Overland introduced new SnapServer DX1 and DX2 (1U & 2U) networked unified storage units (NAS & iSCSI). These units are traditionally priced competitively, as is seen in Table 1.
The cool feature of the announcement is the DynamicRAID™ feature, which combines a logical volume manager, the XFS file system, and Dynamic Raid Volume Abstraction (see Figure 1 to understand the architecture).
The DynamicRAID allows:
- One storage pool to be created using all the drives available (drives must be either all SAS or all SATA);
- different capacity drives to be combined in one storage pool;
- Virtual volume creation with a few clicks of the mouse;
- Ability to shrink or grow volumes dynamically without volume migration.
The advantages of this approach are:
- It avoids the complexities of the normal implementation of Dynamic RAID;
- It supports the ability to grow volumes quickly and easily;
- It reduces acquisition costs & manages growth through “just-in-time” storage acquisition;
- It improves storage utilization.
Its approach is not the same as thin provisioning (an intervention is required to increase the volume size, and the volume utilization must be monitored), but offers many of the same advantages.
Overland has a good reputation for simple storage that lasts a long time. If the DynamicRAID works as advertised, it provides a very real benefit in simplifying and optimizing storage for SMB and midsize organizations.
Action Item: Overland sells good low-end storage though its channel partners. The DynamicRAID feature is a significant improvement in productivity, potentially providing an easy-to-use environment at a much lower price point. However, it is a complex feature to integrate for Overland, and Wikibon would recommend that users test out the features well before committing to production. Let us know at Wikibon how it works out!