Dense, simple, and inexpensive storage solutions can sometimes be hard to come by, especially at scales of half a petabyte or more. If you ask for solutions from the top OEMs, depending on your storage needs, you’ll likely be presented with a 2U server with one or more HBAs to connect to additional 2U or 3U disk shelves to make up any large capacity requirements. While being fairly expandable, this design certainly isn’t an inexpensive option. Supermicro, however, is well known for having a myriad of solutions to fit nearly every need. For dense storage on a budget, they have the SuperStorage line of servers. These range from thin 1U 12×3.5″-bay servers up to a massive 4U 90×3.5″ behemoth. We’re filling our platter today with the SSG-6049P-E1CR45H, a 45-bay 4U server, and loading it up with 12TB Western Digital DC HD520 3.5″ HDDs for a massive 540TB of raw capacity.
The 6049P-E1CR45H hosts a dual-socket motherboard that supports the Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 v4/v3 family, up to a max 145W TDP, giving us up to 22 cores per socket. There’s 24 RAM slots, giving us support up to 3TB if we use 128GB ECC 3DS LRDIMMs, but tops out at 768GB if we use the cheaper 32GB RDIMMs. The system comes standard with a Broadcom 3108 SAS3 RAID card to handle the 45 disk bays that’s driven by a large backplane BPN-SAS3-946LEL1 SAS expander. The system has a front 3.5″ LCD display for quick diagnostics, information, and monitoring.
1600W 1U Redundant 80 PLUS Platinum Power Supplies with PMBus 1000W: 100-127Vac 1600W: 200-240Vac
Racking the Server
The rails that are ordered with the system are very quick and easy to install if your server rack has standard square holes. They’re tool-less and snapped right in and, for us, filled up U3 and part of U4 in the rack (see picture above). Once the rails are in place, you fully extend them and drop the server into place at the height desired. There’s three options (as shown in the photo), and we used the third set of notches down on the chassis for our server. There’s a simple lever to push down on for each side that will allow the front rail to slide back into the rack. The server, even diskless, is very heavy, and I would highly recommend taking the yellow-sticker advice to have two people to place the server onto the rails.