Infortrend EonStor GSa 2024RC review: The all-Flash host with the most

Infortrend shows the blue-chips how it’s done

Editor's Choice
Price
£41,000
  • Easy deployment; Good value; High FC SAN performance; Great data port choices; Price includes 24 Toshiba PM5-R SAS3 SSDs
  • Controller reboot required to change NAS/IP SAN channel mode

Data centres that want an all-Flash array that has it all will find InforTrend's EonStor GSa 2024 family is offering a very tempting proposition. They certainly look very capable, offering unified NAS, FC SAN and IP SAN services, high availability and support for a range of cloud storage providers.

In this exclusive review, we look at the EonStor GSa 2024RC which sports 24 SFF hot-swap drive bays and comes with dual active/active controllers. Each is powered by a dual-core Intel Pentium D-1500 CPU partnered by 8GB of DDR4 cache, which can be boosted to 64GB with the RC model on review, including the super capacitor and Flash backup modules.

Data port choices are abundant as each controller includes four embedded Gigabit ports which can be used to present NAS or IP SAN storage. They also have two module bays supporting 2- or 4-port host boards and InforTend offers 1GbE, 10GbE RJ-45 or SFP+, 25GbE SFP28, 40GbE QSFP, 8/16Gb/sec FC, 10GbE FCoE, 56GbE InfiniBand and SAS3.

Expansion potential is enormous; the array supports up to 12 JB 300 expansion shelves for a maximum of 744 drives. You can use each controller's embedded SAS3 port to go up to 384 drives but to max out at 744, you'll need to add optional dual-port SAS3 modules in the second expansion bay.

Infortrend EonStor GSa 2024RC: Deployment

The price we've shown for the review system includes a full house of Toshiba's latest 960GB PM5-R SAS3 read-intensive enterprise SSDs for a total raw capacity of 23TB. Also included are 4-port 16Gb/sec FC expansion modules for each controller.

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For management, you can use the array's embedded EonOne web console or the free Central EonOne app which manages multiple appliances from one interface. Our system came preconfigured with two 12-drive RAID5 storage pools but you can run a setup wizard from the console.

A standout feature of pools is ALUA (asymmetric logical unit access) support for file and block-level volumes or symmetric access for block-level volumes. Selected prior to volume creation, this allows you to have either active/standby or active/active links across both controllers - a feature we've not seen on any competing storage product.

Volume creation is simple and for NAS file-level access, they can be designated as WORM (write once read many). You set a retention period in years and select either the Compliance mode where no files can be deleted during this period or the Enterprise mode, where only system administrators can delete files.

File shares are created within NAS volumes, where you enable selected protocols, apply quotas and extend access security to local or LDAP/AD authenticated users. The controllers' Gigabit data ports can be designated for block-level IP SAN or file-level NAS access - but don't change this during busy periods as it requires a controller reboot.

Infortrend EonStor GSa 2024RC: FC performance

For FC performance testing, we used four Windows Server 2016 hosts equipped with dual-port QLogic QLE2672 16Gb/sec FC adapters. On the array, we created four dedicated volumes and found host mapping to be quick, as they were discovered as soon as they were cabled to the controllers.

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To get a baseline, we ran Iometer on one server with a 32Gb/sec MPIO FC connection and saw 24.6Gbits/sec and 24.5Gbits/sec for sequential read and write rates and 24.6Gbits/sec and 23Gbits/sec for random operations. Changing to small 4KB blocks returned 212,000 and 122,000 IOPS for sequential reads and writes dropping to 208,500 and 66,500 IOPS for random operations.

With all four servers running Iometer, we recorded a cumulative 97Gbits/sec and 62.3Gbits/sec for sequential reads and writes with random operations dropping these to 96.3Gbits/sec and 31.2Gbits/sec. Overall throughput is mighty as we saw a cumulative 734,000 and 342,500 IOPS for sequential reads and writes while swapping to random operations saw these settle at 698,500 and 97,000 IOPS.

During our random read and write tests, we noticed the EonStor web console showing both controller CPUs topping out at 100% utilisation. Nevertheless, they look up to the job as our measured random read rate is so close to InforTrend's quoted figure as makes no difference.

Infortrend EonStor GSa 2024RC: Snapshots

The price includes a standard volume snapshot license which supports 64 per volume and 128 per system which can be increased to 256 and 4,096 respectively. These can be run on-demand or scheduled to occur as often as every 10 minutes, while data recovery is achieved by rolling the snapshot back or mounting it as a new volume.

Volumes can be mirrored on the same appliance where the standard license allows 4 replications per volume and 16 per system. Remote replication is also available and supports block level replication and file level Rsync operations.

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Cloud features are extensive: the optional EonCloud Gateway allows providers to be used for syncing, snapshot backup, caching or tiering. Support includes Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, OpenStack Swift and Alibaba Cloud with the latter recently opening two new data centres in London.

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Basic one-way and bi-directional folder syncing can be run from the standard SyncCloud app which supports the same four providers as the EonCloud Gateway. There are plenty of other on-board apps including ones for local anti-virus scanning, LDAP, proxy, Syslog and VPN servers plus a separate File Explorer app.

Infortrend EonStor GSa 2024RC: Verdict

InforTrend sets the standard for unified storage as there's little the EonStor GSa 2024RC doesn't look capable of. If you want an affordable all-Flash array with triple-play storage services, a high performance, end-to-end redundancy and plenty of data protection features, then look no further.

Verdict

The feature-rich EonStor GSa 2024RC offers an impressive range of storage services and teams them up with great all-Flash performance, a huge expansion potential and a wealth of data port options

Chassis: 2U rack Storage: 24 x SAS3 SFF hot-swap drive bays Drives included: 24 x 960GB Toshiba PM5-R SAS3 SSDs Power: 2 x 460W hot-plug 80+ Bronze PSUs with cooling fans

Dual controllers each with the following: CPU: Dual-core Intel Pentium D-1500 Memory: 8GB DDR4 cache (max 64GB) with capacitor/Flash memory Array support: RAID 0, 1 (0+1), 3, 5, 6, 10, 30, 50, 60 Host interfaces: 4 x 1GbE (NAS/iSCSI), Network: 1GbE management port Expansion: 1 x SAS3 port, 2 x expansion board slots Port modules included: 4-port 16Gb/sec FC board Management: Web browser, Central EonOne

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