Tag

raid Archives - AWS Managed Services by Anchor

Resonance Cachecade

By | Technical | One Comment

We don’t normally post about hardware wankery, but this little piece of shininess appeared for free in some of the newer Dell servers we’ve been ordering, and it actually sounds like it’s not an awful hack. Cachecade is an LSI technology (Dell PERC cards are rebranded gear) that adds a read-cache tier to the RAID logic, in the form of solid-state disks. While SSDs are still too expensive for mass-scale primary storage, they’re cheap enough that you can burn a few hundred bucks and get 50gb worth of faster reads. The real benefit of this style of read-cache should be for random block reads, where SSDs proverbially drop excrement over rotational media from a great height. The jury is still out for us – we’ve just started using cachecade on…

Read More

RAIDing USB flash disks – not just a silly stunt

By | Technical | One Comment

We’ve seen it all before: hay guyz, check this out, I got a bunch of old 64mb thumb drives and made a RAID out of them! now i can put all my pr0n on there roffle lolololll RAIDed floppies? It’s been done. RAIDed tapes? Yo dawg, that’s an enterprise storage solution! Let’s talk seriously now. I have a fileserver that my family uses, it’s just a box with a couple pairs of hard drives in it (RAID-1, thank you very much. None of this starving-student crap with an oddball assortment of drives in RAID-0). Given that the box is used exclusively for serving up SMB shares, the OS installation is tiny. I could’ve gone with something really stripped down and optimised, but that would require effort; sysadmins are allergic to…

Read More

Tales of Hardware – IBM x3650

By | Technical | No Comments

All the servers Anchor buys are from Supermicro. Most people won’t have heard of them, but they’re a sizeable hardware vendor that also does some OEM gear. Supermicro certainly doesn’t carry the mindshare of other big brands like HP, Dell, et al., but we chose them because their stuff is reliable and affordable – we focus on the things that actually matter, rather than some enterprise-y idea of sticking with big brands that you trust – “noone ever got fired for buying IBM” they say. Actually, hold that thought for a moment.

Read More

Safely handling RAID failure

By | Technical | No Comments

With hard discs being by far the most common point of failure in servers RAID does wonders for protection against loss of data. With a RAID array in normal operation we’re in a pretty safe place. We know that we can suffer failure of a drive without loss of data or disruption of service. Once a drive has failed however we’re in a slightly more precarious position. Loss of another drive or damage to the remaining drive could easily cause major problems. At this point the only thing that can protect you can against data loss if you make a mistake is your backups – you did configure backups didn’t you? Restoring a damaged RAID array is a task that requires extra caution.  On our range of dedicated servers and…

Read More

A tale of two drives

By | Technical | No Comments

It’s no secret that we’d rather be working on Linux than Windows here at Anchor. It is, by and large, much more annoying to actually get anything done, but it also just breaks in opaque and unexplained ways. O Windowes, let me count the ways in which you are broken! This is one such problem we ran into yesterday. Hard drive failure is a fact of life when you run servers, by sheer virtue of that fact that you have hundreds of them. To mitigate the risk and reduce unscheduled downtime, we use Window’s built-in software RAID feature. It’s not an enterprise solution, but it gets the job done. What’s important is staying online and not losing data. Did I mention that trying to monitor a Windows box is a…

Read More