back to article Back-to-the-future Nexsan resurrects its SATABeast

Nexsan, the sole remaining real storage business inside the shell remnants of Imation, has resurrected its SATABeast array with a 4U shelf containing sixty 8TB 7,200rpm disk drives – 480TB in total. The Imation website has had a full Nexsan make-over, with virtually all mentions of Imation excised. From now on Imation's future …

  1. dikrek
    Boffin

    Nobody thinks of torque and vibration?

    Hi All, Dimitris from NetApp here.

    I'm shocked anyone thinks a top-loading shelf full of heavy SATA drives is a good idea. You pull the ENTIRE THING out in order to replace a SINGLE drive??

    How safe is that?

    Both for drive vibration (you're shaking 60 rotating drives at once) and torque (such a system is HEAVY!)

    There is a better way. Front-loading trays (imagine that). On our E-Series platform, the 60-drive shelf is divided into 5 slices, each with 12 drives.

    Each slice is shock mounted, much lighter than all 60 drives, and slides out butter-smooth in order to replace a drive.

    Thx

    D

    1. unredeemed

      Re: Nobody thinks of torque and vibration?

      60 drive top loading bays are not new. 5+ years ago this was a thing. I recall the Dell Equallogic "Sumo," offering this years ago. EMC has it. etc... The fact that it's still around, means that your issues are not really issues, since it's being used in large installations with success.

      Even BackBlaze I believe in their continual evolution of storage chassis and HDD testing they publish, identified this as an issue, and have since made changes.

      1. biolo

        Re: Nobody thinks of torque and vibration?

        Way back in 2006 Sun Micro launched the Sun Fire X4500 (Thumper) with 48 top-loading SATA drives. This was followed by an upgrade to X4540 2 years later, which continued in production until 2010. Sun weren't exactly known for under-engineered systems on the whole, so I think it's difficult to argue that the top loading approach is fundamentally flawed.

  2. Luke 11

    Cretinous comment

    Have you looked at the product line-up or specifications??!

    I have two E60VT units at a customer. They are front loading in three separate trays. You can swap a drive when the whole thing is running and the drives are back to back to the contra rotating platters cancel reduce the vibration and torsional effects.

    READ BEFORE TYPING..

  3. Luke 11
    FAIL

    Cretinous comment Dimitris!

    Have you looked at the product line-up or specifications??!

    I have two E60VT units at a customer. They are front loading in three separate trays. You can swap a drive when the whole thing is running and the drives are back to back to the contra rotating platters cancel reduce the vibration and torsional effects.

    READ BEFORE TYPING..

  4. Dave Filesystem

    Nothing new here.

    Zeta Storage already sell them:

    https://secure.zeta.systems/store/storage/RS8800x/

    1. Jan 0 Silver badge

      Re: Nothing new here

      RTFA and you'll see it notes that this is just a revival of a 7 year old product. (Actually, I think that the SATABoy and SATABeast were announced more like 10 years ago.)

      With MAID, it might be great for low energy home* storage of uncompressed images, audio and por^H^H^Hvideo. I don't think I'd like the electricity bill with a NetApp in the house.

      * repurposed after 3 years in a Data Centre:)

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  5. Suricou Raven

    Impressive capacity.

    Does it come with a voucher for an extra-strength rack? I have visions of solid steel rails warping like toffee on a hot day under the immense force of that thing.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Impressive capacity.

      You don't need an extra-strength rack.

      You DO need one that's 1200mm deep, even for the older units. If you try and shoehorn any of these large storage arrays into a smaller rack you will spend a lot of time cursing and swearing when trying to run cables - if you can even get the back door closed.

      1. Nigel 11

        Re: Impressive capacity.

        You don't need an extra-strength rack.

        Just remember to check the datacenter floor loading specification before you order a rack full of these beasts.

  6. Steven Raith

    George Forman Grill

    Don't tell me you weren't thinking it.

    Steven "hungry" R

  7. Alan Brown Silver badge

    Ironically

    I've just switched 3 satabeast2 units OFF for the last time.

    I've got Netapps, Beasts and Xyratech sumos. The Nexsans were the best of the lot (really good rails, unlike the Xyratechs, and the Netapps just feel flimsy/gimmicky.

    The writing's on the wall though - For the price of drives certified to go into these things, Samsung's enterprise SATA/SAS drives are only a small bump up in price - and the bottleneck in ALL of these dedicated raid units is the raid controller, not the drives, with the laughable ram cache in them not helping (yes, I know Netapps have ssd caching. I've got it, it doesn't help that much)

    For that reason the latest bulk storage purchase was a TrueNAS Z30 with 60-drive JBOD drawer under it (again, one with good quality rails AND it comes with decent cabling arms) running ZFS. With just under 1TB SSD read cache, 128Gb of ram cache in front of that holding the filesystem metadata and ZFS is handled in CPU (much more power than any raid controller), it's at _least_ 20 times faster than the Beast-based server it replaced in terms of IOPS and 2-5 times faster in sequential access. (1TB no-change incremental backups now finish in 1-2 minutes instead of 12 hours and 1TB full backups in 5-6 hours on a fileserver being accessed by over 100 clients, without the users noticing). For the critical-IO filesystems we run a few TB of pure-ssd storage on the same box and _nothing_ I have thrown at it so far can make that pool sweat.

    I fully expect the next storage system will be pure flash. Large SSD prices are on-track to be cheaper than HDDs within 18 months and once they hit twice the price of consumer-grade drives the market for spinners will collapse. It pretty much already has for everything smaller than 512GB.

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