White Paper: Viking Enterprise Solutions Examines ATTO XstreamCORE® ET 8200


The capabilities and flexibility of ATTO XstreamCORE® protocol converters have opened doors for storage solution providers looking for new and better ways of architecting enterprise storage.  Our partner, Viking Enterprise Solutions, published an excellent white paper on what they discovered by combining ATTO XstreamCORE ET 8200 Ethernet to SAS protocol converterswith their NDS-41020 High Density JBOD.

Following are some excerpts from the white paper.  It is not a summary and can not replace the scope and detail of the white paper, which covers several areas of interest to those looking for the latest in enterprise storage architectures.  The entire paper is available on Viking Enterprise Solutions website.

“Historically, compute nodes and storage arrays have been closely associated with each other, by keeping the storage inside the server box. Extending storage has been achieved by aggregating a second enclosure with the server, typically using the SCSI protocol.”

“A recent trend in data centers is moving towards disaggregation of hardware as a first step towards software defined hardware. In short, compute nodes are stripped off their direct attached storage arrays, which are moved into a separate physical space for storage only using a dedicated low power storage server as interface. The storage server in turn uses Ethernet or Fibre Channel to interface with the outside world or data-center internal compute nodes.”

“A conventional x86 based server running a Linux or Windows-based operating system and using a storage controller is certainly well suited as a hub for the attached storage. However, servers are not optimized for just providing a platform to tie together the SAS and Ethernet protocols to interface the hard disk or solid state drives with the outside world. In other words, depending on the use case, servers may be overkill and inflate the total cost of ownership. An alternative solution could be to customize the platform to completely eliminate the x86 environment and make it OS agnostic.”

“ATTO Technology Inc.’s XstreamCORE® ET 8200 fits into this niche. In contrast to a standard storage server, the XstreamCORE ET 8200 is a protocol conversion appliance to bridge Ethernet to SAS at direct-attached speed while being compatible with any SAS-based storage regardless of whether the underlying hardware is using hard disk, solid state drives or tape in a JBOD, JBOF, RAID or Tape format.”

The white paper examines the details of a Hierarchical Storage Management (HSM) scheme where the storage system is set up to dynamically cache data to SSDs for improved performance.  A sample configuration with a Viking Enterprise Solutions NDS-41020 is included. There is also a thorough discussion of disaggregated RAID, mostly in configured for high-performance, although an example of a base configuration is included.

The complete white paper is available here: https://www.vikingenterprisesolutions.com/wp-content/uploads/ATTO_whitepaper_2column.pdf. For further reading, we offer this white paper discussing archiving to SAS tape drives over Ethernet or Fibre Channel.

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