by Adam Armstrong

Toshiba HK4R SSD Review

Back in February, Toshiba announced the HK4 series, the latest addition to its high-performance, enterprise SSDs. The HK4 series comes in two models: a value endurance model and a read intensive model. Toshiba has doubled the maximum capacity of the drives, running all the way up to a maximum of 1.92TB (the HK3s topped out at 960GB). As with the previous model, the HK4 is a 2.5” form factor that supports SATA 6Gb/s interface. The HK4 also features vital enterprise functionality, including full power loss and end-to-end protection, as well as proprietary QSBC (Quadruple Swing-By Code) error-correction technology, the latter which helps to protect and secure data from corruption caused by NAND flash memory media wear.

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by StorageReview Enterprise Lab

Tripp Lite SRCOOL24K SmartRack Portable Air-Conditioning Unit Review

While our focus is primarily on storage products, we sometimes explore their related hardware, including cooling solutions designed to keep our equipment running smoothly. Our primary source of cooling is fresh air, but during excessively warm periods we turn to spot chillers to keep sensitive review equipment cool. To that end we've added Tripp Lite's new SRCOOL24K SmartRack portable air conditioner to the test lab. Packing 24,000 BTU (2 Tons) of cooling power, this unit is designed remove up to 7kW of equipment load from a room in a fully self-contained package.

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by StorageReview Enterprise Lab

SuperMicro X11 MicroBlade Solution Review

The SuperMicro MicroBlade family is made up of two key components: a wide selection of chassis configurations, and a multitude of dense-blade options. The MicroBlade enclosure comes in two primary flavors, one being a 3U unit that supports 14 servers and the other a 6U unit that supports 28 servers. Between those sizes there are varying power-configuration options that users can chose from depending on how the ultimate solution will be configured. The servers themselves cover a broad landscape, from single- or dual-processor Intel Xeon systems to ultra-dense blades offering quad Intel-Avoton powered nodes. This allows Supermicro to reach high core per rack counts, upwards of 6272 cores with 784 quad-Avoton nodes in a 42U footprint. The variety of options provides a ton of flexibility for those who need dense compute for high-intensity applications, or for those who want to start small, but know their compute demands will need to scale rapidly. In either case, the MicroBlade enclosures offer a simple deployment model, as well as a chassis management module (CMM) for remote access to blades, power supplies, cooling fans, and networking switches.

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by StorageReview Enterprise Lab

Dell PowerEdge FC830 with Intel Broadwell Review

Earlier this month, Dell added Intel Broadwell support to their line of four-socket PowerEdge servers. We've previously seen what the new CPUs can do for their mainline dual-processor systems; now we turn our attention to the 1U PowerEdge FC830 blade that houses itself within the FX2 chassis. Launched today, the new Intel E5-4669 v4 processors are 2.2GHz and bring 22 cores to bear; 88 cores in a fully populated system. Both the FC830 and the more standard 2U R830 get the E5-4600 v4 family, while the larger R930 can now leverage the E7-8800 v4.

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by StorageReview Enterprise Lab

Tripp Lite SRCOOL7KRM Rackmount Air Conditioning Unit Review

When it comes to running a business that relies on storage technology, keeping equipment cool is paramount, as overheating can cause unscheduled shutdowns, system malfunctions, and even complete failures; all of which can result in expensive repairs/replacements, loss of important data, and valuable operation time. That’s where solutions like Tripp Lite’s SRCOOL7KRM come in. This rack-mounted air conditioning unit effectively blasts 7,000 BTU/h of close-coupled cooling power into highly-targeted areas of IT equipment. To that end, the SRCOOL7KRM is well-suited for heat-sensitive gear used in data centers, server rooms, network closets and other where rack-mounted equipment susceptible to heat. Because it has a small physical footprint, Tripp Lite’s air conditioning unit is also ideal for use cases where floor space is limited.

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by StorageReview Enterprise Lab

SurgeX SX-20NE-RT-AR Branch Circuit Review

The SurgeX SX-20NE-RT-AR is a versatile branch-circuit surge eliminator highlighted by its ability to be managed and controlled remotely through a simple yet intuitive web interface. Featuring an AC surge eliminator and power conditioner, the SX-20NE-RT-AR supports up to 20A at 120V and provides admins with the option to remotely cycle power, rebooting any attached device, such as monitors, routers, and servers.

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by StorageReview Enterprise Lab

Crucial DDR4 Memory Review

In any performance-driven server or storage system, RAM plays a critical role when it comes to managing application latency. The premise is simple; the more memory systems have, the faster they'll go. But RAM is also one of the most expensive components, so it's important to balance performance needs with the proper technologies and RAM footprint to meet the need. Like all other things in IT, memory is making leaps and bounds in innovation. The latest version of memory is DDR4 (double data rate fourth-generation), which is finding its way into leading edge servers and storage platforms. In our lab RAM is one of our most valued assets, helping us push the limits in many of our benchmarks. Crucial has supplied the lab with DDR4 that we've been leveraging to push our load systems to their fullest.

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by Kevin OBrien

In the Lab: Fresh Air Cooling

Lowering power usage is a hot-button topic for anyone operating a lab or datacenter these days. Utility costs are always increasing, servers and storage keep growing and there are few signs that "the cloud" is going to do much to help. Regardless of the size of operation, power costs make up a huge portion of an OPEX budget (#4 at StorageReview); including the direct power usage of servers and associated hardware, as well as indirect power usage to cooling everything. During one of my first trips to Dell's headquarters in Round Rock, TX, I had the pleasure of seeing the Dell Fresh Air Hot House, which sparked ideas that would eventually lower the overall power usage of the StorageReview Test Lab.

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by Kevin OBrien

In the Lab: Eaton BladeUPS Power System Upgrade

Its been roughly one year since StorageReview overhauled its main lab, outfitted with Eaton S-Series racks, Eaton metered and managed G3 PDUs as well as an Eaton BladeUPS Power System. The BladeUPS Power System is unique in the datacenter space, where future expansions can be approached in a modular fashion and installed without calling in an electrician. While the original design offered 12kW of capacity, growth in the StorageReview lab has grown our power demands as well. In this In the Lab article we cover the installation and upgrade process of an additional 12kW Eaton BladeUPS power module.

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by StorageReview Enterprise Lab

Mangstor NX6320 NVMe over Fabrics Review

The Mangstor NX-Series of all-flash arrays (AFA) are a family of appliances that are designed to bring the performance and low-latency benefits of NVMe to a shared storage environment. Shared storage of course isn't new, but being able to leverage the benefits of NVMe in a shared environment is. Conceptually, NVMe over Fabrics takes the power of the best of breed SSDs, that have been confined to in-server use, and shares them over a high-speed network (Ethernet or Infiniband). Specifically, the Mangstor NX6320 uses NVMe over Fabrics with RDMA network access in order to deliver performance benefits to latency sensitive applications. This scalable storage has several use cases including critical applications, database and HPC. 

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