Case Study: Maximize Cloud Storage Efficiency With Hybrid SSDs and HDDs in High-Density Blade Servers


Servers Direct Maximizes Cloud Storage Efficiency With Hybrid SSDs and HDDs in High-Density Blade Servers

Challenge: Expand Capacity, Processing Power at Lower Cost
As the sheer quantity of unstructured enterprise data continues its exponential growth, applications such as cloud computing and web hosting are generating unprecedented demand for increased storage capacity and server computing power. But meeting this demand can be particularly challenging as IT budgets are currently under significant downward pressure. Both capex and opex are subject to intense scrutiny.

Thus, IT professionals must carefully consider the complete TCO profile of any blade server solution—not only the initial hardware expense, but also the other costs associated with it, such as the physical space within a data center that it requires, as well as the solution’s power and cooling needs. For maximum cost effectiveness, a blade server solution should employ high-density architecture, enabling more storage capacity and compute power in a given physical footprint.

Conventional 1U servers are built on a horizontal chassis architecture, an approach that delivers relatively poor space efficiency (and reduced density) by failing to fully leverage the rackmount’s chassis depth and thus make maximum use of the chassis’ internal volume.

The solution is a more space-efficient blade server that will let companies grow their storage capacity and server processing capabilities while observing tightly constrained budgets. To further reduce TCO, such high-density blade servers should also be designed to operate with significantly lower power consumption and more efficient cooling systems.

Solution: High-Density, High-Efficiency Blade Servers
Servers Direct is a premier provider of advanced build-to-order server and storage solutions for use in government, education, data centers, enterprise and the private sector. The company is committed to delivering exceptional value with high-quality custom solutions, built from best-of-breed open-standards components with short lead times and world-class support.

For cloud computing, web hosting and other high-density applications, Servers Direct recommends the Supermicro SD-5037MR-H8TRF MicroCloud modular server system. It delivers the high density, performance, efficiency and cost effectiveness that are required for today’s demanding server deployments. Its eight modular server nodes are mounted vertically, conveniently integrated into a compact 3U chassis that is only 23 inches deep, thus saving over 76 percent of rack space when compared with traditional 1U rackmount servers.

Servers Direct Maximizes Cloud Storage Efficiency With Hybrid SSDs and HDDs in High-Density Blade ServersServers Direct Maximizes Cloud Storage Efficiency With Hybrid SSDs and HDDs in High-Density Blade Servers

Figure 1. Supermicro SD-5037MR-H8TRF (front and rear)

The cable-less, hot-pluggable server nodes operate independently, with each providing up to 128GB DDR3-1600/1333MHz of ECC unbuffered DIMM/ECC LR/RDIMM memory, one PCI-E 3.0 x8 expansion slot for low-profile add-on card and 2x 3.5” or 2.5” HDDs. Each node is powered by an Intel® Xeon® processor from the E5-2600 v2 family (up to 130W).

The Supermicro MicroCloud systems are highly cost-effective solutions in cloud computing, data center, web hosting and virtualization environments. To ensure lower TCO, the MicroCloud system uses redundant Platinum Level (94%) high-efficiency power supplies and sophisticated cooling zone controls for a green energy profile. What’s more, its eight nodes provide easy access for efficient servicing, and the high density per node saves valuable data center space.

Servers Direct Maximizes Cloud Storage Efficiency With Hybrid SSDs and HDDs in High-Density Blade Servers

Figure 2. Eight nodes of Supermicro SD-5037MR-H8TRF (front view)

Compared with conventional 1U rack servers, the SD-5037MR-H8TRF’s high-density form factor lets far more compute power and storage capacity be deployed per rack server unit (U). With its smaller data center footprint and reduced energy and cooling needs, the SD-5037MR-H8TRF helps organizations significantly reduce their blade server TCO.

To maximize the performance and efficiency of the MicroCloud modular server systems, Servers Direct equips them with Seagate® Enterprise Capacity 3.5 HDDs and Seagate® 600 Pro SSDs. Ideally complementing the SD-5037MR-H8TRF, this hybrid approach to storage enables companies to strike the ideal balance between dollar-per-IOPS and dollar-per-GB. It delivers a cost-effective combination of blazing solid state drive performance and abundant hard disk drive storage capacity—all while helping to ensure significant energy savings.

Key Features (per node)

  • Single socket R (LGA 2011) supports Intel® Xeon® processor E5-2600 and E5-2600 v2 family
  • 2 x 3.5" Hot-swap SATA3 (6 Gbps)
  • 1 x (x8) PCI-E 3.0 low-profile slot
  • Up to 128GB DDR ECC RDIMM or 32GB DDR ECC UDIMM; 4 x DIMMs
  • 2 x GbE LAN ports via Intel® i350
  • 1 x dedicated LAN for IPMI remote management
  • 4 x 8cm heavy duty fans with optimal cooling zone
  • 1620W redundant 80 plus platinum level power supplies

Seagate® Enterprise Capacity 3.5 HDD and 600 Pro SSD: Capacity, Performance and Efficiency for High-Density Storage Environments
For over a decade, IT professionals have relied on Servers Direct expertise to help develop custom-matched solutions with uncompromised quality and support. That expertise can be seen in the company’s choice of the Seagate® Enterprise Capacity 3.5 HDDs and Seagate® 600 Pro SSDs for the Supermicro SD-5037MR-H8TRF blade server.

Blade servers perform best when fitted with hard disk drives that have been specifically designed to operate in high-density storage environments. Seagate’s Enterprise Capacity 3.5 HDD provides exceptional rotational vibration tolerance to ensure consistent performance when packed tightly together inside the SD-5037MR-H8TRF’s compact chassis, and is energy efficient to minimize the server’s power consumption and cooling needs.

Complementing the capacity-rich Enterprise Capacity 3.5 HDD, the 600 Pro SSD delivers ultra fast performance—maximizing IOPS/watt value while reducing energy costs. Designed for low power consumption, these solid state drives also automatically adjust power usage based on workload I/O levels, which means lighter workloads use even less power.

The Seagate® Enterprise Capacity 3.5 HDD and Seagate® 600 Pro SSD drive families are ideal matches for the SD-5037MR-H8TRF server. By employing two distinct types of storage devices, Servers Direct enables its cloud computing and web hosting customers to select the precise balance of capacity, speed, energy efficiency and cost-effectiveness that their high-density application requires.

Seagate Enterprise Capacity 3.5 HDDs deliver the performance, scalability and ruggedness needed in cloud computing and web hosting applications:

  • Highest-capacity enterprise drive, up to 4TB for maximum density server and storage solutions
  • Best-in-class energy efficiency with low power and cooling requirements
  • Optimized for reliable, 24×7 bulk data storage
  • Predictable 7200-RPM performance even in the most demanding multi-drive SAS or SATA environments
  • Data protection, lower data disposal costs and easier management with self encrypting drive (SED) FIPS 140-2 option

Seagate 600 Pro SSDs are ideal for performance-hungry cloud system builders, cloud service providers, content delivery networks and virtualized enterprise environments that demand the highest IOPS/W value:

  • Delivers the highest IOPS/watt to improve system performance and reduce power and cooling costs for performance-hungry data center and cloud applications.
  • Fast, consistent performance and low latency over the warranty period of the drive.
  • Helps reduce performance gaps between storage I/O and CPU operations.
  • Provides up to 480GB user capacity.
  • Helps safeguard data against unexpected power loss.
  • Helps protect data from undetected, unintentional corruption (silent errors).

To learn more about the Supermicro SD-5037MR-H8TRF 3U Rackmount Server, visit www.serversdirect.com

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