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Broadberry CyberStore SAS826/7TB

Step 7: Broadberry CyberStore SAS826/7TB
Price
£5,895
  • An unbelievable amount of storage in a 2U chassis, fast quad-core Xeons, strong fault tolerance, full server and RAID controller management tools.
  • Two separate RAID cards needed to service all the drive bays, only 4GB of memory.

The CyberStore certainly lives up to its name as it delivers tons more storage than any other of the review systems in this group test with the price including a very tasty 7TB of raw disk space. As with Transtec and Rackservers.com, Broadberry has plumped for a complete Supermicro solution but its choice of chassis delivers the best storage potential.

The SC826TQ is the only server on review with room for a dozen 3.5in hard disks across its front panel. As you'd expect there are sacrifices in the search for space so you lose the optical and floppy drives although it's easy enough to source USB models. The power control button and LED status indicators have been neatly integrated into the left hand chassis mounting flange leaving the front panel completely free for the maximum number of drive bays.

Broadberry has taken a similar tack to Rackservers.com by combining a variety of drives for different functions but it has settled purely on SATA to keep costs down. For the OS you get a quad of 250GB Seagate Barracudas and these are the new ES models which Seagate claims their improved reliability makes them a good choice for storing business critical data. Data storage is well catered for as this comprises an octet of 750GB Seagate Barracuda drives - also ES models.

The only difference between the Supermicro X7DBE motherboard used here and the X7DBE+ in Transtec's 302L is memory capacity as the former has only eight DIMM sockets and is slightly narrower - other than that they are identical. The onboard six-port SATA controller is obviously of no value here and to extend RAID to all drive bays, Broadberry has fitted four-port and eight-port 3Ware SATA PCI-e controller cards. For the OS drives you have a single 700GB RAID-5 array whilst the eight data drives are configured as a single 4.8TB RAID-5 array. Yes, there is plenty of SATA interface cabling to contend with but this has been very neatly bundled up, tied down and generally tucked out of harm's way.

With this many hard disks, cooling needs to be good and the triplet of standard Supermicro fans look up to job and for a high capacity storage server operational noise levels aren't overly intrusive. Power comes into the fault tolerance equation as well as the server has both 700W hot-plug supplies installed. A complete range of remote management features are also supplied and these include the optional remote IPMI card whilst the RAID controllers come with 3Ware's 3DM web browser monitoring and management software.

Verdict

Broadberry delivers more storage than you can shake a stick at and presents it in well designed system with good overall fault tolerance and plenty of management tools.

Motherboard - Supermicro X7DBE
CPU - 2 x 2.33GHz Xeon 5345
Chipset - Intel 5000P
Memory - 4GB 667MHz FB-DIMMs expandable to 32GB
Storage controller - embedded Intel SATA
Disk interface - SATA
Disk drives - 4 x 250GB Seagate Barracuda ES SATA, 8 x 750GB Seagate Barracuda ES SATA
RAID controller - 3Ware 9650 eight-port and four-port SATA PCI-e cards
Expansion slots - 2 x PCI-e8X, PCI-e4X, 3 x PCI-X
Network ports - 2 x Intel Gigabit
Power - 2 x 800W
Management software - SuperO Doctor III, IPMI View, 3Ware 3DM
Other - Supermicro SIMLP-B management card
Warranty - Three yrs on-site

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