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Boston Igloo 2U-24T-Stor review

Boston’s Igloo combinesWindows Storage Server 2012, a high capacity and Xeon E5 performance. Is this the perfect storage partnership?

Price
£4,699
  • Preinstalled with WSS2012 Standard, Xeon E5 CPU; High deduplication rates; Good value
  • No external expansion options

Windows Storage Server 2012 (WSS2012) is now a formidable force in the network storage market and a good choice for SMBs thanks to the raft of feature introduced by Microsoft. Along with combined NAS and IP SAN services, it introduces block-level deduplication, thin provisioning, storage pools and much more.

Boston has always been a keen supporter of Microsoft's storage software and its latest Igloo 2U-24T-Stor teams WSS2012 up with a powerful hardware package. This 2U rack appliance delivers 24TB of raw storage in a Xeon E5 equipped appliance and all at a very reasonable price.

It has twelve hot-swap drive bays at the front all kitted out with 2TB Seagate Constellation SAS2 hard disks. All 24TB is up for grabs as the OS is loaded on a pair of mirrored 250GB Seagate SATA SFF hot-swap drives lurking at the back alongside the dual redundant 920W PSUs.

The Server Manager console provides plenty of wizards to help configure volumes and storage services

Storage and network features

This all-Supermicro system uses an X9DRH-7TF motherboard supporting dual E5-2600 Xeons. The price includes a single 2.4GHz E5-2609 CPU a member of Intel's Basic family with four cores, a 10MB L3 cache, support for 1,066MHz DDR3 speeds and a low 80W TDP.

The front drive bays are connected directly to the embedded LSI SAS2008 controller which has 1GB of battery protected cache. A useful feature is the backplane's pair of expanders allows the drives to be connected via dual redundant paths.

Network features are good as the motherboard has an integrated Intel X540 dual-port 10GBase-T adapter. However, Boston won't beat Broadberry's CyberStore 316S-WSS for expansion as the Igloo is not designed with extra external disk shelves in mind.

The various WSS2012 storage features can be enabled as required from the Server Role screen

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