AMD is back!

AMD Returns with EPYC

For many years, AMD has been dormant; its most recent generation of processors (Opteron) launching over five years ago. In the intervening years, the competition has steadily moved forward, removing the AMD Opteron processor from consideration for new server deployments. With the launch of the EPYC processor series, this has all changed. Not only does this new processor have performance comparable to the current x86 competition, but it also supports a full 128 lanes of PCIe with only a single processor. This is a feat with which the current competition simply cannot compete.

Improved CPU Utilization

When AMD set out to design its latest generation of processor, it decided to zero in on what it found when looking at many datacenters — low CPU utilization. While most data centers are filled with dual-processor servers, these systems have on average only a 40% utilization rate. Also, most applications are rarely CPU bound, with memory and I/O being the two main bottlenecks. In many of these instances, the main advantage of having dual CPU’s is what it provides in the form of total memory count and number of available PCIe lanes. The processing power just isn’t necessary.

Advantages of the AMD EPYC Processor

Ideal for Software Defined Storage and GPU computing

Instead of talking in generalities, let’s look at two scenarios where a single processor AMD EPYC system could really benefit end users — Software Defined Storage (SDS) and GPU computing. In most of our storage deployments, a powerful appliance or head node makes all the difference. However, most storage systems are not CPU bound. The most important attributes are number of I/O lanes, bandwidth, and memory count. Storage servers must have maximum connectivity (lots of PCIe lanes) and high memory counts (lots of caching). Processing power is secondary. AMD EPYC processors allow a single processor storage system to maximize performance while saving upfront costs and decreasing power consumption over the life of the system.

GPU systems have similar needs as storage systems. However, instead of having lots of external I/O connections, they have the need for massive internal I/O in the form of many GPU co-processors all connected by PCIe. Since the bulk of the processing is being performed by the GPU cards, dual processors are not necessary. Again this is another situation where the TCO of the solution can be reduced by using the AMD EPYC processor.

AMD EPYC Processor Architecture

Better price to performance ratio

In addition to single processor systems, the new AMD processor will also be a great choice for regular dual processor (DP) servers–such as the refreshed Atlas 1288R. Based on preliminary performance data, the AMD DP systems are already proving to be comparable to other x86 based systems on the market, and with better price / performance. Competition is good, and with the EPYC processor — we’re glad AMD is back!

Specifications

Compute
○ 16 to 32 AMD x86 cores (32 to 64 threads)
○ 512KB L2 cache per core (16MB total L2 cache)
○ 64MB shared L3 cache

Memory
○ 8 DDR channels per socket
○ DDR4 with ECC 170.7GB/s @ 2667MHz

Integrated I/O
○ 128 Lanes PCIe Gen3

See the complete line of refreshed Pogo Linux Atlas Servers at:
http://www.pogolinux.com/products/amd-epyc-rackmount-servers

AMD EPYC Servers

To learn about how Pogo can help you tackle the technological challenges your organization is facing, please call us at 888-828-POGO, or email sales@pogolinux.com.

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HGST 4U60G2 Storage Platform

HGST 4U60G2 from Pogo Linux

In partnership with HGST, Pogo Linux is proud to announce the availability of the J4601S Storage System.  Based on the brand new HGST 4U60G2 storage platform, the J4601S is a cost-effective yet scalable storage solution. Features include an industry-leading 5-year whole-solutionwarranty on the chassis and drives, plus scalability from 144TB to a whopping 2.88PB. With up to 60 Ultrastar® drive modules in a single platform, a 12Gb/s SAS interface, and HDD-SSD hybrid capability, this 4U platform is ideal for high-capacity storage needs requiring HA capabilities. When paired with Pogo Linux head nodes for true high availability (HA), the HGST 4U60G2 becomes part of a complete solution for file, block, or object scale up storage.

Key Features

• Up to 60 integrated Ultrastar® drive modules
• Available capacities: Drive/Capacity: 12TB/720TB, 10TB/600TB, 8TB/480TB, and 6TB/360TB
• Hybrid capability: can be configured with SSDs
• Available with SAS drives for HA application
• Available with 512e or 4Kn sector size (by part number)
• Supports up to 4 storage enclosures for daisy-chaining
• Host connectivity: 4 x HD Mini-SAS ports per IO Module
• Fully compliant with 12Gb/s SAS 3 interconnect
• Hot-swappable components
• SCSI Enclosure Services (SES-3)
• Microsoft Certified for Windows Server 2012, 2012R2, 2016
• 5-year limited warranty on both drives and chassis

Value Proposition

The Pogo Linux J4601S is the ideal choice for high-capacity storage needs. Talk to the engineers at Pogo Linux and determine the ideal configuration for your needs.

Configure your own HGST 4U60G2

To learn about how Pogo can help you tackle the technological challenges your organization is facing, please call us at 888-828-POGO, or email sales@pogolinux.com.

Posted in Server Solutions, Storage, Storage Solutions | Leave a comment

Does your secure NAS have end-to-end encryption?

Secure your data with the Storage Sentinel

Now more than ever, security is top of the list under IT department priorities. For some industries, anything less than the most hardened security is simply not an option. Rising to meet that challenge, Pogo Linux is pleased to unveil the Storage Sentinel Q4236 Secure NAS Appliance. Aimed at industries such as law enforcement, defense, healthcare, and financial services, these systems provide an unprecedented level of hardware security with data-at-rest encryption that prevents unauthorized access — even for individuals with physical access to the storage media.

Along with the secure hardware, the Storage Sentinel NAS features the latest version of QuantaStor SDS by OSNEXUS. QuantaStor SDS is compliant with governmental encryption standards such as the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) standard, the Trusted Computing Group (TCG) specification, and Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS). It provides advanced security features such as activity audit logging, system use notifications, strict password requirements, data encryption in motion, and secure data shredding.

Additionally, the Storage Sentinel is built to perform. Even when an organization requires premium security features, they should not have to sacrifice performance. With this in mind, this system boasts a potent combination of encrypted spinning disks and ultra-fast solid state drive storage.

Key Features

• OSNEXUS QuantaStor SDS high-performance secure storage platform
• Easy to manage ZFS scalable file system
• Audit Logging – complies with CJIS requirements
• Encryption and Security Policy Compliance – complies with CJIS standards
• Advanced RBAC Security Model – Utilizes Role-Based Access Controls
• Up to 36 Secure Encrypted Hard Drives
• Dual Intel Xeon Processors
• Up to 1 TB DDR4 Memory
• 3-year limited warranty

No Compromises

The Pogo Linux Storage Sentinel Secure NAS Appliance represents an uncompromising commitment to security without a sacrifice in performance. If your organization requires high-performance data storage built on an extremely secure platform, talk to the engineers at Pogo Linux.

Storage Sentinel - Secure your data

To learn about how Pogo can help you tackle the technological challenges your organization is facing, please call us at 888-828-POGO, or email sales@pogolinux.com.

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VR is way more than entertainment

While Virtual Reality has rapidly established itself as a compelling option for home entertainment, that is really only the beginning. There is a vast universe of possibilities for VR in business. Find out more in our video:

Bringing VR Development to Your Desk

Pogo engineers are continually on top of the latest developments in VR technology and can design the ideal configuration to meet the unique demands of your project. Currently supporting Windows 10 and soon Linux, Pogo VR workstations are the perfect development platform for this next generation technology.

Configure your VR system now

To learn about how Pogo can help you tackle the technological challenges your organization is facing, please call us at 888-828-POGO, or email sales@pogolinux.com.

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Pogo Linux on The Lunduke Hour

Last week, our very own VP of Sales & Product Development was the special guest for an episode of The Lunduke Hour, hosted by Bryan Lunduke. They had a lively discussion about Software Defined Storage, designing storage solutions for huge organizations vs. home users, and whether using ZFS makes you an expert.

Storage Concepts with Pogo Linux – The Lunduke Hour

Pogo Linux Storage Director

The Pogo Linux Storage Director Q Series of systems, provide the perfect overall solution to achieving a successful global namespace deployment. By combining an optimal hardware configuration with the QuantaStor SDS, Pogo has a complete solution that solves the traditional issues of scale-out storage by providing both high performance and ease of management. This is all backed by Pogo’s award winning support and warranty coverage.

Want more information about how the Storage Director Q  series and QuantaStor can solve your data storage needs? Give our sales engineers a shout at 1-888-828-7646 or drop us an email at sales@pogolinux.com.

Pogo Linux Storage Director

To learn about how Pogo can help you tackle the technological challenges your organization is facing, please call us at 888-828-POGO, or email sales@pogolinux.com.

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ARM Yourself

ARM servers from Pogo Linux

With ARM processors becoming so prevalent in our cell phones, it’s easy to forget they can excel in HPC too. The Acorn RISC Machine (later known as “Advanced RISC Machine” or ARM) architecture’s simplified design results in high density, exceptional power efficiency, and minimized heat. While these characteristics are ideal for low-power mobile devices, they can also be used to great advantage in the data center.

An Affordable Alternative to x86

Case in point: The Pogo Linux ARM R150-T62, pre-configured with dual 48-core 64-bit ARM processors, up to 1TB of DDR4 memory, and multiple 40GbE and 10GbE network interfaces. The high core counts and extended memory bandwidth make this system-on-chip (SoC) server the best in class for performance/$ and performance/watt. The ARM R150 is truly an affordable alternative to x86-based systems.

Workloads

ThunderX_Processors• Public & Private Cloud
• Content Delivery
• Web Caching
• Web Search
• Social Media Data Analytics

Cavium ThunderX_CP™ Processors

The ThunderX_CP™ product family is the best in class 64-bit ARMv8 Data Center & Cloud Processors, offering an unprecedented level of integration and industry leading SoC performance. These processors are based on highly efficient full custom processor cores
designed by Cavium in 28nm process technology under architectural license from ARM. They are fully compliant with ARMv8 architecture as well as ARM’s Server Base System Architecture (SBSA) standard.

 cavium thunderx diagram

Affordable Processing Power to Spare

What could you accomplish with 96 cores of inexpensive processing power running in a cool and efficient rackmount server? Contact the Pogo Linux Sales Engineering Team to learn more about this exciting new platform. They can assess the needs of your organization and put together the perfect ARM-based solution for you.

Find your ideal ARM server

To learn about how Pogo can help you tackle the technological challenges your organization is facing, please call us at 888-828-POGO, or email sales@pogolinux.com.

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Intel introduces new Kaby Lake Core i7 CPUs

7th Gen Intel Core i7 Now Available

All compatible Pogo Linux workstations can now be configured with Intel’s brand new 7th gen Core i7 processors (aka Kaby Lake). Iterating on their outstanding Skylake architecture, Intel has made a number of optimizations. Here is a quick rundown of features for these new processors.

●  Improved 14 nm+ manufacturing process

●  Faster clock speeds – up to 4.2 GHz

●  Higher turbo frequencies – up to 4.5 GHz

●  Quicker clock speed changes – provides enhanced power savings

●  Improved graphics core – allows for faster video decoding

●  Support for Intel Optane technology – Intel’s new breakthrough memory architecture

Contact us today and talk to one of our sales engineers about how you can benefit from this new and improved CPU architecture.

7th Gen Intel Core i7 Workstations

To learn about how Pogo can help you tackle the technological challenges your organization is facing, please call us at 888-828-POGO, or email sales@pogolinux.com.

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Global Namespaces, Simplified

Pogo Linux Storage Director Q featuring QuantaStor by OSNEXUS

As storage environments grow and appliances are added to expand capacity, it becomes increasingly difficult for users to manage their data across disparate sets of storage appliances. This, in turn, slows productivity. One traditional approach to solving this data management problem has been to use scale-out NAS solutions that provide visibility to all NAS shares from all appliances that are part of a given scale out volume.

Scale-Out NAS Limitations

Scale-out NAS solutions, however, introduce a number of problems including spindle-contention, large failure domains, poor performance for small block IO, higher latency and higher up-front costs due to the need for the additional high-speed 40GbE+ backend network to interconnect appliances.

So how does a storage administrator keep the performance benefits of a highly-available scale-up NAS system while also getting the ease of management that comes with the global-namespace or single namespace capability of a scale-out NAS system? One answer is to combine control-plane and data-plane storage management capabilities across a single global namespace. This namespace groups shares together into a globally accessible folder across selected appliance groups.

QuantaStor by OSNexus: Combining the Data- and Control-Plane for Easier Management

One Software Defined Storage solution that can provide this feature set is QuantaStor by OSNexus. QuantaStor combines the best of these two technologies through innovations in both the SDS control-plane and data-plane (see figure below). QuantaStor’s control-plane solves the ease-of-management issues through its unique grid management technology enabling up to 64 appliances to link together across sites and datacenters providing homogeneous management of all appliances as a single grid. QuantaStor’s data-plane supports global namespaces, also known as Network Share Namespaces, which implement Microsoft DFS and NFSv4 referral technologies to redirect SMB/CIFS clients to network share locations and can work together with Highly-Available (HA) storage pools. This lets users group together network shares across any number of appliances in a QuantaStor grid and present them from all appliance nodes as if they were scale-out NAS.

Storage Director Q NFS SMBCommon use cases for global namespaces include media production workflows that lets IT managers distribute files in a way that achieves the best performance and capacity utilization per system. Artists, editors and producers are able to access their digital assets via a single, logical namespace, even across geographies. The global namespace reduces human error, improves productivity and streamlines media and entertainment workflows enabling NTV networks, studios and VFX companies to accomplish more at a lower cost while eliminating complexity.

Pogo Linux Storage Director

The Pogo Linux Storage Director Q Series of systems, provide the perfect overall solution to achieving a successful global namespace deployment. By combining an optimal hardware configuration with the QuantaStor SDS, Pogo has a complete solution that solves the traditional issues of scale-out storage by providing both high performance and ease of management. This is all backed by Pogo’s award winning support and warranty coverage.

Want more information about how the Storage Director Q  series and QuantaStor can solve your data storage needs? Give our sales engineers a shout at 1-888-828-7646 or drop us an email at sales@pogolinux.com.

Pogo Linux Storage Director

To learn about how Pogo can help you tackle the technological challenges your organization is facing, please call us at 888-828-POGO, or email sales@pogolinux.com.

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VR is for Linux, too! (Ready to try it?)

VR is now running on Linux

With the recent beta release of Steam VR for Linux, lots of developers and gamers are eager to take the plunge into VR apps in the Linux environment. Naturally, the Pogo Engineering Team got right to work configuring it on test systems here at Pogo HQ. Interested in giving this a try yourself? Read on…

Testing Steam VRWe’d be remiss if we didn’t mention a small caveat. As exciting as this is, we should warn you there is still a ways to go before Steam VR for Linux is ready for prime time. We recommend you dive into this only if you’re up to the challenge of dealing with some potential hiccups (and lots of reboots).

If you’re ready to try VR in Linux right away, here are the basic steps to get it up and running. These instructions come straight from our engineering team. They got Steam VR running on Ubuntu 16.04 on a Pogo Linux Tempest Mini VR Edition Workstation. Let’s get started!

1. Download the Steam VR Linux beta: https://github.com/ValveSoftware/SteamVR-for-Linux
Steam VR

2. Remove the nouveau drivers and install Nvidia drivers. (Skip this if Ubuntu is freshly installed.)

sudo apt-get remove nvidia* && sudo apt autoremove

3. Install some packages for building the kernel:

sudo apt-get install dkms build-essential linux-headers-generic

4. Block and disable nouveau kernel driver:

sudo vi /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf

5. Insert the following lines into the blacklist.conf:

blacklist nouveau
blacklist lbm-nouveau
options nouveau modeset=0
alias nouveau off
alias lbm-nouveau off

6. Save and exit.

7. Disable the Kernel nouveau by typing the following commands (nouveau-kms.conf may not exist – it is not a problem if it doesn’t):

sudo echo options nouveau modeset=0
sudo tee -a /etc/modprobe.d/nouveau-kms.conf

8. Build the new kernel with this command:

sudo update-initramfs -u

9. Reboot.

10. Install Nvidia driver 375.27.13.

a. Add the repository to get the correct version of the NVIDIA Developer Beta Driver:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mamarley/nvidia-dev

additionaldrivers

b. Open “additional drivers” then pick 375.27.13.

11. Install steam and opt into steam beta client (Left click view, then settings, then under account select “beta participation”).
steam client beta

12. Install the SteamVR tool and opt into the beta (Right click SteamVR, select properties, click the beta tab, and select the beta from the dropdown menu).

Steam VR Setup Complete

13. Test and enjoy! If you’d like to share your experience with us, or have any questions about VR development, please let us know.

Steam VR Powered Systems from Pogo Linux


To learn about how Pogo can help you tackle the technological challenges your organization is facing, please call us at 888-828-POGO, or email sales@pogolinux.com.

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Pogo Linux and Scrypt: Rising to the challenges of HIPAA with encrypted SSDs

Pogo Customer Profile: Scrypt, Inc.

Since 1998, Scrypt, Inc. has been a leading provider of hosted services to regulated markets, specifically healthcare, and mortgage origination. The customer-centric company offers a vast product line of secure, reliable services, from cloud-based faxing and secure messaging to regulatory compliance and document management. Their customers demand strict compliance with HIPPA and financial regulations, so it is imperative that Scrypt deploy hardware and software that meets these stringent standards.

To implement the wide variety of services and applications they provide, Scrypt offers many different hardware configurations. This enables their customers to maximize performance and minimize cost. Scrypt stakes their business reputation on the hardware they use, so they need a reliable hardware provider who can also serve as a “trusted advisor,” providing guidance and recommendations for specific workload scenarios.

The Challenge: Finding a Rock Solid Supermicro Partner

From the beginning, Scrypt has depended on the reliability and simplicity of systems built on Supermicro server platforms. The cost effective price point of Supermicro hardware, combined with numerous component options, made it the logical choice. However, with all that flexibility, Scrypt needed the right integrator to guide them through all of the Supermicro server options. Pogo was the ideal partner to design and build Scrypt’s servers, as for the past 18 years they have delivered quality solutions built on Supermicro platforms. Scrypt CTO Nick Basil summed it up succinctly: “What drives us to Pogo is that they specialize in Supermicro-based solutions — they do it really, really well.”

Supermicro systems from Pogo LinuxAfter working with the Pogo sales and support staff on a few projects, it became clear to Basil that he had made the right choice in engaging with Pogo. When designing a solution, Scrypt will “…have a conversation with Pogo about what the application is, what the scenario is, and ask them to provide recommendations. Sometimes we’ll procure stuff for customers and ship it pre-deployed, already set up with our application, and other times we’ll have the customers go right to Pogo,” said Nick. This level of trust and expertise has proved to be an ideal combination for Scrypt. They are confident about sending their own customers directly to Pogo, knowing they will get high-quality hardware solutions, perfectly tailored to their needs.

HIPAA Compliance with Encrypted Solid State Drives

Scrypt especially appreciated Pogo’s value as a trusted advisor when Scrypt decided to Micron SSDmove away from spinning disks in favor of Solid State storage. With advantages like reduced power consumption and increased speed, Scrypt knew they needed to make a shift in their primary storage medium. They had purchased increasing numbers of SSD-based systems over the past few years, but the transition had been challenging. With the SSD market changing rapidly, it was difficult to consistently determine the best product for a given workload. In addition, Scrypt required data-at-rest encryption to make sure they met rigid HIPAA compliance standards. Basil relied on Pogo for guidance. “I can only see a certain number of variables, so I’ll call Pogo and say, ‘Here’s the load the SSD is going to be under, what do you recommend? Micron? Intel?’ We discuss the budget, and they advise me on the best choices for each scenario,” said Basil. He depends on Pogo to ensure that Scrypt always deploys the correct product for their services.

Attention to Detail

In addition to doling out expert advice, Scrypt’s confidence in Pogo also stems from the impeccable build quality and attention to detail evident in every system they sell. “We’re really particular about how systems are assembled — cables, fans, everything. Everything we get, we open up and verify. We’re going to take the lid off and make sure the cables are tight and tied. Pogo’s servers are tied, zipped, and laid out so that if anybody were to open it up they’d think, ‘This was assembled very well.’ So, that’s why we go with Pogo. I know when I get something, it’s been put together to the highest standards,” said Basil.

Moving Forward

As Scrypt builds out its infrastructure, Pogo continues to be an important part of their planning and purchasing process. Whether it is transitioning to new technologies or guidance on current ones, Pogo is always there with the correct hardware and expert advice to make the process easy. For Scrypt, having a reliable partner is invaluable. “The most important point about our relationship with Pogo Linux is that we don’t have to do things twice. When we bring in something from Pogo, it works. Pogo always takes care of us,” said Basil.

Supermicro Server from Pogo Linux

To learn about how Pogo can help you tackle the technological challenges your organization is facing, please call us at 888-828-POGO, or email sales@pogolinux.com.

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