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Research computing storage infrastructure, 2012

Brainstorming the current status and future needs of the ILRI research computing storage infrastructure.

Current situation

  • HPC (June, 2011)
    • ~6TB of usable disk space, ~2.5TB in use right now
  • boran (database + VM server, January, 2012)
    • ~1.5TB usable disk space, ~20GB in use right now


  • May 18: Alan, Isaac, Etienne, and Mark meet to discuss projects and upcoming storage requirements. Notable:
    • very real possibility of a getting an Illumina MiSeq (shorter reads, but lots and lots of overlapping data)
    • Cassava genome project?
  • May 24: Alan and Isaac meet with NetApp storage representative ("GK", facilitated by George Ogoti from ICT
    • Existing NetApp is expandable, there are various options we can explore
    • GK is going to get us a quote for the following infrastructure
      • RAID-DP (NetApp's version of RAID6, 2 disk failure)
      • Site redundancy (storage syncs nightly via fiber to ICRAF)
      • ILRI site will have two controllers for high availability
      • ICRAF site will have one controller (less critical storage)
      • Capacity 12TB or 24TB (with usable space roughly half of each figure)
  • June 13, 2012:
    • Got the quote back from GK at Techno Associates, two options:
      • 12TB dual configurations: $40,000
      • 24TB dual configurations: $48,000
    • We need to talk to Ian Moore to see what he thinks
    • It's possible we now use ICT's NetApp to provide 1-2TB for GIS server, then building some custom solution for the DMZ
  • June 14, 2012:
    • Brainstorming raw storage costs vs NetApp quote:
    • NetApp quote	1TB x 24 = 29000 USD
      NetApp quote	2TB x 24 = 39000 USD
   	1TB Seagate	75 GBP x 24 = 1800 (~2800 USD)	1TB Seagate	65 GBP x 24 = 1560 (~2500 USD)
   	2TB Seagate	70 GBP x 24 = 1680 (~2600 USD)	2TB Seagate	83 GBP x 24 = 1992 (~3100 USD)
   	3TB Hitachi	130 GBP x 24 = 3120 (~4900 USD)	3TB Seagate	120 GBP x 24 = 2928 (~4600 USD)
  • June 18, 2012:
    • Had a meeting with Ian Moore and Isaac Kahugu about storage
      • He said he'd support us building our own, but gave us tips to talk to Tor at ICRAF (GIS, MySQL, Drobo), and to consider Dell Equalogic for storage
      • Another point was that we could possibly buy storage from KENET (to sync off site), or maybe colocate a box there
  • July 10, 2012:
    • GK from Techno Associates called again with a new offer for a single-site, single-controller NetApp solution:
      • He said he can give us 12TB raw for $9,000, or 24TB for $11,000 (one controller only, excludes pricing for replication licenses)
  • July 22, 2012:
  • July 23, 2012:
    • George Ogoti provided us with an iSCSI target on their NetApp so we can test configuration and performance, but we're still waiting for a password to auto to the iSCSI.

Proposed NetApp architecture

Proposed architecture assuming we expand ICT's existing NetApp rack with extra controllers and storage.

Key points:

  • Raw storage is sliced in several chunks and shared appropriately
  • NetApp exports CIFS shares to corporate clients and servers (users authenticate with Active Directory credentials)
  • NetApp exports iSCSI block devices to Linux servers in order to allow them to manage their own storage/access/users directly in the OS


brainstorms/research_computing_storage_infrastructure_2012.txt · Last modified: 2012/07/24 06:57 by aorth