These are upright, free-standing units that contain all traditional server components: hard disks, motherboards and central processing units (CPUs), networking, cabling, power and so on. You commonly add a hard drive to a tower server for direct attached storage (DAS).
Tower servers generally require more floor space than bladed environments or rack-mounted servers, and offer less scalability by design.
Tower servers are ideal for small, remote or branch office environments, and offer maximum in-chassis flexibility and all-inclusive server/storage solutions.
These are complete servers specially designed for ultra-compact vertical arrangement within a standardized 19-inch mounting rack or cabinet.
Rack-mounted models have expansion slots, known as mezzanine slots, for adding network interface cards (NICs) or Fibre Channel host bus adapter (HBA) cards. This configuration uses floor space efficiently, and offers centralized cable and server management. In addition, a rack server configuration increases infrastructure scalability by letting you add servers as needed, and connect to external storage, such as a network attached storage (NAS) or storage area network (SAN).
It’s important to note that relative to server blades and enclosures, rack servers are more limited in the number of new drives and memory you can install.
Rack servers are generally designed to work as a logical and cohesive whole but without the tight integration found with server blades, which makes rack servers more flexible in some situations. In addition, you can run servers from different manufacturers in the same rack unit because the servers don’t share proprietary components.
Rack servers are ideal for data centers and use with external storage. They offer maximum computing power in a space-saving design.
These are small form factor servers housed in blade enclosures, which are designed for modularity and high-density footprints (enabling you to fit more servers into a smaller space). A blade enclosure includes server blades and room for storage, in addition to many shared components – power, cooling and ventilation, networking and other interconnects – all controlled by an integrated management system.
Blade infrastructures generally require less rack space than rack-mounted servers. Blade enclosures also use less power per server because of shared power and cooling, which equates to less heat output and lower cooling costs.
Some blade infrastructure enclosures can increase the number of servers up to 60 percent.
Blade servers are ideal for data centers and use with external storage, and offer maximum computing power in space, power and cooling saving designs.
From small and midsized operations to data centers and cloud, HP StoreFabric has dynamic end-to-end solutions that solve even your most frustrating storage networking challenges. HP offers a comprehensive portfolio of storage networking products and accessories for your entry-level, midrange and high-end environments, including switches and directors as well as routers, adapters, transceivers and cables.
Why choose HP StoreFabric Storage Networking?
Integrated-tested, certified, and serviced for the HP storage, server and networking ecosystem
Optimized-lower costs, better performance and efficiency for virtual server and cloud environments
Comprehensive-directors, switches, multi-protocol routers, data migration appliances, adapters, cables, SAN software
Converged-protect legacy investments while combining unlike protocols (FC, 1GbE/10GbE, FCIP, iSCSI, FcoE)
NAS & SAN
Network Attached Storage (NAS)
Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices are storage arrays or gateways that support file-based storage protocols such as NFS and CiFS, and are typically connected via an IP network. These file-based protocols provide clients shared access to storage resources. This centralization of shared storage resources reduces management complexity, minimizes stranded disk capacity, improves storage utilization rates and eliminates file server sprawl.
NAS vs SAN
The primary difference between NAS and SAN solutions is the type of access protocol. NAS protocols such as NFS and CiFS provide shared file level access to storage resources. The management of the file system resides with the NAS device. SAN protocols such as iSCSI and fibre channel provide block level access to storage resources. Block level devices are accessed by servers via the SAN, and the servers manage the file system. Despite their differences, SAN and NAS are not mutually exclusive, and may be combined in multi-protocol or unified storage arrays, offering both file-level protocols (NAS) and block-level protocols (SAN) from the same system. The best of both worlds!
Benefits of NAS
NAS devices typically leverage existing IP networks for connectivity, enabling companies to reduce the price of entry for access to shared storage.
The RAID and clustering capabilities inherent to modern enterprise NAS devices offer greatly improved availability when compared with traditional direct attached storage.
Because NAS devices control the file system, they offer increased flexibility when using advanced storage functionality such as snapshots.
With 10GE connectivity, NAS devices can offer performance on par with many currently installed fibre channel SANs
Key NAS Uses
Traditional use cases for NAS devices include file shares, home directories and centralized logging. Recently, as the performance and availability of NAS devices has improved, many customers are expanding the use of NAS to include storage for relational databases such as Oracle and MySQL, server virtualization environments such as VMWare VSphere, and virtual desktop solutions such as VMWare VDI.
Creating a Network Attached Storage Solution
NAS is a common storage infrastructure offering in data centers worldwide. Eastern Computer has assisted many of our customers in justifying, designing, and implementing enterprise NAS solutions – we can do the same for you! Along the way, we’ll work with you to develop a solution that meets your needs, allowing you to:
- Lower acquisition and management costs
- Meet performance and availability requirements
- Handle ever increasing annual storage growth with minimal to no impact to your business
- Minimize, or even eliminate, the impact of backup windows
- Deliver operational and disaster recovery
- Growing a Network Attached Storage Network
If your NAS has existed for a year or more, you are more than likely struggling with the following questions:
- Should I have a dedicated IP network for my NAS solution?
- What is the best data protection solution for my NAS environment?
- Does it make sense to use NAS storage with VMWare or HyperV?
- Is my NAS environment a good candidate for de-duplication and compression of primary storage?
- What options are available for archiving file system data?
- What features are different among NAS vendors, and how will that impact me?
- Should some of my data be on a NAS device, or never aging iSCSI? Eastern Computer can help answer all your NAS growth questions, and deliver an architecture that meets your business needs.
Customized NAS Offerings
Given the breadth of use cases for NAS devices, Eastern Computer can customize our NAS offerings to meet your needs. Here are some of the services delivered to our customer base:
Complete Storage Audit
A thorough analysis of your current storage infrastructure, along with an architecture roadmap, and ROI for investing in a NAS
File System Assessment
provides vital information about server volumes and files in heterogeneous storage networks without requiring installation of server agents. Using EMC standard tools we can identify capacity utilization, file age distribution, space consumption, last access time, last modification time, duplicate file types, and perform a file type classification. Once the analysis is complete, we present you with reports, findings, and recommendations in easy to understand format. This analysis can take as little time as an hour without impact to your production environment with minimal input from your IT administrators.
Helps in determining the aging of files and how much content is not being accessed or modified.
Realize how much capacity can be reclaimed if this data were to be moved to an archiving tier.
Understand what type of data resides on the servers
Single assessment that tells you all you need to know about the data residing on your file servers.