X4500 and Solaris thump big time for Sapotek

ZFS is a big kicker too for mini-cloud supplier

With Sapotek Sun has won a highly delighted customer for its Solaris 10, X4500 Thumper storage array and ZFS file system.

Sapotek’s CEP, Joshua Randall, tells how he used to be a big Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) fan after starting out with Fedora. His company produces open source web products and services and supplies Desktoptwo free online desktop services to more than 200,000 users. The infrastructure behind this was relatively small scale: five 1U 64-bit Xeon servers from Dell, RHEL and Red Hat’s GFS file system.

But it didn’t scale and that’s the last thing you need with an online computing offer. It was compute limited too; the O/S server combination was topping out at five concurrent threads per server. Administration was taking too long and the servers were going offline 4 percent of the time.

Sapotek change to an all-Sun infrastructure. The five Dell servers were changed to four Sun 4200s, using 64-bit, quad-core Opterons. RHEL was changed to Solaris 10. A Dell/EMC AX100i 3TB storage array was changed forĀ a 24TB X4500 Thumper, super network-attached storage (NAS) product, and the ZFS file system was used.

The results were terrific for Sapotek. Uptime jumped to four nines: 99.99 percent. ZFS provided much better facilities than GFS and was far easier to manage. Compute performance increased from five threads per server to 32. The new system could handle the load, indeed more than that as Sapotek’s user base doubled in the five months since the Sun kit was installed. This gives Sapotek confidence that it can scale up even more in the future – he is only using 7 of the X4500′s 4TB and he only need two people to look after it.

Sapotek’s data is safer too as ZFS snapshots take seconds instead of the hour or so needed before.

This is not an enterprise-level system; Sapotek is a small enterprise which is finding it effective to use ZFS and the X4500. This is not bleeding-edge storage technology. It’s being used in a small New York-based operation by a pretty everyday sort of company with no fanfare and no rocket scientists in its back room.


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