this box will change the way very large archived datastores are accessed.

The Communities you'll be hearing about from me in the future:   



Main Sequence: 1) an astronomy term denoting the lifecycle of a majority of known stars. 2) err @ Sun/Oracle: long-time (since 1988) Sun/Oracle veteran, still shining in an ever-changing high-tech universe


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