Disk shelf ETegro Fastor JS300 G3

    In our previous reviews, we have already talked several times about the possibility of expanding the disk space of servers using disk shelves. Today we decided to show what our disk shelves look like on the example of ETegro Fastor JS300 G3.

    But first, a brief digression into the terminology and, in fact, the reasons for the existence of disk shelves. A disk shelf is a typical example of DAS, that is, Directed Attached Storage - a drive with block data access. From the point of view of working with data, this is a simpler device than the NAS, since all work at the file structure level is outside the knowledge of the device itself. Although, of course, Enterprise-grade DASs are much more complex than simple home NASs.

    To begin with, we recall that in the world of modern servers, disk shelves are used as an external disk subsystem. Connection to servers can be arranged quite flexibly. Here are a few different non-trivial connection options as an example.

    As for the requirements for disk shelves, they are very different from the class of devices and, as always, entail a significant difference in price. We assign the ETegro Fastor JS300 G3 to high-end disk shelves, correspondingly meeting the necessary requirements: the shelves have redundant controllers and hot-swappable power supplies, do not have a single point of failure and have a powerful redundant ventilation system with the ability to hot swap all modules.

    From afar, the shelf looks like a standard metal box, that is, it is not much different from other rack-mounted chassis with a height of 4U. The close-up view is already more interesting - the design does not require the installation of a cover, which facilitates the hot swapping of disks without fully extending the shelf from the rack. Most of the internal space of the case is occupied by 60 hard drives, located in 5 rows of 12 drives each. It is easy to calculate that the maximum capacity of one disk shelf when filling it with 4 TB disks is 240 TB, i.e. almost a quarter of a petabyte.

    All disks are placed on universal metal skids (trays), which provide installation of both 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch drives, so if you really need a shelf on an SSD - no problem.

    The absence of a top cover is a profitable design feature of the Fastor JS300 G3, which distinguishes it from other offers on the market. Instead of the cover, the upper tray panels are made of metal and are equipped with an indication of the state of the disk. In this case, the indication is duplicated on the front panel. Those. everything is done for ease of finding and maintaining drives in the event of a failure.

    In the photo you can evaluate how the shelf display looks in a dark room.

    Since the conversation has begun about the indication, it is worth remembering about the appearance of the front panel of the shelf. Most of it is occupied by the cooling system grille, through which the disc indication is visible, and on a small island two groups of 5 indicators are sheltered. One of them displays the status of each of the five groups of 10 disks, and the second contains the status LEDs of the entire system, fans, power supplies, SIM and ISIM modules.

    The back panel traditionally reveals the entire set of device components. In this case, we see a triumph of symmetry, indicating a high degree of duplication of the shelf modules. Well, the characteristic pens very subtly hint that all modules support hot swapping. Down at the corners there is a pair of power supplies, 1400 W each, completely standard for all our products (and what to do, we and our customers damnly like the word “interchangeability”). Between them is a pair of SIM (SAS Interface Module) modules. They are responsible for duplication of the communication channel with the SAS controller of the server. The SAS version, of course, is 6 Gb / s.

    Particularly attentive for sure drew attention to the inscriptions "cascade in" and "cascade out". Their existence is explained simply: two Fastor JS300 G3 shelves can be connected in cascade to one server at once, and the second is connected in series to the first just to the “cascade out” port. However, the two shelves can also be divided between two servers, then the first and third are the “incoming” ports, and the second and fourth become outgoing in each SIM module. If we use only one shelf, then it can be divided into four servers at once, making all SAS ports “inbound”.

    The controller structure is supplemented by 4 internal ISIM modules (Internal SAS Interface Module) to ensure complete fault tolerance of disk access. They are located inside the case in the center of the first four rows of discs. Like everything else, they support hot swapping, have a status indication and an identification LED.

    And do not forget the cooling system. It is very serious here, because 60 disks under serious load are a powerful source of heat. For cooling, there are 4 hot-swappable fan modules, each of which combines two impressive fans.

    Well, and to complete the review, we have already become a traditional invitation to ask questions in the comments. Welcome :)

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