Storage servers are designed for specific purposes, so they are configured differently. It could be a server with a little extra storage, or a server with a lot of storage.
Some people think that the storage server is to add some features to the server, some people define it as a kind of “simple box” for specific functions, while others think that this term should specifically refer to NAS (Network Attached Storage) devices.
Here we will try to give a strict definition of storage server, distinguish it from ordinary server, and list some examples of storage server in the market.
A typical server can be configured to perform multiple functions, such as file server, print server, application database server, web server, or even a combination of the above functions. In this way, it must have a fast processor chip, more RAM and enough internal disk space to meet the application deployment needs of end users at any time.
But storage servers are definitely not. It is designed for a specific purpose, so the configuration is different. It may have a little extra storage, or it may have a lot of storage.
“A multi-purpose server usually has less than five internal disks, but a storage server will have at least six internal disks, most of the time up to 12 to 24 internal disks.” Graham Lovell, senior director of x64 servers at sun.
The storage server is usually a stand-alone unit. Sometimes they will be designed as 4U racks. Alternatively, they can consist of two bins – a storage unit and a server located nearby. The two boxes can then be installed in parallel in the cabinet. For example, sun StorEdge 3120 storage units and Sunfire x4100 servers can be combined into a single storage server and placed in a cabinet.
In many cases, the storage server will carry a lot of special services, including storage management software, additional hardware to ensure high flexibility, RAID configuration type, and additional network connection to ensure more desktop users connect to it.
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