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Supermicro New Zealand Channel Newsletter
Disk Storage and Backup Solutions
30 June 2010


Many end users ask for additional storage capacity on their network whether it is for active/working data, archiving data, or for additional backups of important files. Requirements are usually for a centralised location, available over the network and is affordable. Hard disks come to mind immediately and depending on specific requirements, there are different solutions you can offer - we present some ideas as follows:

Network Attached Storage - These are stand-alone units that are attached to a network with Gigabit Ethernet technology. The centralised disk capacity is presented to all networked computers through the file-system level and offers flexibility with shares and access permissions.

Powerful NAS units can be built with Supermicro's entry-level 1U server presented in a previous newsletter. Operating systems to provide the function can be Windows or Linux-based, and if 4 drive bays is not enough you can upgrade to 2U or even 3U chassis' to support up to 8 or 16 SATA hard disks.

Alternatives are proprietary products such as Synology NAS units (www.synology.com). These are relatively affordable, easy to use, and are usually in stock and ready for deployment - please email us direct for prices if you are after a particular model.

Direct Attached Storage - If your customer has recently purchased a server and would like to simply increase its storage capacity, direct attached storage could be used without the need to purchase yet another server. These are JBOD chassis' that contain a SAS expander backplane and hard drives only, without the need for another set of CPU, RAM and motherboard. Software is also not required as it is attached and recognised by the existing server as additional disks. Supermicro's 3U and 4U chassis are very suitable for this purpose.

Disk and Tape Backup - The above technologies provide additional storage capacity, high availability and drive redundancy but does not specifically tackle the backup problem. How do your customers keep off-site backups in case of fire or theft? Are the backups easily transportable and rugged? Can the backups be used to restore business functionality quickly and efficiently?

As an official Tandberg Data distributor we also carry stock of LTO Tape and RDX Disk solutions. Tapes offer high capacity and low media cost while RDX offers high performance and ease of use. Both technologies cater for off-site backups and are designed to be rugged for every day transportation.

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The table below summarises available options:
Specification Media capacity Transfer Speed Avg Random Access System Interface Form Factor Waranty
LTO-4 HH 800 GB 80 MB/s  N/A SCSI / SAS Internal / External 3 years
LTO-5 HH 1.5 TB 140 MB/s  N/A SAS Internal / External 3 years
RDX SATA 160 - 640GB up to 45 MB/s  15 ms SATA Internal 3 years
RDX USB 160 - 640GB up to 45 MB/s  15 ms USB 2.0 External 3 years

Feel free to contact the editor for further information as desired.


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