Broadberry CyberStore 316S WSS review
The first Windows Storage Server 2012 appliance to market offers good value, great performance and massive expansion potential
Review Date: 20 Feb 2013
Reviewed By: Dave Mitchell
Price when reviewed: £6,895 (£8,274 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
Broadberry Data Systems has always been quick off the mark supporting Microsoft’s latest business storage software, and it continues this with Windows Storage Server 2012 (WSS2012). The company’s CyberStore 316S WSS is the first production system we’ve seen to run the software, beating the blue-chips to the punch.
It lays down a marker in other ways, too, delivering a base 24TB plus plenty of room to expand – all for less than seven grand. The price above includes six 4TB WD Enterprise SAS drives, and there’s room at the front for ten more. They’re managed by an LSI SAS 9280 RAID card, which has an external port for Broadberry’s JBOD disk shelves, allowing a maximum capacity of 240 disks.
WSS2012 is loaded on a pair of mirrored 256GB SSDs. These are hidden away at the back of the chassis in hot-swap bays beneath dual-redundant power supplies, and are managed by the motherboard’s SATA controller.
Unlike the previous version, which didn’t offer any major improvements over its predecessor, this one is full of new features. The CyberStore comes with WSS2012 Standard, which has everything enabled. There’s block-level deduplication, thin provisioning, NAS and IP SAN support, storage spaces, SMB3 and NFS4.1 support, and much more. It also includes an unlimited capacity licence, doesn’t require CALs (client access licenses), and to use the clustering/failover features you just add the necessary hardware.
As with Windows 8, you’ll have to get used to the tile-based Start screen and Charms bar, but once you’ve got past these, most storage features can be configured from the desktop-based Server Manager interface.
Selecting File and Storage Services takes you to menus for configuring disks, volumes, storage spaces, shares and iSCSI targets. Storage pools should be your first port of call, though, since these enable many important features. Physical disks of different sizes and makes can be combined in a pool and used to create mirrored, striped or RAID5 virtual volumes. Capacity can be expanded on the fly by selecting any available drive and adding it to the pool.
Microsoft’s thin provisioning works directly with storage pools, so applies to NAS shares and iSCSI targets created within them. When creating a virtual volume, simply decide on the RAID type and then the virtual size, in gigabytes, terabytes or even petabytes.
For share creation, a Quick option does most of the legwork, while an Advanced option lets you set access permissions, choose properties to be used for file classification and data management rules, and apply share-level quotas. The Application option allows shares to be created with settings that suit Hyper-V or databases.
IP SANs are also easy to create: again, just select a virtual volume then decide on a target name and size. The new WSS2012 access controls require initiators to be assigned to the target and you can see any that are already logged in.
Deduplication is applied at the volume level, and options include being able to set the number of days before a file is processed, file exclusions and schedules. To test data reduction ratios we used the Binary Testing deduplication test suite and CA’s ARCserve r16 set to use a mapped share as a disk-based backup device. Using a 4GB data set of 1,000 files, we ran a standard backup strategy consisting of daily incremental and full weekly backups. After the first backup had completed, deduplication was run manually, then 2% of data was modified in 40% of files prior to each subsequent backup.
At the end of four weeks’ simulation, the reduction ratio hit 7:1. This is close to ARCserve’s own score and superior to ZFS-based storage appliances, such as Netgear’s ReadyDATA 5200.
The CyberStore 316S WSS shows off Microsoft’s Windows Storage Server 2012 perfectly. It brings together a substantial hardware package with room to expand, offers plenty of storage features, and tops it off with strong performance and exceptional data reduction ratios.
Author: Dave Mitchell
Be prepared to wait!
Not disputing the quality/value of their hardware but in my experience orders are fulfilled at a snails pace. If you have any time critical projects I would consider another vendor. If you can afford to wait a month after ordering then this is a good choice.
By dantiumx on 19 Feb 2014
- Chromebooks get version of Photoshop
- Toshiba beats retreat from consumer PC market
- Ellison steps down: but who's really running Oracle now?
- Microsoft set to make more job cuts
- Is Peter Pan panto tickets email genuine? Oh no, it isn't
- Intel triples Xeon E5 chip performance, adds DDR4
- Patch Tuesday targets critical IE flaw
- Microsoft refuses to hand over customer emails
- Microsoft yanks Windows 8.1 update after crash reports
- Microsoft backtracks on blocking out-of-date Java
- Windows 10: a step back to go forward
- Michael Dell: Cloud infrastructure is the roads, bridges and highways of the 21st century
- How to check your identity hasn’t been sold to the hackers
- Tim Cook: this is how much TV has changed since the 70s
- Westminster wins the .London battle
- 20 years of PC Pro: from deep pan pizza to virtualisation
- Five reasons why the Apple Watch leaves me cold
- Apple Watch, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus: Tim Cook's Apple back with a bang?
- BT Home Hub 5: how to get maximum speed
- 20 years of PC Pro: one-star reviews (including "the worst tablet we've ever seen")
- How to set up a wireless hotspot for your business: give customers free or paid for internet access
- Five worst SMB security threats... and how to solve them
- Doing business in a social era
- How to configure SysLookup for your network
- The 18 best Outlook tips for increasing productivity: become an Outlook expert with these lesser-known tips
- Office: should you buy it, rent it - or dump it?
- Small server vs cloud: which is best for SMBs?
- The best mobile apps for business
- Windows XP: Microsoft’s ticking time bomb
- gTLDs: what your business should know about new domain names
- How to sell more ebooks on Amazon
- 10 ways to make your business more secure
- Top five VoIP mistakes
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office