HP’s Project Moonshot project redefines server density

Project Moonshot: HP starts with atom and not with ARM processors - Golem.deProject Moonshot: HP starts with atom and not with ARM processors - Golem.de

I love this new direction from HP in the form of Project Moonshot, this is small scale highly paralleled servers on a whole new scale…

In the first phase of Project Moonshot will consist of a low-power 4.3-U rack enclosure, the HP Moonshot called the 1500th In absolute numbers, the system will still above 650 watts, as shown in the technical data sheet . In the system, there are 45 modules that are similar to some extent Blades, only smaller, with one atom S1200 aka Centerton . with two cores, memory, and a 2.5-inch hard drive The modules can be replaced in case of damage during operation, so are hot-pluggable.

Mac Mini server rack

I love the ingenuity of network admins to come up with a great solution to a very niche problem, in this case, what happens when you need a rack full of Apple test machines. Bring on the custom made shelf containing four Mac Minis per 1u shelf, giving you a 160 machines per rack!

I had to add a 10Gb SFP+ Ethernet card to the XServe, and now I can NetBoot all 160 machines at the same time.. It works so well that all of the machines are back up and running within 45 seconds….  That’s fast for a NetBoot..  Here are some final pics of the cabinet.

They are even working on a six machine rack to boost that to 240! More details on Steve’s Blog.

EchoStreams FlashSAN2 SSD storage array

I love this kind of tech, stuff that is on the borderline of bonkers, packing 48 SSD drives into a single rack mounted array, worth following Storage Reviews write up to see if it preforms half as good as it looks…

Looking at the front, the FlashSAN2 includes a super-dense pack of 48 7mm SSD bays, split into four groups. Right now each tray is loaded with a 180GB Intel SSD 520. This platform will no doubt start pushing some impressive performance numbers. Each SSD supports 60,000 IOPS 4K burst, while the LSI 9207-8i HBAs support up to 700,000 IOPS, meaning we could get close to 2 million IOPS throughput burst from this current setup or around 24,000MB/s in bandwidth.

via StorageReview.com

Microsoft server dual hard disk and slimline disk drive caddy upgrade

Here’s a great little product for anyone looking to expand their HP Microserver…

Icy Dock has announced the MB994IPO-3SB, a dual-bay SATA/SAS mobile rack backplane with a slim optical disk drive (ODD) slot, for use in a single 5.25″ device bay. Dual 4-pin power connectors support low-power SATA SSDs or more demanding 15000 RPM SAS hard drives.

via Storage Reviews.

Windows Home Server Drive Extender reborn as Windows 8 Storage Spaces

Arstechnica have an excellent post on a new Windows 8 featured call Storage Spaces, which is basically the successor to the original concept of Drive Extender in Windows Home Server, a concept that so many were fond of…

With Storage Spaces, physical disks are grouped together into pools, and pools are then carved up into spaces, which are formatted with a regular filesystem and are used day-to-day just like regular disks.

Storage in a pool is then distributed among one or more spaces. Each space can have its own redundancy policy, with three kinds of fault tolerance offered: 2-way mirroring, 3-way mirroring, and RAID 5-like parity. With the mirrored options, a space’s data is stored either twice or three times within a pool. With the parity option, the system will compute additional information and store this within the pool. If any disk in the pool fails, the data can be reconstructed using this additional information.

The systems strength lies in its flexibility, simply create a space, even one that exceeds the storage you currently have, then just add new disks to the pool and regardless of how large they are or how they are connected, the pool will manage the expansion and optional migration.

The most interest detail came to light in the recent consumer preview of Windows 8, that storage pools are in fact included in the client now.

I’m sure the whilst users of the original Windows Home Server are very pleased to see the idea live on, I am sure there will be no upgrade path, other than what was involved in moving to Windows Home Server 2011, copy your data off and rebuild your server from the ground up, which is a long and fairly painful process.


How to add a second hard disk to a 2011 Mac Mini

Whilst upgrading my new 2011 Mac Mini from its standard slow hard disk to a brand spanking new SSD I spotted the second channel SATA port identified by the original iFixit teardown…

When we took apart the 2011 Mac Mini, we found the optical drive conspicuously absent. While few are bemoaning Apple’s efforts to hasten the death of physical media, we were saddened that Apple didn’t make better use of the extra space. Fear not, we’ve got a solution to bring your Mini back to the space-efficiency you’d expect in an Apple product.

In the past couple of month various supplier have come up with a solution to mounting a second hard disk in this tiny box, mainly based around the fact that the 2011 model is identical to the 2010 mac mini server, and can use the same cable supplied for that system.

My first find was iFixit’s own kit, which comes with all the tools and mounting points required to add a second disk, the downside is the cost, which at $69 is pretty pricy if you happen to have some of the tools already.

I did find some alternative suppliers for just the cable alone, MacPartsOnline has the cable  alone for $39, Applemacparts.co.uk also supplies parts to the UK for £25 plus VAT. Availability seems to be an issue with all the suppliers due to the popularity and cost savings compared to the standard Apple upgrade prices.

If you’re considering this upgrade do follow iFixIt’s full upgrade guide, which is very detailed (there’s also this first hand guide to the process) it can be a bit scary the first time you take apart a Mac Mini, as it’s a very tight package, but if you take it slowly it does work out.