Enterprise Reviews
by Josh Shaman

Seagate Enterprise Value HDD (Constellation CS) Review

The Seagate Enterprise Value HDD which is also known as the Constellation CS, is a 3.5", 7,200RPM SATA drive with a maximum capacity of 3TB that is targeted at organizations looking for the cost-effectiveness of consumer HDDs but also the enterprise features they need. The Constellation CS fit those needs by offering inexpensive bulk-storage for cases such as hosting unstructured data in the cloud with the lowest $/GB cost in the market. Adding to the Constellation CS drives' overall value is that at 2.75W/TB, it also offers the lowest power consumption of any new enterprise-class HDD, drawing up to 29% less power than competitive high-capacity enterprise drives by Seagate's numbers.

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by Kevin OBrien

Lenovo ThinkServer RD530 Review

The Lenovo ThinkServer RD530, the 1U sibling to the 2U RD630 we previously reviewed, is a mainstream server designed with the specs users need to support database applications as well as virtualized infrastructures. The RD530 offers essentially the same hardware and options as the RD630 in half the space. The ThinkServer RD530 runs on the Intel Xeon E5-2600 processor family and can support up to 320GB of RAM. One major difference is how many drives are supported. The RD530 offers slots for up to four LFF HDDs or eight SFF SATA, SAS or SSDs, while the RD630 could support up to sixteen SFF drives.

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by Josh Shaman

Toshiba SAS HDD Enterprise 3.5" Review (MG03SCAx00)

Toshiba's new MG03 SAS Enterprise 3.5" hard drives offer a 7,200 RPM spindle speed with top-of-the-line capacities up to 4TB and SAS 6Gb/s interface in either standard or encrypted (SED) models. The encryption feature is part of a push Toshiba is mounting to provide more security options across all new drives. The MG03 SAS Enterprise drives present a host of updates compared to the previous generation. Toshiba expanded capacities up to 4TB from 2TB, and the MG03 SAS drives now offer up to 18% faster sustained transfer rates while shaving power consumption up to 15%. Additionally, the drives offer cache buffers of 64MB, which is a significant bump from the previously offered 16MB buffers. The drives also offer error correction (ECC) for more reliability. All told, the lastest MG03 offering is on more even terms with other leading drives in the high-capacity enterprise SAS space and aims to be a viable option in a market long dominated by other drive vendors. 

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by Kevin OBrien

SMART Storage CloudSpeed 500 Enterprise SSD Review

The SMART Storage Systems CloudSpeed 500 is an entry enterprise SSD  with SATA interface designed to meet the needs read-intensive scenarios such as boot drive, workstations and certain embedded applications. The CloudSpeed 500 uses a SandForce controller paired with 24nm MLC NAND to deliver not just high throughput, but also high endurance. It can be difficult to differentiate with SandForce-based SSDs, as the build and firmware are rarely novel. With that in mind, Smart's hook with the CloudSpeed 500 is the endurance. Smart touts 15,000 PE cycles, which is more than some other SandForce-based offerings, and it does this all while preserving capacity with just 7% over-provisioning. The drive also offers power-fail protection to ensure in-flight data makes it to its destination during a power loss event.

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by Josh Shaman

HGST Ultrastar 7K4000 Review (HUS724040ALE640)

HGST's Ultrastar 7K4000 3.5" form factor enterprise-class HDD now ranges up to 4TB in capacity and spins at 7,200RPM while interfacing over SATA 6Gb/s. The drive offers the enterprise a 33% capacity leap over previous models, and it accomplishes that task of delivering robust capacity by utilizing five platters at 800GB each to attain the maximum 4TB capacity. This is a huge feature for enterprise customers who need to maintain the same footprint for their drives without increasing their costs. Another significant feature on the Ultrastar 7K4000 is that it is offered in Advanced Format which uses a 4096-byte sector size that is still backward-compatible with the 512-byte sector size. The HGST 7K4000 drive also features 64MB of drive cache.

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by Kevin OBrien

OCZ Deneva 2 Enterprise SSD Review

The OCZ Deneva 2 is an enterprise-class SSD that interfaces over SATA 6GB/s and has several different models utilizing an array of NAND. Our test model incorporates eMLC NAND to offer users more write cycles than standard MLC, and simultaneously it provides economics closer to MLC than the more expensive SLC. The Deneva 2 also comes in two different series to provides users flexibility in their choices. The R series includes a similar feature set to the C series but with a couple of additional features including power loss data protection and over-provisioning. The over-provisioning is geared more toward heavier write scenarios and is noticeable when users check capacity differences between the C and R models. Our test model is the OCZ Deneva 2 R eMLC NAND 200GB capacity drive. One more design note is that architecturally, the Deneva 2 comes in a 2.5" form factor, but OCZ can tailor it per application.

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by Brian Beeler

Dell EqualLogic Family Hands-On

We recently spent a few days at the Dell EqualLogic headquarters in Nashua, NH to experience a deep dive on the EqualLogic family, management software and performance capabilities of the arrays. The EqualLogic full-immersion treatment was to prepare us for the latest generation EqualLogic PS6110 array to hit our lab for full review in the coming weeks. We split time between detailed briefings on features like Linux management and VMware integration and several hours of in-lab time working hands on with the entire PS (peer storage) family ranging from the entry-level PS4110 to the full-on PS6110 hybrid array that combines flash storage with 15K hard drives.

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by Josh Shaman

Micron M500 Enterprise SSD Review

The Micron M500 is part of the new SSD family created by Micron and Crucial geared toward personal storage applications with the Micron M500 slotted as an enterprise-class SSD that ranges in capacities up to a robust 960GB, uses 20nm MLC NAND, a Marvell controller, interfaces over SATA 6Gb/s, and features a slim 7mm drive height. The Micron-branded M500 is also targeted at Cloud and Web 2.0 segment. As we mention in our review of the near-identical consumer-oriented Crucial M500, the Micron brand is established and is known for its long-term reliability and its compatibility. Adding to that is the robust capacity and value offered by Micron. On that note, while Crucial's M500 offers top capacity in the consumer-market, there are existing enterprise SSDs that meet and exceed 1TB. Yet, what Micron brings to the table is affordability. While other drives might range up to $4,000, the Micron M500 960GB comes in low at less than a quarter of the price.

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by Kevin OBrien

Aberdeen AberNAS N31L Review

The Aberdeen AberNAS N31L is among Aberdeen's ultra-dense NAS storage arrays that are all designed to offer maximum capacity levels at more affordable prices than the upper echelon providers. The AberNAS is packed with features including capacity for up to 64TB of storage via 16 3.5" bays. The 3U form factor NAS also features Intel Xeon E5 family processors, up to 512MB RAM, and exceptional connectivity via 10GBe LAN and six standard PCI Express 3.0 slots. The Aberdeen N31L also features LSI SAS 6G RAID and extra compatibility via full support for Aberdeen's SAS 6G 4U/45Bay and 3U/28Bay JBOD for users that need to expand their array's capacity.

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by Josh Shaman

HP StoreEver LTO-6 Ultrium 6250 Review (EH970A)

HP's LTO-6 Ultrium 6250, the sixth and latest iteration in the Ultrium tape drive series, is designed for server customers using DAS environments who require superior data transfer rates and long-term cost efficiency over other forms of storage. The Ultrium 6250 hosts a major update over previous generation models with its 6GB/s SAS interface that connects directly to SAS-based-servers. Additionally, the Ultrium 6250 has backwards-compatability, writing to and reading fifth generation tapes and reading fourth generation tapes. The latest sixth generation tapes now have an expanded capacity that ranges up to 6.25TB of uncompressed data. With a ratio of 2.5:1, that still provides users with 2.5TB of compressed data, which is 1TB more than LTO-5 offered.

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