In pictures: Taking apart D-Link's xStack DSN-2100-10 SAN array

We take a closer look at D-Link's iSCSI-enabled Storage Area Network (SAN) arrays

  • The inside of the D-Link xStack DSN-2100-10 is quite roomy so you can easily reach the memory and any other components that may need maintenance or replacing. Fully configured, the SAN array has 512MB of DDR1 system memory and 4GB of disk write cache memory. The write cache is protected by battery for up to 72 hours in case of a total power failure.

  • The drive bays are placed horizontally to cut down on the xStack DSN-2100-10 SAN array's overall footprint. The hard drives are hot-swappable and the SAN array supports online capacity expansion and RAID configuration to minimise downtime during maintenance and configuration.

  • Like the [[Arnid:295951|HP Proliant DL380 G5 server|In pictures: Taking apart Hewlett-Packard's Proliant DL380 G5 server]], the D-Link xStack DSN-2100-10 features hot-swappable power supplies in case of a power failure. A status light on each power supply will change from green to orange if there is a failure and there is also an audible alarm. You can replace one of the power supplies while the other picks up the slack. Since both are constantly connected, there is no downtime if one does fail.

    D-Link quotes the xStack DSN-2100-10's power consumption at 360W at full configuration.

  • D-Link uses a System-on-a-Chip (SoC) system across its line of SAN arrays. Whereas discreet implementations assemble separate components and controllers into a single chassis, the SoC implementation combines the xStack DSN-2100-10's iSCSI controller, offload capabilities, embedded processors and storage virtualisation firmware into a single chip. This method increases reliability as it cuts down on the number of parts that need to be maintained and repaired. It also allows for increased I/O operations and iSCSI bandwidth: D-Link claims that the SAN array is capable of 80,000 I/O operations per second and a 10 Gigabit bandwidth over Ethernet for iSCSI commands.

  • The SATA controller board.

  • Two fans push air over the memory and SoC chip while a third cools the power supplies. All three have carry handles and are easily replaced in case of failure.

  • There is no software installation necessary for the xStack DSN-2100-10 SAN array. Instead, configuration and maintenance can be achieved through a wizard-driven interface. This embedded management GUI allows you to monitor and configure storage volumes and RAID configurations while also providing an event manager to monitor potential problems and errors.

  • A drive tray from the D-Link xStack DSN-2100-10 SAN array.

  • Around the back, the D-Link xStack DSN-2100-10 SAN array has four host Gigabit Ethernet connections, as well as a separate 10/100Mbps management Ethernet port and an RS-232 diagnostic port. On the far right you can see two hot-swappable 400W power supplies.

  • D-Link's xStack DSN-2100-10 is currently the networking and storage company's most affordable Storage Area Network (SAN) array. It is built with easy manageability in mind, and suits small to medium businesses. On our recent trip to D-Link's offices, we took a look inside the 2U array as well as its bigger brother, the 3U D-Link xStack DSN-3200-10.

  • The four host Gigabit Ethernet connections support IEEE 802.3ad Link Aggregation Groups (LAG), which groups the four ports for a total bandwidth of 425 megabytes per second. The ports support full offloading capability. The LAG support provides maximum throughput for iSCSI commands as well as increased redundancy protection.

  • The xStack DSN-2100-10 SAN array provides a total of 16 SATA 2 ports, though only eight of them can be utilised on this SAN array; the rest are only used on the larger xStack DSN-3200-10 and DSN-3400-10 SAN arrays. There is a status light for each individual SATA port to indicate operation.

  • D-Link uses a 6500mAh Li-Ion battery pack to retain the cache memory in case of power failure. The cache can be protected for up to 72 hours by the battery pack.

  • The D-Link xStack DSN-2100-10 doesn't come with any hard drives, but provides eight hard drive bays with removable trays. The bays sit behind a lockable perforated grill, which also has status LEDs to indicate power and operation for each individual drive. With support for 2TB 3.5in SATA 2 hard drives like the [[Artnid:277366|Western Digital 2TB Caviar Green hard drive|Review: Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB (WD20EADS)]], the xStack DSN-2100-10 can provide up to 16TB of storage in JBOD, RAID0, 1, 1+0 and 5 drive configurations.

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