Ask DreamHost Customers

Happy DreamHost Customers

I’ve got a question.

And I thought, who better to ask, than everybody?

Here goes…

We’ve got pretty serious storage needs. Like, in the next year, we’re estimating needing about 250TB (big T, big B) of additional centralized, networked, storage.

Besides needing a lot, we also need very high performance, redundancy, and thrift.

Pick any THREE!

We want it ALL!

Our absolute requirements for our system are as follows:

* RELIABILITY .. we can never ever lose any data, ever.
* PERFORMANCE .. we need something that can serve approximately 3000 NFS ops per second per TB. (See spec.org). (It needs to do NFS.)
* PRICE .. that’s the whole reason we’re looking.

We’ve got a good system of RELIABILITY and PERFORMANCE already.. but the cost per usable GB is $10. The main problem is the 300GB Fiber Channel drives we use, which are $800 each. Is there anything out there that can do the same but with SATA drives that cost more like $100? Even if we needed twice or four times as many drives for the same performance and reliability, it seems possible!

There are also some REALLY WANT TO HAVE features, though possibly could be passed up if the top three are satisfied.

* SNAPSHOTS .. automatic versioning backups of all files by the OS. We’ve got this now, in a hidden “.snapshot” directory in every folder.. check it out!
* USER QUOTAS .. really, with the amount of space we’re giving out these days, quotas are almost a moot point. They’d be nice to have though.
* HIGH DENSITY/LOW POWER .. it’s always a plus to fit more storage in the same amount of space with the same amount of power, but it’s not really that big a deal.
* RAID 6 SUPPORT .. it’s cool.

Here are some vendors/solutions we’re considering..

* NETAPP .. what we use now.
* CORAID (Open Source, ATA over Ethernet.. intereesssssting!)
* LUSTRE (Open Source, Clustering storage)

Soo.. basically, if people could post their suggestions, experience, other solutions, etc.. in the comments, it would be much appreciated. Not to mention you will be doing your patriotic duty to improve your hosting forever!

Price is wrong, FEMALE DOG.

And remember, we’re talking serious NFS ops.. and we’d be willing to buy 256TB at once if our tests showed this system can do what we want and THE PRICE IS RIGHT!

About the author

Josh Jones