February 25, 2013, 11:36 AM — 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 two Intel E5620 Xeon processors and 48GB of memory. The Intel E5620 is a four-core processor capable of two threads per core. That gives you 16 threads in each blade server for handling all the file processing you can throw at it. It's also more than enough CPU and memory to support a few Hyper-V virtual machines, should you so choose. The only downside here is the limitation of running a maximum of two Hyper-V VMs that comes with Windows Storage Server 2012. However, you could remove that restriction by upgrading the OS to a full version of Windows Server 2012 Datacenter, which allows you to run as many Windows VMs as you like.
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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