How we built a Multi-tiered Storage System

Data Storage is a vital component to any business  The storage market has matured quite rapidly and a variety of options are now available to support a variety of business requirements. In our previous articles we had discussed different storage options that are available on the market today.

For those that want more hands on approach in designing there storage system the market now has a variety of different software and hard options to accomplish what you really are looking to achieve. You can now get nearly linear storage with the same speed as some of the large providers given that you have a good understanding of what is available on the market.

To start when formulating a Storage strategy you need review your objectives which can include but are not limited to: finanical budget, data growth, future data scalability, data transfer requirement IOPS (Input/Output Operations Per Second, pronounced eye-ops) , disaster recovery time objective. These are a few questions that the Amvean team will review when determining your specific objectives in the information gathering phase of building a storage solution.


As a case study we will discuss a storage solution we  recently crafted for one of our clients. Our client had requested us to build a multi-threaded storage which fullfilled the following requirements:
1- Multi-tiered storage NAS enviroment with High-Line, Mid-Line, Low-Line Disk Storage. The client wanted to serve the storage based on the unit of cost the client was paying and put their respective data based on the calculated cost of each customer.
2- Client’s Recovery objective to get to failover was also classified in 3 sub groups based.
Categories defined by Client:
Data criticality High Severity  – 15 minute recovery window data must be avaiable between 6am EDT- 11pm EDT – Data Requirement – 3.8 TB with 600 GB High Speed Cache data

Data criticality Medium Severity – 1 hour reovery window data must be available between 6am EDT – 12am EDT

Data criticality Low Severity –  1 day recovery window data must be available between 6am EDT – 5pm EDT ( Archived Data)

Critical data with 1 hour recover Recovery objective
3- Unit be commodity hardware specific not hardware locked to a specific hardware vendor unit can be added as the system grows at the rate of 5% per month on average.

Our solution:
Storage Hardware:
2 X HP DL 180 G6 – 2 CPU 2.8 Ghz Needhalm woth 12 bay Large Form Factor Drives
2 X MSA 60 – Storage enclosure with 24 Small form factor drives

Disk Solution:
15k rpm – 900 GB SAS DISC X 6 – RAID 5 –  Serving data of 3.8 TB @ 900 IOPS
2 X 600GB SSD Drive PCI – Serving data of 600 GB @ 140,000 Read IOPS, 135,000 Write IOPS – Production High Critical Data Storage

10k rpm – 2 TB SAS Disc X 6

7200 rpm – 3 TB SATA Disc X 6

Storage Controller –
Emulex Dual Channel – 6GB/s and Fiber Channel HBA expandability

NAS Storage Management Software:
Using a combination of Gluster using Red Hat Storage Server- allowed us to build redundancy storage array where two copies of the data were replicated based on recovery objective to different data nodes to ensure redundancy of data. We also architected a data storage and recovery library. Will discuss the specific of that in a future article.

For more details about Amvean can help you with there storage strategy please contact us at or 212.810.2074.