Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Rockstor on 45 Drives, A.K.A. The Rockinator

Introducing a new voice to the 45 Drives blog, Darrell Cormier. Darrell is part of our R&D team!

At 45 Drives, we're continuously striving to improve the quality of our systems. Our goal is to provide industrial-strength storage solutions to our customers that are exceptionally affordable. As a part of that, we're always looking to innovate our Storinator storage pods to perform even better than before.

As part of this process, we began to explore a new open source NAS operating system called Rockstor. This Network Attached Storage system strives to simplify network storage as much as possible without compromising features or performance.

Rockstor's Storinator Q30, all ready for testing!

Rockstor was created and developed by Suman Chakravartula, who we began working with late last year. Since then, both the Rockstor team and 45 Drives have been hard at work to bring the technological advantages of our partnership to our customers and users.

Soon, this dream will be a reality - we're almost ready for Rockstor to be available on all of our 45 Drives storage pods, including our new Storinator NAS Appliances.

Suman recently wrote a blog post about his experience setting up Rockstor on a Storinator Q30. Have a read and let us know what you think!

Blog Post: Rockstor on 45 Drives, A.K.A. The Rockinator

Stay tuned for details on Rockstor as an option on Storinators.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Power Draw of Enterprise-Class Hard Drives Versus Consumer-Class Drives

In previous posts, I showed measurements of the power draw of Consumer (C-class) HDDs, in both standard and staggered start-up. In this post, I'm showing the same power draw tests, but this time with Enterprise (E-class) HDDs!

Consumer vs. Enterprise

First of all, before we get into the fun stuff on power draw, let’s clear up some of the mystery of enterprise drives. You may be wondering, “I’ve heard E-drives might not be all that better, aren't E-class drives just the same old drive with a higher price tag and longer warranty?" 

These suspicions and rumours have been stoked by certain sources (Backblaze or Google) who have been saying C-class drives are just as good.

Well, we believe that is misleading, and what Backblaze and Google say is true, but their assertions are very specific to their own highly specialized applications.  

The two classes of drives are meant for different applications, and because of that, each are specifically designed and manufactured to address the certain design criteria required.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Why We Decided to Offer Enterprise-Class Drives to Our Customers

You've seen him in our 45 Drives videos, now Product Manager Stephen MacNeil lends his voice to the 45 Drives blog to discuss our latest news - we're now offering enterprise-class hard drives to our customers!

As the product manager, I've been a part of 45 Drives from the beginning. As a key part of the visionary team, I've seen us begin by innovating a new storage pod with the help of Backblaze to becoming the storage pod of choice for tech experts wanting to stray from the status quo. 

And now, having expanded our product line to three new Storinators earlier this year, 45 Drives is now known for offering fully customizable, bulletproof, ultra high-performance data servers that exceed customers expectations - both large and small.

A new WD enterprise-class hard drive, fresh out of the box in our R&D lab.

45 Drives was built on the idea that we listen to our customers and adapt to their needs and applications. My combined backgrounds in engineering and sales means I'm driven to come up with the best solutions I can for my customers. Even better, I'm in the enviable position of having a voice that's heard by our research and innovation team, so when my customers talk to me about their needs and concerns, I listen.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Staggered Spinup and Its Effect on Power Draw

In Part 1 of the series, I discussed the Power Draw of a Storinator on Startup and other conditions. Results showed that our Storinator’s Power Supply Unit (PSU) is well suited for the task at hand – starting and maintaining 45 HDDs and the other components.

However, not all drives are created equal. Some pull more current than others during start up and while the previous measurements showed the drives used are well below the maximum limit of the PSU, other drives may not fare as well.

If you have power-hungry drives, or are worried about a large start-up draw, don't worry – we have you covered! Our Storinators are able to reduce the initial current draw by staggering the spinup of the drives, with the trade-off of a slower boot time.  

What is Staggered Spinup (SSU)?

When you turn your Storinator on, power flows to all the components instantaneously. This includes the motherboard, hard drives, fans and more – essentially everything that is attached to the PSU. Most of the components have a fairly constant power draw upon start-up, however, this is not the case for hard drives. 

Due to the nature of how they work, the start-up power they demand to spin up the platters inside can be quite large compared to their normal operating power. This was shown in my previous blog post, start-up current draws peak around 3x steady state for the 12V and 2x steady state of the 5V.