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Zetera is wired!

by Administrator on April 6, 2007

I have been hammering on my Zetera enabled storage arrays (exposed as local volumes via a UDP/IP protocol) and they keep putting smiles on my face.  Both the Hammer Z from Bell and the NetGear SC101-T from NetGear continue to perform flawlessly for me.  I see bright things ahead for that company.

Those who keep saying that I don’t know enterprise wares from consumer toys (classifying Zetera stuff as the latter) need to readjust their thinking.  Network Bunch of Disk (NBOD) is the wave of the future.  This isn’t just my opinion.  Want to see an enterprise deployment?  Read this issue of Wired.  Great story about the 1.5 Petabytes of this technology being used at MIT Media Labs.  Here’s the link.  And here’s a picture of what your storage might just look like in the near future, Mr. Enterprise guy.


Zetera enabled NBOD:  The Enterprise Storage of the Future?


{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

nik April 6, 2007 at 2:48 pm

I glanced through the Wired story, the only mention I could see of storage was an anonymous 250TB array, no mention of 1.25PB of any sort! What am I missing?

TomTreadway April 6, 2007 at 3:10 pm

Second line of the second page:

“Even more formidable is Roy’s planned $2.5 million retrofit of the Media Lab machine room, which will include a new 1.4-petabyte storage array…”

I assume that’s it?

nik April 6, 2007 at 3:39 pm

Yeah, that could be it 🙂 Still doesn’t say whose it is though.

Administrator April 6, 2007 at 3:58 pm

It is, in fact, all Zetera-enabled Bell Micro Hammer Z arrays. Managed by two grad students, I understand.

I guess I didn’t read closely enough, since I had already visited the facility and seen the Hammers installed when the deal was announced.

KB April 8, 2007 at 3:15 pm

I too thought this technology was going to be great, until I did some reading. Like any file system it’s got issues and way too many for me to take a chance on, even at home. I’ll pass.

DSoth April 9, 2007 at 12:26 am

So what mission critical applications does MIT labs run on the Zetera, what’s their RPO/RTO what’s their cost of downtime per hour?

By the way, how many times has this Zetera/MIT Lab story made the media rags because I’ve seen at least 3 times the past year.

Robert Clark April 9, 2007 at 11:37 am

With the prevalence of fast ethernet or GBE, I’ve always wondered why someone doesn’t crank out a disk with a native network interface.

Or short that, why not a SATA to NIC board.

TomTreadway April 9, 2007 at 12:38 pm

Robert, when you ask that question about adding a NIC interface you also have to ask the question: “File or block?” Does the drive have a NAS interface or an iSCSI interface (or I suppose some other block-level interface that smells like iSCSI).

If it’s NAS, then you’ve got drive sharing amongst multiple servers or workstations. Great! But you’ve also got nasty performance issues running a NAS stack in a tiny little drive ASIC.

If it’s iSCSI, then you still can’t share the drive, and in fact you’re still connecting to the host in a DAS manner. So you really haven’t gained much, except extremely long cables.

Both of these approaches are ugly which is why you see NAS-to-SATA convertors, such as LaCie, Buffalo, Linksys, etc., that can use one controller across multiple drives to reduce cost, allowing higher-end controllers for better performance.


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