Sunday, August 26, 2018

SuperMicro Build Day Live with vBrownBag

Recently, SuperMicro hosted Alastair Cooke and vBrownBag for another edition of Build Day Live. For those who don't know, "vBrownBag is a community of people who believe in helping other people.". They run weekly podcasts and webinars, and also host live Tech Talks at conferences around the country. What makes the Build Day Live event different is that vBrownBag is on site at the vendor, building a production cluster throughout the event, from start to finish.

SuperMicro Does Networking?

Up until Build Day Live, I had no idea that SuperMicro was in the networking space. They offer a wide array of products from 1 to 100GB in a 1U chassis. These switches are bare metal, and are compatible with the Cumulus Linux networking operating system. SuperMicro also has its own proprietary NOS for the 1GB switches as well. Configuration can be completed via CLI or GUI, making management easy for admins at all skill sets.

JBOF Disaggregated Storage

Outside of the server hardware we all know, SuperMicro also has a deep selection of storage hardware. Of the two storage specific segments of SuperMicro Build Day, I was most interested in the JBOF/NVMe storage. During this segment, Alastair spoke to Mike Scriber. To quote Mike, "I design really, really cool storage systems using NVMe. Very high density systems." And when you look at what SuperMicro is up to, he's right.

Utilizing the Intel Ruler NVMe form factor, SuperMicro is quickly closing in on 1 petabyte of storage in a 1U rack chassis. The chassis has slots for 32 "rulers" that connect into 16 lanes of PCIe leading to 4 ports which allows for 64gb/s bandwidth. Another interesting feature of both the ruler form factor and the standard U.2 chassis is the engineering of the back planes. The back planes run parallel to the ruler form factor, and across the top of the U.2 drives. This design helps to keep densely packed 1U chassis cool with limited to no blocks in the airflow.

There were a lot of aspects to the SuperMicro Build Day Live event worth checking out, lots more than commented on in this post! Check out the links below for all of the videos from the event.


SuperMicro Build Day - Condensed
vBrownBag YouTube SuperMicro Build Day Live Videos
The CTO Advisor - SuperMicro Build Day Interviews
Anthony Hook's SuperMicro Build Day Blog Post - SuperMicro Build Day Live
vBrownBag on Twitter
SuperMicro's Web Site

If you'd like to continue the conversation about SuperMicro Build Day Live, do not hesitate to contact me via any of the channels provided below. Do you have an idea or a topic for the blog? Would you like to be a guest on the ExploreVM podcast? If so, please contact me on Twitter, Email, or Facebook.

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