More storage capacity, new options to configure storage capacity and a starting price point of under $2,000 — that’s the at-a-glance description of the newest Overland Storage model, SnapServer DX, available in a 1U and 2U form factors, SnapServer DX1 and SnapServer DX2, respectively. But what makes the new NAS/iSCSI SAN SnapServer DX so compelling is the increased flexibility that it offers to organizations to manage and scale, using the new DynamicRAID technology which contribute to eliminating the need for organizations to provision storage altogether.
Nearly every new generation of every storage array is inevitably accompanied by corresponding increases in storage capacity and performance and in this respect, SnapServer DX is no different. Both the DX1 and DX2 may start with as little as 600GBs of storage capacity and two (2) GbE ports with the DX1 scaling up to 120TBs in storage capacity and four (4) GbE ports and the DX2 scaling up to 288TBs in storage capacity and six (6) GbE ports. The most important difference between these two models is the increased flexibility they offer to manage additional storage capacity with SnapServer DX’s new DynamicRAID technology. While the SnapServer DX models still give organizations the option to configure and protect disks using traditional RAID options, they can now choose to configure their DX models with DynamicRAID to receive new flexibility to manage disk drives in them so they can more quickly respond to changing storage requirements in their environment.
Many businesses are challenged by accelerated data generation and rapidly changing storage environments and traditional RAID is not well positioned to meet these new demands. To optimize storage using traditional RAID presented as volumes or LUNs, administrators need to be constantly monitoring and managing them. This is a task that many no longer have either the time or the inclination to do.
With Overland Storage’s DynamicRAID technology the historical problems associated with managing and optimizing storage utilization go away. Now administrators have the flexibility to dynamically increase or even decrease a volume size as application demands change without causing either business disruption or downtime.
The SnapServer DX and its DynamicRAID technology also provide organizations a number of other benefits that many will only come to see after they implement this storage system in their environment. For example, they can:
- Take advantage of mix and matched hard disk drives (HDD). Most traditional RAID technologies require that all of the HDDs in a particular RAID pool are all of the same capacity or, if they are not of the same capacity, the maximum amount of capacity that can be used on a disk drive can be no more than the smallest HDD in that RAID group. For example, if a four disk RAID5 group consists of three (3) 500GB drives and one 1TB drive, the RAID5 group could only use 500GB of the 1TB drive.
DynamicRAID removes the limitations of traditional RAID. Any similar disk type in the SnapServer DX storage array may be of any size or speed. Further, DynamicRAID takes advantage of all of the capacity on each of these drives so whether a 1TB drive is added or a 3TB drive is added, organizations get full use of all of the capacity on that drive
- Avoid provisioning storage altogether. While having extra storage capacity is great, administrators and application owners routinely request and allocate too much storage to specific applications “just in case.” While this approach works fine when a storage array only supports one or two applications, when it starts providing storage for dozens of applications, this philosophy of providing extra storage “just in case” starts to cost a lot of extra money.
To preserve this safety net of allocating extra storage to applications without requiring organizations to spend extra money or effort, the SnapServer DX features a new auto-provisioning feature that requires no manual intervention. This feature tells the application that it has the extra storage capacity that it may eventually need but it only assigns as much storage to the application as it is actually using.
Now as the application stores more data, the SnapServer DX gives it more storage capacity. In addition, this auto-provisioning feature also works in reverse such that as the application uses less storage capacity, SnapServer DX releases the extra storage capacity and gives it back to the storage pool, enabling a reallocation of capacity to other applications that need it.
- Deploy larger disk drives more quickly using SnapServer DX’s 64-bit OS. The SnapServer DX 64-bit OS is a feature that is easy to overlook and may seem only marginally relevant when buying a storage array. But by upgrading the OS to 64-bit, Overland Storage laid the foundation for the SnapServer DX to deliver even greater storage capacities in the future.
One of the problems with 32-bit operating systems is that once disk drive sizes went over 2TBs in size the OS could not effectively address all of the additional storage capacity on those drives. This is why it has taken some time for many storage providers to certify 3TB drives in their systems even though these size HDDs have been available for a while. Even if they did certify them, the OS on their storage arrays could not effectively utilize all of the storage capacity on these drives.
With the OS upgrade to 64-bit, SnapServer DX can effectively use and manage all of the capacity on today’s 3TB drives and accommodate larger capacity drives that come in the future. In so doing, organizations can expect to continue to easily scale their SnapServer DX to even higher capacities going forward as new HDDs become available.
The two new Overland Storage SnapServer DX models may on the surface appear to be simply two new unified storage arrays with increased storage capacity and performance at an attractive price point. But a peek under the hood reveals the new DynamicRAID technology and 64-bit operating system that lay the foundation for easier storage management today and storage scalability tomorrow.
However these two new SnapServer DX models deliver more than just storage capacity and scalability at a lower price — it delivers them in such a way that organizations need to spend less time and effort managing these features while enabling them to fully utilize their available storage capacity. That’s a value that is bound to impress any organization.