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Broadberry CyberStore Xeon SP2-490-G3 review: Super-massive storage

A big storage appliance for big data with a powerful hardware package and great performance

The Broadberry Cyber Store
Price
£66,900 exc VAT
  • Staggering storage density
  • Smart tool-free design
  • Top 50GbE performance
  • Basic system management

Enterprises handling really big data that need a storage solution that's more cost-effective than the cloud will find Broadberry Data Systems has the ideal alternative. Presented as a modest 4U high rack server, the CyberStore Xeon SP2-490-G3 has room for ninety drives allowing it to deliver a near-line raw capacity of up to nearly 2PB.

There's a lot more to the CyberStore than a massive storage capacity as it offers a powerful specification clearly capable of handling a wide range of heavy-duty workloads. It supports dual Xeon Scalable Gen 3 CPUs, has room for 4TB of 3,200MHz DDR4 memory and accepts up to 4TB of Intel Optane Persistent Memory (PMEM) 200 modules.

Broadberry supplied a review system that really shows off it what it can do as the price includes a full house of 18TB Toshiba MG09 SAS3 HDDs, two 3.84TB Intel NVMe SSDs for caching and a pair of mirrored 480GB Intel SATA SSDs for the OS. It's all powered by dual 2.2GHz 32-core Xeon Scalable Platinum 8352Y CPUs teamed up with a generous 512GB of DDR4 memory.

Broadberry CyberStore Xeon SP2-490-G3 review: Build and design

The CyberStore showcases Supermicro's Storage SuperServer SSG-640SP-E1CR90 platform – a complete system fitted with Supermicro's Super X12DSC-6 motherboard. As you'd expect from a fully populated system weighing 109kgs, the chassis is very solidly built with the drive bays arranged in six rows of fifteen all easily accessible from the top.

The chassis houses the bays in an equally sturdy slide-out drawer which can be pulled out to the halfway stops to access the first three rows and after releasing the locking tabs, pulled all the way out to access the rear set. The drawer is a self-contained unit that incorporates three SAS expander modules down the centre and is connected to a passive mid-plane via internal folding SAS cables in a protective sheath. 

At the rear are two separate nodes each with three 8cm diameter hot-plug fan modules and both are linked to the mid-plane via edge connectors. The lower node houses the motherboard and associated components with the upper node providing four hot-swap U.2 NVMe bays plus two SATA SFF bays You can also specify a scale-out clustered system with dual CPU nodes that each access 45 drive bays or a failover cluster where both nodes access all drives.

Our system had a Supermicro HBA module on the mid-plane but you can opt for a Supermicro AOM-S3616 hardware RAID controller. This supports all the usual RAID suspects including 50 and 60 arrays and comes with an 8GB cache

Along with the motherboard's dual embedded Gigabit, the price includes a Broadcom single-port 50GbE adapter card. This leaves two spare PCI-E Gen 4 slots available for further expansion with Broadberry offering 10/25/40/50/100/200/400GbE and 16/32 Fibre Channel options.

Broadberry CyberStore Xeon SP2-490-G3 review: 50GbE performance

The review system came with Windows Server 2022 pre-installed on the mirrored SATA SSDs and for performance testing, we created a 1.45PB storage pool using all ninety HDDs and the two Intel NVMe SSDs. This allowed us to create a Storage Space, or virtual disk (VD), and enable the Windows tiering feature so hot data is automatically moved to the SSD tier. 

It's simple to create and during setup, you can choose from striped or mirrored VDs and decide how large the HDD and SSD tiers should be. Broadberry is aiming the CyberStore primarily at enterprises heavily entrenched with Microsoft so we chose to test SMB performance by creating a large share made available over the appliance's 50GbE port.

For our host system, we used a Tyan Xeon Scalable rack server running Windows Server 2019 and equipped with a Broadcom 50GbE adapter card. With the share mapped to the host, we started an Iometer test and left it running for a while to ensure all hot data had been moved to the SSD tier.

NAS performance is impressive with Iometer reporting raw sequential read and write rates of 44.2Gbits/sec and 43.8Gbits/sec. I/O throughput looks good too, as swapping to Iometer 4KB block sizes returned 268,310 and 304,300 IOPS

Moving to random operations saw the NVMe SSD tier clearly in play as we recorded read and write speeds of 44.2Gbits/sec and 44.1Gbits/sec. I/O throughput also held firm with Iometer reporting random read and write rates of 271,500 and 303,900 IOPS.

Broadberry CyberStore Xeon SP2-490-G3 review: Server management

The server node's embedded BMC management chip has a dedicated Gigabit port and offers a simple web console with plenty of data on critical components. It isn't as feature-rich as Dell's iDRAC9 or HPE's iLO5, but you can remotely control power, monitor hardware sensors, memory, fans plus voltages and receive email alerts when sensor thresholds are breached.

The Broadberry monitor console

It also comes as standard with full OS remote control and virtual media services – features the blue-chips charge extra for. There's more as the free SuperDoctor 5 software uses the local Windows SNMP service to monitor the server and presents a cheery web interface packed with colourful graphs and dials. 

Multiple Supermicro servers can be managed from the SSM (Supermicro server manager) utility which provides features such as status details, alerting and tools for remote firmware upgrades. And with Window Server 2022 installed on the appliance, we could also use Microsoft's Admin Center to monitor it.

Broadberry CyberStore Xeon SP2-490-G3 review: Verdict

Its enormous storage capacity makes Broadberry's CyberStore Xeon SP2-490-G3 ideal for a wide range of enterprise tasks that need fast access to a lot of data. More cost-effective than cloud storage, it makes a great candidate for big data analytics, image archiving or securing large data sets where fast backup and restore speeds are essential. 

Its clever internal design allows all components to be easily accessed without removing it from the rack cabinet. Value looks good too, as the price includes 1.6PB of raw SAS3 storage and with core-heavy Xeon Scalable Platinum Gen 3 CPUs at the helm, the CyberStore looks up to any workload challenge. 

Broadberry CyberStore Xeon SP2-490-G3 specification (as reviewed)

Chassis

4U Supermicro Storage SuperServer SSG-640SP-E1CR90

Motherboard

Supermicro Super X12DSC-6

CPU

2 x 32-core 2.2GHz Intel Xeon Scalable Platinum 8352Y

Memory

512GB 3,200MHz DDR4 (max 4TB)

Storage bays

90 x SAS3/SATA LFF, 4 x NVMe SFF, 2 x SATA SFF, 2 x 2280/22110 M.2 PCI-E 3 NVMe SSD slots

RAID

Supermicro AOM-S3616 HBA mezzanine card

Storage included

90 x 18TB Toshiba MG09 SAS3 HDDs, 2 x 480GB Intel S4520 SATA, 2 x 3.84TB Intel P5520 PCI-E 4 NVMe SSDs

Network

2 x embedded Intel 10GbE, Broadcom P150p NetExtreme 50GbE PCI-E

Expansion

3 x PCI-E 4 slots

Power

2 x 2,600W Titanium 80+ hot-plug PSUs

Management

Supermicro BMC with Gigabit, Supermicro SuperDoctor 5

Warranty

3Yrs On-Site NBD

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