Tweaking the Settings
The storage server can run as an NFS (Network File System) for Linux/Unix or CIFS (Common Internet File System) for Windows, or both. Creating shares takes little to no time in ASM. The well-organized GUI-organized by management function rather than by volume, as so many others are-launches wizards for creating shares or migrating application-specific data, such as data from Exchange or Oracle. The wizard for file sharing breaks configuration down to a very simple (and quick) level, to the point where a user only has to enter the name of the share, the desired size and the groups that can use it. Likewise, HP Data Protector Express Software is incorporated into the GUI to simplify backup, snapshots and device mirroring. I easily set the DL185 G5 to perform snapshots every 12 hours on weekdays only.The DL185 G5 performed very well for a departmental NAS solution. I ran Iometer 2006.07.27 using two Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.40GHz Windows XP Pro clients with 3.25GB RAM and 1000M-bps Ethernet NICs. Iometer is an I/O subsystem measurement and characterization tool for single and clustered systems. I connected to a Windows share, launched 10 Iometer threads per client, ramping up one thread at a time, and performed a 50/50 percent sequential/random 33/67 percent write/read mix with a 64KB workload size. Performance peaked at 1377 IOps and 86M bps, at which point average response time was just over 13 milliseconds. Overall, the HP DL185 G5 is an impressive enterprise-level storage server that can serve as an NAS or SAN device. The AiO Storage Management interface and the installation wizards simplify the task of rolling out storage on a departmental or data center level. Storage pros and IT generalists can do the quick and dirty work to create shares using the wizards and then dive down to minute settings if they so desire. This makes the device versatile, which is what an IT resource like storage should be. Matthew D. Sarrel is executive director of Sarrel Group, an IT test lab, editorial services and consulting company in New York City.
I am, however, not the kind of IT guy who wants a wizard-driven interface because I want to tweak every ounce of juice out of a system, especially a server. I was pleased to find that I could use the Array Configuration Utility and the usual Windows cast of characters to tweak to my heart's content, setting parameters for logical and physical drives such as block size. The dual Gigabit Ethernet NICs (network interface cards) can be teamed for better performance, and maintenance operations can check bandwidth utilization before launching.