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Data Center Hardware Overview: Integrated Appliance

14
OCTOBER, 2019
This blog is about StoneFly’s integrated appliances and it’s the first in the series of blogs about StoneFly’s data storage appliance hardware. In this series, we’re taking a closer look at the innovative data storage technology that’s engineered for enterprise use-cases.
In the blog series, we’ll explore different key components and the storage and scale out capabilities of our industry leading data storage appliances.

StoneFly’s enterprise data storage appliances are built to store and facilitate large volumes of high density data. Our storage appliances are highly scalable, easy-to-manage, and cost-effective. And the storage appliance hardware is manufactured to deliver optimized data storage experience for data center owners.

Table of Contents

This blog post will follow this flow:

Integrated Appliance – “Storage in a Box” Architecture

Data Center Hardware Overview: Integrated Appliance 1
StoneFly integrated appliance hardware delivers the “storage in a box” experience. Our integrated appliances comprise of a single hardware chassis that has all the key components assembled inside it.

This storage hardware makes for a simplistic “plug and play” experience for enterprises and organizations short on time.

This is what the hardware architecture of the StoneFly integrated appliances look like:

Data Center Hardware Overview: Integrated Appliance 2
Each integrated appliance has a Storage Controller (SC) or HCI Controller (for hyperconverged appliances), a RAID controller, and storage drives assembled in a single hardware chassis.

High Performance Components of StoneFly Integrated Appliances

Now that we’ve established the meaning of the “storage in a box” experience, let’s discuss the different key components of the integrated appliance hardware.

Storage Controller or HCI Controller

The storage controller or HCI controller is the hardware part of the integrated appliance that acts as the management layer.

The Operating System (OS), the hypervisor (for HCI), and the backup software (Veeam, Acronis, etc.) run on the storage controller or HCI controller. This implies that StoneFly’s patented storage virtualization software – StoneFusion™ and SCVM™ also run on this hardware component.

The StoneFusion / SCVM data management software and the hypervisor runs on dedicated NVMe independent of the storage.

This is a unique feature of our integrated appliances. This feature delivers a lag free experience to IOPS intensive enterprise workloads.

To learn more about tiered storage, we recommend reading our technical resource section: What is tiered storage?

StoneFly backup and Disaster Recovery (DR) integrated appliances also run the backup software on the HCI controller.

Using the OS, the hypervisor and the backup software, the storage controller or HCI controller facilitates the following operations:

  • Data Storage Management – Storage provisioning, access controls, read and write, snapshots, replication, etc.
  • Storage Virtualization – Supported hypervisors: VMware, Hyper-V, and Citrix (formerly XenServer)
  • Backup & DR – backup jobs, restore operations, instant recovery, etc.

 Integrated RAID Controller

StoneFly storage and backup & DR integrated appliances have built-in RAID controller for data redundancy and fault-tolerance (with the exception of the SSO™ NAS appliance).

The supported RAID levels depend on the available memory of the appliance. The hardware RAID controller is capable of configuring RAID 0, 1, 3, 5, 6, 10, 30, 50, and 60 with RAID cache battery backup.

By leveraging the built-in RAID controller, enterprise users can set up a high-level of fault-tolerance to drive failures and ensure business continuity.

If you’re confused about RAID, we recommend reading our technical resources section: What is RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks)?

Enterprise Hot-Swappable Data Storage Drives

Data Center Hardware Overview: Integrated Appliance 3
StoneFly integrated appliances can be populated with 3.5” SAS, SSDs, and SATA (value-tier) and 2.5” SAS and SSDs. The drives are hot-swappable and can be easily removed, added and replaced, whenever necessary.

Our integrated appliances can be fully populated with SATA (value-tier) and SAS drives for cost-effective storage or with SSDs (flash drives) for high performance All-Flash storage.

Our innovative software-defined storage also enables users to configure hybrid storage combining SAS and SSDs in a single storage chassis.

By leveraging StoneFusion / SCVM and the combination of SAS drives and SSDs users can setup high performance & cost effective multi-tiered storage on their integrated appliances.

Redundant High Efficiency Hot-Swappable Power Supplies

To deliver a disruption-free storage experience, StoneFly integrated appliances are equipped with dual redundant high efficiency power supplies. Similar to the storage drives, the power supplies are also hot-swappable. This makes it very easy to remove or replace them.

Data Center Hardware Overview: Integrated Appliance 4
Now that we’ve developed a clear understanding of the key components of the integrated appliance hardware, let’s look at the data storage capacities the integrated appliances can offer when fully populated with SATA (value-tier), SAS drives, and SSDs.

Integrated Appliance – Average Storage Capacities

StoneFly integrated appliance hardware is available for all our storage and backup and DR appliances; for both the value-tier and the enterprise-tier solutions.

Here’s a table containing the available integrated appliance form factors and the corresponding maximum raw storage capacities using SATA (value-tier), SAS drives, and SSDs:

Form Factor Supported drives Max. raw storage capacity
4-bay Mini Tower 3.5’: 

SATA (value-tier), SAS, and SAS SSDs

 

3.5”: 

SATA: 56TBs

SAS: 56TBs

SAS SSD: 30.72TBs

6-bay Rackmount 3.5’: 

SATA (value-tier), SAS, and SAS SSDs

 

3.5”: 

SATA: 84TBs

SAS: 84TBs

SAS SSD: 46.08TBs

8-bay Rackmount 3.5’: 

SATA (value-tier), SAS, and SAS SSDs

 

3.5”: 

SATA: 112TBs

SAS: 112TBs

SAS SSD: 61.44TBs

12-bay Rackmount 3.5’: 

SATA (value-tier), SAS, and SAS SSDs

 

3.5”: 

SATA: 168TBs

SAS: 168TBs

SAS SSD: 92.16TBs

16-bay Rackmount 3.5’: 

SATA (value-tier), SAS, and SAS SSDs

 

3.5”: 

SATA: 224TBs

SAS: 224TBs

SAS SSD: 122.88TBs

24-bay Rackmount 3.5’: 

SATA (value-tier), SAS, and SAS SSDs

2.5’: 

SAS, and SAS SSDs

 

3.5”: 

SATA: 336TBs

SAS: 336TBs

SAS SSD: 184.32TBs

2.5”: 

SAS: 57.6TBs

SAS SSD: 184.32TBs

36-bay Rackmount 3.5’: 

SATA (value-tier), SAS, and SAS SSDs

 

3.5”: 

SATA: 504TBs

SAS: 504TBs

SAS SSD: 276.48TBs

 

 

For more information about supported storage drive sizes and types, we encourage you to get in touch with us.

The integrated appliance hardware is capable of storing data from a few terabytes to hundreds of terabytes making it fit for SMBs, SMEs, and large organizations.

Virtually Unlimited Scale Up & Scale Out Capabilities

Besides being able to store more than 500TBs of data when fully populated, the StoneFly integrated appliance hardware is also able to scale up and scale out.

Scale Up to Store Petabytes of Data

Data Center Hardware Overview: Integrated Appliance 5
Each integrated appliance is capable of supporting a maximum of 256 drives with expansion units. Therefore, when users need to scale up, they can add an expansion unit and increase the storage capacities.

When fully populated, a 36-bay rackmount with 256 drives (using expansion units) is capable of storing 4 Petabytes of data.

Scale Out to Virtually Unlimited Number of Nodes

Data Center Hardware Overview: Integrated Appliance 6
Similarly, if users are looking to scale not just the storage capacity but also the performance, they can choose to add another integrated appliance node. This adds both performance and storage capacity as the newly added appliance has its own processor and motherboard for compute.

StoneFly’s integrated appliances are able to scale out to not just one or two appliances nodes. Our integrated appliances can scale out to virtually unlimited number of nodes leading to petabytes of storage capacity along with a proportional increase in performance.

StoneFly Data Management Solutions with the Integrated Appliance Hardware

StoneFly data management solutions comprise of value-tier and enterprise data storage, hyperconverged, and data backup and DR appliances. The following is a list of StoneFly data management solutions that are available in the integrated appliance hardware:

Enterprise-Tier Solutions:

Value-Tier Solutions:

 

Conclusion

The integrated appliance hardware is built for the “plug and play” experience. This makes it a good fit for organizations looking for simplicity, faster deployment and a budget-friendly data storage solution.

Integrated Appliance Hardware Demo

Got Questions? Interested in the Integrated Appliance Hardware?

If you have questions, or you’re looking for more information or a demo, or a quotation about a StoneFly storage solution, contact us:

Email: sales@stonefly.com

Phone: +1 (510) 265 1616

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