News The Ultimate Storage Monster: 32 SATA Ports On A Single Motherboard

sygreenblum

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Think of the nightmare if this board failed and you were actually using all those ports. Not sure the market this is aimed at? Single point of failure scares the crap out of me.
 

Geef

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Imagine if someone filled every single one of those with M.2 expansion cards.

Imagine if they made a motherboard with 128 or so M.2 slots. (Maybe more!) They might need to build a more powerful chip and board for something like that! Rename it the Monsterboard. o_O
 

AkbarRamzan

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“Onda equipped the B250 D32-D3 with 32 SATA ports, like the kind you would find in laptops. Therefore, you can't just connect your hard drives or SSDs to the motherboard. You'll spend some extra cash on SATA extension cables to connect your storage devices.”

Actually you can use this motherboard like backplane and connect drives directly (without cables)
 
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MeeLee

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Lol!
Even the most powerful Xeon processors are barely enough for 5 SATA ports at a time, before the socket gets bottlenecked.
It's really a waste of ports...
 

Xajel

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Why extra cables, this board seems to be the actual backplane, the case should be a custom design to hold the drives on this motherboard.
 
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Sep 17, 2019
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Think of the nightmare if this board failed and you were actually using all those ports. Not sure the market this is aimed at? Single point of failure scares the crap out of me.
Install operating system on server 1/hdd A
Remove hdd, plug all hdds A in motherboard.
Start cloning from port 1 to 2..31 in the same time, in linux that will be a combo of DD plus PEE commands, so that you only read the first disk once, not 31 times as with consecutive clones.
Go to lunch, the full rack will be installed by plugging the disks back into servers.

Sent from my SM-C7000 using Tapatalk
 
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bit_user

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Thanks for the writeup, Zhiye.
the motherboard's uniqueness lies in the magnanimous number of SATA ports.
Just a suggestion: I'd go with and adjective like "multitudinous". "Generous" (which I think you might've been going for) would also be fairly standard, but magnanimous is a bit awkward and atypical.

I don't mean to pick on your writing, which is always clear and generally very good.
 

bit_user

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Lol!
Even the most powerful Xeon processors are barely enough for 5 SATA ports at a time, before the socket gets bottlenecked.
It's really a waste of ports...
You must be talking about the chipset controller? As the article states, it's clearly not using that.

A Skylake i7 should have plenty of horsepower to handle the bandwidth, which will probably be less than a GPU, altogether. Let's see... 32x 250 GB/sec (a fairly generous estimate of HDD media transfer rate) = 8 GB/sec, which is about half of what a PCIe 3.0 x16 slot can support.

So, as long as you're using a hardware RAID controller (or maybe not even using RAID, but rather a distributed object store that uses replication to provide fault-tolerance), you're good.

The real question is: what speed are the Ethernet ports? At least one of them had better be 10 Gig, or else I don't understand this product at all.
 

nofanneeded

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Imagine if someone filled every single one of those with M.2 expansion cards.

Imagine if they made a motherboard with 128 or so M.2 slots. (Maybe more!) They might need to build a more powerful chip and board for something like that! Rename it the Monsterboard. o_O
Thats why you use 16 lanes NVME cards with 4 M2 slots for each card ... The Epyc Chip has 128 Lanes of PCIe 4.0 , and there are dual CPU mobos totaling the lanes to 256 lanes thats more than enough for what you are asking
 

jrhansen

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You must be talking about the chipset controller? As the article states, it's clearly not using that.

A Skylake i7 should have plenty of horsepower to handle the bandwidth, which will probably be less than a GPU, altogether. Let's see... 32x 250 GB/sec (a fairly generous estimate of HDD media transfer rate) = 8 GB/sec, which is about half of what a PCIe 3.0 x16 slot can support.

So, as long as you're using a hardware RAID controller (or maybe not even using RAID, but rather a distributed object store that uses replication to provide fault-tolerance), you're good.

The real question is: what speed are the Ethernet ports? At least one of them had better be 10 Gig, or else I don't understand this product at all.
Sata has a rough bw of 500mb/s read/write. with 32 ports you still need 2x PCIe 3.0 x16 links to the CPU to ensure no bottlenecking, wich I hardly believe this board has to whatever i/o controller it uses.

Add to that the fact that others pointed out .. this is a "Single point of failure" board. This board is absolutely pointless wether the controller design is good or not, or it has 2 10gb ethernet ports. People that need a storage device of this magnitude would never use this. Plus the fact you need a custom case solution.

Its simply so much easier to either build or buy a finnished 19" Storage device that is serviceable and where you can actually see the spec of what its capable of delivering.

But its still quite fun to see these strange abominations of hardware that pops up from China.
 

bit_user

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Sata has a rough bw of 500mb/s read/write. with 32 ports you still need 2x PCIe 3.0 x16 links to the CPU to ensure no bottlenecking, wich I hardly believe this board has to whatever i/o controller it uses.
What are you plugging into them that is so fast? Not hard disks. And if you're building all-flash storage, then SATA doesn't make a lot of sense, anyhow.

There's also the question of workload. Anything scaling so large is unlikely to do a bunch of huge, linear reads & writes. You're going to have smaller, random I/O, which will cut the throughput, dramatically.

Finally, there's how you get at the data. If it's 10 Gigabit, then that's your bottleneck, long before the CPU runs out of PCIe throughput.

Add to that the fact that others pointed out .. this is a "Single point of failure" board.
Maybe the redundancy exists at a higher-level. Maybe there's software doing data replication on different hosts.

There are other uses which don't require 100% uptime, as long as the data can still be recovered.

Plus the fact you need a custom case solution.
Well, yes. Clearly, it's made with some specific purpose in mind.
 

artk2219

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Maybe its a board for those that want extreme disk redundancy for a long term running service? Build out two or three in failover or have load balancing and go from there? Honestly i don't see the market either, although i would love to see 32 sata SSD's in RAID 0 for funsies. Oh hah, thats another option i guess, extreme io using nothing but a motherboard with sata 3? Eh, you're better off with a decent raid controller hah.

Side note:
Its just kind of a weird board, and maybe theres another version with more scalability? There are clearly unpopulated spots for more fan headers, as well as support for up to 4 sodimm slots instead of the two it currently has. Theres also the onboard displayout instead of just using the vga port. Finally, a general annoyance, the x1 pci-e slot has a closed back, which is annoying because if it had an open back it would allow the use of pcie cards that are more than x1, obviously just not at full speed. This severely limits the cards you can use, more so than the general layout of having the sata port so close behind it would.
 
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jrhansen

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ya its just a weird monster, but maybe if its cheap enough its usable in some remote places where you don't have access to standard storage solutions based on sata or sas with dedicated raid controllers or highspeed lan access. Your absolutely right bit_user .. got a little ahead of me with the stats .. normal physical harddisks can of cause not saturate a sata3 interface
 
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