Q

A lot of questions from a user in Israel

Hi Marc,

I hope you can answer our questions. We are planning to add storage at the stock exchange in Tel Aviv, Israel. The trading in Tel Aviv is performed by two major systems. The equities trading system and the derivatives trading system and they are very similar. Each one of those systems runs on:

  • 2 Alpha 4100 OVMS 7.2 computers connected via OVMS cluster
  • 2 Alpha 1200 UNIX TRU64 4.0D computers connected to the same disk array. One of the computers is a cold backup. We plan to upgrade soon to Tru64 4.0F
  • 2 Netfinity servers NT4 for data dissemination
  • 2 WIN2K servers (IIS, MS-SQL SERVER)
  • Both OVMS and UNIX are using electronic disks for high I/O rates
  • Each disk in OVMS has a shadow disk
  • Each disk in UNIX is backed up by another disk using LSM technology
  • WIN systems have RAID 5 disk arrays
  • The trading system is a daily system
  • Each computer is connected directly to the tape for backup

We also have other production systems. There are 30 servers (NT4 and WIN2K), each one 10GB data and they use Microsoft software; Office, Exchange, IIS, MS-SQL and we are looking for a storage solution that will provide us with:

  • Full redundant fault tolerant system
  • Fast I/O rate, at least as fast as the electronic disk
  • Hot swap during the trading without interrupting
  • Cluster support (OVMS, TRU64,NT, WIN 2K)
  • Friendly management software
  • Data security

Are you familiar with companies that handle tasks like ours? What storage do they use and what do you recommend? The environment is Digital/Compaq oriented but do you think that the storage solution should come also from Compaq? Should we choose Compaq if we know that the EMC representative in Israel is familiar with DEC Systems like OVMS and TRU64 and has several installations in Israel? The Compaq MS8000 has a small cache (512M) and we use electronic disk in order to get good performance. We do a lot of writing about 1000-1200 I/O per sec. Are there limits?

Thanks in advance.


In general I try to avoid picking favorites, especially in this venue. But in this situation I am certain that both Compaq and EMC can make a solution work for you because both of them are excellent storage companies. Of course, if you have additional system issues, certainly Compaq is more capable of handling them - but you don't need me to tell you that.

I am not sure what they offer in terms of solid-state disk. If their offerings seem insufficient, then you may need to find another vendor as part of the solution. Imperial Technology, Texas Memory and Solid Data are three companies making solid-state disk products. I do not know if they sell in Israel and I do not know if they offer everything you need, but at least I know they are selling products to satisfied customers in the US.

Best luck in making your decisions, you seem to have narrowed it down to excellent choices.

Regards,
Marc Farley

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This was first published in November 2001
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