Boston iGloo 24-T-StorMagic
An IP SAN array offering a massive storage capacity for the price, but it is as easy to deploy as Boston claims?
Key features of IP SAN disk arrays have always been ease of deployment and value when compared with FC SAN products but Boston aims to push the envelope even further as its latest iGloo 24-T-StorMagic appliance offers a impressive 24TB for a shade under ten grand and claims a simple six step manoeuvre for setting up iSCSI virtual volumes.
The iGloo is an all-Supermicro system and the solidly built 4U chassis serves up 24 hot-swap drive bays each filled with 1TB Western Digital SATA hard disks. The drive backplane is connected through to an AMCC 3ware 24-port SATA RAID card, which provides a good range of array support including dual-drive redundant RAID-6. There's plenty more on the hardware menu as the price includes a 2GHz quad-core Xeon processor teamed up with 8GB of memory and power fault tolerance is handled by a pair of 900W hot-plug supplies.
The network port count includes a pair of embedded Gigabit adapters plus a 10GbE card offering a pair of CX-4 ports and the system can be remotely managed and monitored using the Supermicro RMM card. The storage software comes courtesy of StorMagic's SM Series software preloaded on a USB DOM plugged directly into the motherboard.
You can manage the appliance via its web browser interface but you'd miss out on StorMagic's Disk Manager utility, which offers six-click manoeuvres for iSCSI target creation and deployment. The concept behind the StorMagic software is quite simple as all the hard disks in the appliance are placed into RAID arrays that present storage pools to the network. The pools are then used to create iSCSI virtual disks, which can be shared amongst multiple hosts or dedicated to selected systems. The Disk Manager kicks off with a wizard based routine that hunts down the appliance on the network and offers to set up an array. RAID configuration does not need to be done at the controller BIOS level as StorMagic handles all of this automatically or you can create multiple pools manually if you wish.
For IP SAN creation StorMagic has focused very much on SMBs with limited technical resources. The Disk Manager interface opens with a view of local and IP SAN storage resources showing used and free capacities. Usefully, it'll show all StorMagic appliances plus local and remote host systems that have the Disk Manager service running. With the appropriate credentials you'll be able to view the entire IP SAN and all hosts from a single interface and see the status of all local and virtual hard disks.
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