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Supermicro Mission Critical Server Solutions
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Supermicro New Zealand
Storage Servers with Nexenta (ZFS)
29 November 2013

Nexenta Systems, Inc. provides enterprise class storage with high availability and easy management for extremely large storage pools through their operating system software, NexentaStor. In brief, the software unifies SAN and NAS capabilities with features such as replication, deduplication, and compression by using the ZFS file system and logical volume manager. ZFS is a modern alternative to traditional RAID systems for providing storage with redundancy, performance, and high availability; please see our article on ZFS as published in August 2012 for a good overview (http://www.supermicro.co.nz/content/view/229/39/).

To complete or package a working enterprise-class storage solution is simply to integrate our hardware with the available software. We would deploy NexentaStor on a combination of industry-standard hardware, and this offers a modern feature set while dramatically lowering the price point compared to traditional storage vendor solutions. However it is important to note that "not all hardware is created equal", and not all combinations of hardware components will "just work". Through our own research efforts, efforts by the community, and efforts by Nexenta and its partners we utilise published certification programs or verified assurances to ensure that our combination of hardware and software in a Nexenta-based storage solution functions as reliably and consistently as any enterprise-class all-in-one storage product should. Please contact our team should you have any customer requirements or wish to integrate Nexenta software with enterprise-class hardware.

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If your team is not quite ready for deploying storage solutions a good start is to look at testing or pilot deploying NexentaStor in your own office. The software is available as a trial edition or a free Community Edition. A trial contains all the Enterprise features and will work for a period of 45 days. Alternatively the Community Edition is completely free but comes with no official support and lacks specific features as well as supporting only up to 18TB of usable capacity. Visit http://nexentastor.org/ to download the Community Edition. For testing purposes it can be installed on a variety of hardware (a 64-bit processor, 2GB of RAM, and direct-attached disks).

Our R&D team in the past has also tested similar ZFS-based solutions using Solaris-based OpenSolaris and OpenIndiana, FreeBSD-based FreeNAS and NAS4Free, and Linux-based OpenFiler. While all of these options are well established, feature-rich, and open source they lack commercial support. This is where Nexenta comes in as an easy to use, packaged and licensed solution for applications or customers requiring commercial support and/or agreements; there are over 5,000 customer deployments worldwide.

Another recent ZFS-related development is the founding of the OpenZFS community in September 2013 (http://open-zfs.org). The OpenZFS community is to raise awareness, improve, and maintain the open source and multi-platform aspects of ZFS.

Editor

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Supermicro New Zealand
Managed by Compucon New Zealand
 
Information in this document is subject to change without notice.
Other products and companies referred to herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies or mark holders.
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