by Lyle Smith

StorageReview NAS Test Lab

The StorageReview NAS Test Lab is a purpose built virtualized testing infrastructure to benchmark the growing number of 1GbE and 10Gbase-T shared storage products hitting the market. We've paired up with Tripp Lite for infrastructure products including the 42U SmartRack series rack, SmartPro 3kVA 2250W Line Interactive Sine Wave UPS, as well as their Single-Phase Monitored PDU for power distribution. These components give us plenty of capacity to continue to grow our NAS testing capabilities while keeping the environment around the products stable and free of power interruptions.

The SmartRack Series has a diverse set of features and is offered in a variety of heights, anywhere from 5U to 48U. To fit within the height restrictions of our office doorways and to optimize floor space, we chose the 42U configuration, which remains fairly mobile on casters even when it starts to tip the scales at roughly 1,000lbs partially loaded (it is designed to hold up to 3000lbs with 2250lbs rolling load capacity). Additionally, its compact design allows the enclosure to easily move through our office since it is built to fit through most standard height commercial doorways.

The Tripp-Lite SmartRack adjustable mounting rails include an easy-view depth index, which helps to eliminate time-consuming measurements. In addition, its lightweight modular doors and side panels provide safe, convenient service access and its locking removable side panels are smaller and lighter in order to increase the ease of installation and servicing. The top panel has a generous amount of cable access holes and can be removed fairly quickly without having to disconnect cables first or to use tools. The bottom of the SmartRack is also open for cable access to further the ease of access.

The rack is designed specifically to support cooling, cable management, power distribution, and monitoring features in order to keep critical servers and network equipment operating nonstop, which is an important feature that is welcomed by our NAS Test Lab.  Perforated doors permit massive front-to-rear airflow that exceeds servers’ manufacturer requirements. The SmartRack is also designed with tool-less mounting slots to allow for quick installation of PDUs and vertical cable managers.

Even though security and building access is not an issue for our enterprise lab--especially when compared to other businesses--it is still a very important peace-of-mind to have. As such, the SmartRack Series offers locking doors and side-panels to prevent unauthorized access as well as sturdy steel panels surround all sides of the equipment to ensure the physical integrity of the system. While it doesn’t have advanced security options like HID proximity electronic locking system or a keypad friction lock to further improve security, it offers good, basic security features and is ideal for our use.

Because we review devices that have a wide range of power requirements, good power monitoring and conditioning is absolutely essential for us to have a complete and reliable server rack. We use the SmartPro 3kVA 2250W Line Interactive Sine Wave UPS (SMART3000RM2U) to filter incoming power and provide enough uptime in the event of a short-term power failure so we can continue background tests. With its internal battery packs, the SmartPro offers expanded runtime in order to meet a wide range of the lab's needs: up to 10 minutes at 50% load (1125W) and 3.5 minutes at 100% load (2250W), maintaining uninterrupted operation of connected networking equipment during blackouts, surges, brownouts and overvoltages. Though not necessarily relevant to our Test Lab, Tripp Lite's unique configuration performs exceptionally well in poor-power environments with its two separate levels of voltage boosts that have the ability to correct slight undervoltages as well as severe brownout conditions. Runtime can also be expanded through the use of an unlimited amount of battery expansion modules.

The SmartPro's switched output load banks enable scheduled and real-time remote reboot as well as load shedding of select outlets. It also comes equipped with an Emergency Power Off (EPO) interface and an LCD display panel, which easily rotates for viewing in even the most awkward of positions in both rackmount and tower configurations. Additionally, the SmartPro comes with an audible alarm with push-button momentary alarm-cancel and silent-mode configuration options and the ever-important field-replaceable, hot-swappable battery modules.

StorageReview's NAS Test Lab's power will be managed through Tripp-Lite's Single-Phase Monitored PDU (PDUMNV30), which will give us real-time remote monitoring of voltage, frequency, and load levels through a built-in network connection. Additionally, its PowerAlert interface has the ability to customize the notification of user-specified remote conditions by email, secure web, SNMP, Telnet, or SSH interface, which is a very handy tool. PDU output current consumption is displayed on front-panel lighted digital display and can be monitored remotely to warn of potential overloads before critical IT mains breakers trip. The Tripp-Lite PDU is easily integrated into our setup, as the SmartRack's tool-less accessory mounting rails (2 rails per enclosure) allow it to be installed in the rear of the rack without taking any space away from servers or storage equipment.

Tripp Lite 42U SmartRack Premium Enclosure Product Page

Tripp Lite SmartPro 3kVA 2250W Line Interactive Sine Wave UPS Product Page 

Tripp Lite Single-Phase Monitored PDU Product Page

StorageReview Enterprise Test Lab

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