Super Micro Brings Economy and Speed to Network Storage

 
 
By Frank Ohlhorst  |  Posted 2012-05-31 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

White box OEM Super Micro combines value with speed to create a storage server that scales from the smallest to largest enterprises.

The SuperStorage Server 6027R-E1R12NJ from Super Micro may not have a catchy or easy-to-remember name. However, the unit offers memorable performance that comes with an affordable price tag.

The 2U unit is built around Intel€™s latest Xeon processor family, the E5-2600 series, and can house as many as twelve hot-swappable hard drives. Exceptional performance is backed by redundancy in the form of dual 920-watt power supplies and three heavy-duty internal cooling fans. A hardware RAID controller offers support for JBOD, or just a bunch of drives, as well as RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50 and 60 levels for serial-attached SCSI version 2 (SAS-2) or Serial ATA version 3 (SATA3) hard drives.

To see the SuperStorage Server in action, click here.

The SuperStorage Server 6027R-E1R12NJ started shipping in April 2012 with a bare-bones price (no hard drives, memory or processors) of $995. Of course, the price can grow into the thousands, depending upon how much storage, the CPUs (dual CPUs are supported) and the amount of RAM the buyer requires. The company offers a basic one-year warranty with several service options, usually available through whatever reseller you choose to buy the server from.

A Closer Look

I tested a bare-bones SuperStorage Server 6027R-E1R12NJ. I set the 2U unit up and installed a pair of Xeon E5-2650 Sandy Bridge processors, which retail for $410 each. I also installed 16GB of double data rate type 3 (DDR3) system RAM and five Seagate Savvio ST9300603SS hard drives (300GB, SAS-2) into the unit.

For my tests, I configured the system for RAID 6, which offers a high level of data protection and a low performance impact for redundancy. Speaking of performance, I measured the system's operations with PASSMark Performance Test 7.0, a common performance-testing tool that can be found at Passmark.com.

However, when it comes to measuring performance, there are many factors to take into account, and raw performance proves to be a less than ideal indicator on how a server will perform in a production environment. With that in mind, I focused on CPU performance benchmarks and disk throughput benchmarks. Of course, both of those benchmarks can be affected by configuration, basic settings, operating system issues, as well as the components selected. CPU performance came in at 13015 on the CPU Mark Scale, which is pretty speedy, especially when compared with a previous-generation Intel Xeon E3-1275, which could only muster a CPUmark of 8705.

Disk drive performance is harder to judge; it all comes down to the user-selected RAID level, operating system choice and other factors, such as cache size. Nevertheless, the PASSMark test returned a Disk Rating Score of 2520, which is respectable when compared with other disk drive subsystems. For example, a Windows 7 x64 system with an Intel solid-state drive (SSD) scored a 2666, meaning that the RAID-enabled drives on the Super Micro server managed to come close to SSD speeds, which I found impressive.

Under the Hood

One of the first things I noticed was how easy it was to install the components into the unit. The CPUs snapped into place and were held down by a socket lever. I was able to easily install passive heat sinks (included with the SuperStorage Server 6027R-E1R12NJ) onto the CPU sockets.



 
 
 
 
Frank Ohlhorst Frank J. Ohlhorst is the Executive Technology Editor for eWeek Channel Insider and brings with him over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology field.He began his career as a network administrator and applications program in the private sector for two years before joining a computer consulting firm as a programmer analyst. In 1988 Frank founded a computer consulting company, which specialized in network design, implementation, and support, along with custom accounting applications developed in a variety of programming languages.In 1991, Frank took a position with the United States Department of Energy as a Network Manager for multiple DOE Area Offices with locations at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), FermiLAB and the Ames Area Office (AMESAO). Frank's duties included managing the site networks, associated staff and the inter-network links between the area offices. He also served at the Computer Security Officer (CSO) for multiple DOE sites. Frank joined CMP Technology's Channel group in 1999 as a Technical Editor assigned to the CRN Test Center, within a year, Frank became the Senior Technical Editor, and was responsible for designing product testing methodologies, assigning product reviews, roundups and bakeoffs to the CRN Test Center staff.In 2003, Frank was named Technology Editor of CRN. In that capacity, he ensured that CRN maintained a clearer focus on technology and increased the integration of the Test Center's review content into both CRN's print and web properties. He also contributed to Netseminar's, hosted sessions at CMP's Xchange Channel trade shows and helped to develop new methods of content delivery, Such as CRN-TV.In September of 2004, Frank became the Director of the CRN Test Center and was charged with increasing the Test Center's contributions to CMP's Channel Web online presence and CMP's latest monthly publication, Digital Connect, a magazine geared towards the home integrator. He also continued to contribute to CMP's Netseminar series, Xchange events, industry conferences and CRN-TV.In January of 2007, CMP Launched CRNtech, a monthly publication focused on technology for the channel, with a mailed audience of 70,000 qualified readers. Frank was instrumental in the development and design of CRNTech and was the editorial director of the publication as well as its primary contributor. He also maintained the edit calendar, and hosted quarterly CRNTech Live events.In June 2007, Frank was named Senior Technology Analyst and became responsible for the technical focus and edit calendars of all the Channel Group's publications, including CRN, CRNTech, and VARBusiness, along with the Channel Group's specialized publications Solutions Inc., Government VAR, TechBuilder and various custom publications. Frank joined Ziff Davis Enterprise in September of 2007 and focuses on creating editorial content geared towards the purveyors of Information Technology products and services. Frank writes comparative reviews, channel analysis pieces and participates in many of Ziff Davis Enterprise's tradeshows and webinars. He has received several awards for his writing and editing, including back to back best review of the year awards, and a president's award for CRN-TV. Frank speaks at many industry conferences, is a contributor to several IT Books, holds several records for online hits and has several industry certifications, including Novell's CNE, Microsoft's MCP.Frank can be reached at frank.ohlhorst@ziffdavisenterprise.com
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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