Review: HP brings sizzle to Windows Storage Server


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The HP StoreEasy 5530 puts serious muscle behind Windows file serving, Hyper-V virtualization, and SQL Server workloads

Reliable storage is a key building block for any enterprise application infrastructure. Traditionally, this translates into some type of network-attached storage (NAS) or storage area network (SAN). With Windows Storage Server 2012, you get both NAS (CIFS/SMB) and SAN (iSCSI), along with the ability to leverage new SMB 3.0 features to bring seamless fail-over to Hyper-V and SQL Server workloads. With the Windows Storage Server 2012-based HP StoreEasy 5530, you get all that plus outrageous performance.

HP has stuffed a lot of hardware into this package. The StoreEasy 5530 consists of two HP ProLiant BL460c G7 blade servers, each equipped with one Intel E5620 Xeon processor and 24GB of memory. The Intel E5620 is a four-core processor capable of two threads per core. That gives you 16 threads in all for handling all the file processing you can throw at it. It would also be more than enough CPU and memory to support a few Hyper-V virtual machines. However, HP does not support running VMs on the StoreEasy box. This is strictly a storage platform. 

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Two storage options offer either large-form-factor (LFF) or small-form-factor (SFF) hard drives. The LFF option typically delivers more storage per drive at a lower cost, while the SFF drives offer higher performance but less total storage capacity. Each server blade comes with two 300GB 10K SFF drives, which are typically configured as a RAID 1 array for redundancy purposes. These are used primarily for boot and local storage.

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