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Supermicro SSD/NVMe Servers and MS Storage Spaces 2016
posted by Saker Klippsten  on Feb. 20, 2017, 2:30 p.m. (6 years, 9 months, 10 days ago)
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**This is a continuation from the post Titled "SuperMicro TwinBlades, are they good?"
Will reply back with more data as we collect it:) 

While we are lovers of Linux and Opensource. We are mostly a Windows Desktop Shop. We have opted for now to go with Windows Storage Spaces built into server 2016. If you have not checked it out, I highly recommend looking at these videos, do some testing and form your own opinion on its performance, simplicity and ease of use and all the benefits included, snapshots, quotas, scaling, storage tiers
As many know we run a pretty lean shop here at Zoic. ~430+ users and 5 Full time- IT Folk plus me ( someone has to change the light bulbs) across 3 locations. So while we could use a Unix setup, We opted to use Server 2016 because well.. we are all windows on the desktop/domain/email side. We will be 100% windows 10 by end 3rd quarter as projects wrap up , we can roll artists to new environments.  More on this specs later but similar to POC1 below with a only a single 800GB nvme and 1TB system evo drive. single 40Gig port. And 256GB ram.
 We had a requirement in the last month for lots of sims and rendering with Houdini. Our Isilons Clusters And our Qumulo were having a tuff time keeping up in our tests. The cost to scale those out were going to be too much for ourBudget. We had been testing our POC1 (below) with great success for serving out apps.Acting as an RV box. as well as testing it with one off sets of renders for Maya/Vray and Houdini. So we opted to invest in a larger setup. 
These are all new systems for us so more battle testing to ensue in the next few months as we hit them hard with 20 Houdini Artists, 50+ Dedicated Sim Nodes and about 500 Mantra Render based render nodes reading gigantic cache files.
POC 2 and POC3 will be tiered together using  Storage Space Direct 2016. We will be collecting lots of Valuable data to share back here when everything is up and running or burning up :)  hopefully not the later.
We have another fun project following the delivery of this one for a 30min 360 -4k projection setup with an obnoxious resolution. so we will then flop this system from Houdini users to Nuke / Nuke Studio and Maya /Vray Rendering and some Flame all working off this storage.
If all goes well. We will scale this out and we will be moving off Isilon as our primary performance storage to these supermicro systems by the 3rd quarter of this year . we have a great opportunity to RND this kit in production . We still love Isilon and Qumulo but currently their performance in the area of NVMe is lacking and while many Bag on MS (my self included) so far Storage Spaces has impressed me with its performance, simplicity. Only time will dictate the reliability. 
Our next project is then tiering to cold storage using 90 bay supermicro chassis and 10TB He Drives but thats Q4( if anyone has played with those! speak up )
Here are some Videos to check out on SSD2016

POC1 with a 1U  Supermicro and two 40gig dual port intel X710 cards. remember a single port of 40Gig can max out an pcie3 x8 slot. So we have two cards in separate x16 slots for dual port 40 or single 100gig cards. 
(1) Super Server 1028U-TN10RT+

(2) Intel E5-2640 V4 https://ark.intel.com/products/92984/Intel-Xeon-Processor-E5-2640-v4-25M-Cache-2_40-GHz
(8) 16GB DDR4-2400 ECC REG DIMM  
(6) Intel P3600 400GB NVMEhttp://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/solid-state-drives/ssd-dc-p3600-spec.html
(2) Intel XL710QDA2http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ethernet-products/converged-network-adapters/ethernet-xl710.html

POC2 is the 2U Supermicro and two Melanox 100Gbe Cards
(1) SuperStorage Server 2028R-NR48N

(2) Intel E56-2680 V4https://ark.intel.com/products/91754/Intel-Xeon-Processor-E5-2680-v4-35M-Cache-2_40-GHz

(8) 16GB DDR4-2400 ECC REG DIMM 
(2) Mellanox ConnectX-4 MCX456A-ECAT 

(24) Intel P3600 400GB NVME expandable to 48

POC3 is a 2U Supermicro Like above but using Samsung 4TB SSD EVO Drives.
(1) SuperStorage Server SSG-2028R-E1CR48Lhttp://www.supermicro.com/products/system/2U/2028/SSG-2028R-E1CR48L.cfm

(2) Intel E56-2680 V4

(8) 16GB DDR4-2400 ECC REG DIMM 

(2) Mellanox ConnectX-4 MCX456A-ECAT 
(24) Samsung 4TB EVO expandable to 48

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Response from Jai Bhatia @ Aug. 8, 2017, 1:42 a.m.

Hi Saker,


How's the POC3 going?

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