ZFS Build Checklist

I’ve decided to replace the Windows Home Server Vail server with something capable of handling newer builds of ZFS and the inherent deduploication.

Here’s a quick kit list and build diary I’ll try to keep up-to-date as I go along.

Kit:

  • Dell Perc6i – this is essentially a port multiplier. I scored it from eBay on the cheap, though it was delivered from Israel, took awhile, and had neither cables nor mounting bracket.
  • OCZ RevoDrive 120GB – Though the RAID controller on this card is not supported in Linux/Solaris, the drives show up as two separate devices as long as you make sure to put it in the right PCIe slot. That means it’s perfect for both ZIL (log) and L2ARC (cache).
  • 2x Intel 80GB X25-M SSDs – these will house the virtual machine files to be deduped. Very reliable drives, and though they might not be the fastest in terms of writes, the speeds are relatively constant which is quite handy compared to solutions that attempt compression like SandForce controllers. ZFS will take care of that, thanks.
  • (IN TRANSIT) 2x Dual Port 1gbit Intel PCIe NICs – I’ll use these for the direct connection to the virtual machine host. Currently one link is used, but when reading from the SSD drives the line is saturated.
  • (IN TRANSIT) 32 Pin SAS Controller To 4x SATA HDD Serial Cable Cord – This is needed to plug in 8 drives to the LSI controller.
  • 5x 1.5TB Seagate hard drives – These will be the bread-and-butter storage running in RAID-Z2 (similar to RAID 6).
  • 3x 3TB Seagate hard drives – These might simply be a large headache, but the plan was to have an extra 3TB RAID-Z2 for backups in another machine. Unfortunately there seem to be issues with drives that are 4k presenting themselves as 512b. I may be able to get around this by hacking or waiting as they become more popular. For now 2 of them are in software RAID1 on a Windows 7 host, and the other remains in the external USB 3 case and is used as a backup drive.
  • NetGear GS108T Switch – A cheap VLAN-capable switch should I decide to use more than 2 bonded ports (I doubt it), currently running the lab.

PR: Riverbed and Fortinet form Alliance

Lots of moving and shaking so far in 2008, and here’s yet another “love-in” announcement, this time from Fortinet (lesser known security vendor currently partnered with HP on the ProCurve line) and Riverbed, who we’re all getting to know as the darling of Wall Street, the WAN acceleration vendor that sells solutions that can even put Cisco to shame (my opinion, not my employer’s of course).

From the press release:

San Francisco – February 19, 2008 – Riverbed Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq: RVBD), the technology and market leader in wide-area data services (WDS), and Fortinet, a pioneer and leading provider of unified threat management (UTM) solutions, today announced an alliance that enables the two companies to deliver complementary best-of-breed security and application acceleration solutions to enterprise customers for managing their distributed workforces.

Through Fortinet’s Elite-level membership in the Riverbed Technology Alliance (RTA), Fortinet, Riverbed®, and their channel partners can immediately provide security and WDS solutions for remote offices, data centers, and mobile workers that are functionally superior to those of competing alternatives.

“Together, Riverbed and Fortinet address the need that enterprises have to secure their data; accelerate the performance of applications running on wide area networks (WANs); and reduce IT infrastructure complexity and costs,” said Mark Williams, principal architect for enterprise infrastructure at Mercury Insurance. “Implementation of two market-leading technologies such as WDS solutions from Riverbed and Fortinet’s ASIC-accelerated integrated security appliances should meet this need while instilling confidence in enterprise companies of all scales.”

This partnership takes advantage of the complementary capabilities of the companies’ two product lines and the ability to cross-sell to their broad global customer bases. Riverbed and Fortinet combined have nearly 30,000 customers, spanning enterprise vertical markets and service providers, and approximately 2,000 distributors and resellers who can benefit from the comprehensive solutions that this partnership will produce.

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