D-Link DSN-3200-10 review
For years, D-Link has been content to dabble in network storage, but its latest DSN-3000 series of appliances shows it now has serious intentions on the IP SAN market. The DSN-3200-10 offers a high storage capacity and, as you’ll see from our lab tests, truly stunning performance.
It’s a 3U rack appliance with room for 15 hot-swap SATA drives. The motherboard is an iStor GigaStorATX, which uses an onboard ASIC to amalgamate RAID, network and iSCSI functions into a single SoC (system on chip). This is paired with 512MB of DDR2 cache memory, which can be boosted to 4GB using standard DIMMs. Cache contents are protected by a battery pack that comes as standard and is held in place with Velcro strips and plugged directly into the motherboard.
You get eight Gigabit data ports on the DSN-3200-10, but D-Link also offers the DSN-3400-10, which replaces these with an embedded 10-Gigabit expansion interface that accepts either a copper or fibre XFP module. In both cases, there’s a separate Fast Ethernet port for management access.
Hardware redundancy is good, as the appliance has a triplet of 400W hot-plug power supplies, while cooling is handled by three hot-swap fans. The motherboard has 16 embedded SATA ports, with the drive bay backplane individually cabled to 15 of these.
The price shown is for a diskless model, but for every 1TB or 2TB drive you buy from D-Link with the appliance from January to March 2011, it will match it with another one up to a limit of five.
For testing, we added a quartet of 1TB WD SATA Enterprise drives. All management is via the Java-based xStack Storage Management Center, which provides easy access to features. You can view all physical drives that can be carved up into logical volumes. A wizard is provided to speed things up, and during this phase you can choose which drives are to be used and the RAID array for each one.
Physical drive pools can contain multiple volumes, all using different arrays. Volumes can also be expanded online into any spare space, and you can install new hard disks and use this space to increase the size of selected volumes.
Access controls are specified during volume creation; you can allow access only from a specific iSCSI initiator, multiple initiators as listed, or open access to all hosts. CHAP authentication can be applied and you can revoke access to individual members in a list.