eRacks Open Source Systems Blog

Making the world safe for Open Source

cinnamon-mint-18Linux Mint 18 is now available!

Based on Ubuntu 16.04, which was made available in April, this release of Mint is based on the LTS release of Ubuntu, rather than following the twice-yearly updates – and will have only incremental changes and updates over the next 2 years – thus being more stable and predictable, and avoiding any potential instabilities introduced by the biannual Ubuntu upgrades.

So Mint 18 should now be available in all the eRacks product dropdowns – if you don’t see it on the model you want, please contact us and we’ll fix it or give you a custom quote with Mint 18.

As always, contact us at info@eracks.com for any inquiries or questions regarding the Mint 18 release, or any of our products, and what release we recommend for you and your unique needs.

j

August 3rd, 2016

Posted In: Linux, Mint, News, ubuntu, Upgrades

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Logo_Linux_MintWith the recent release of Mint 17.3, eRacks now offers this new operating system on servers, desktops, and laptops. Just select it from the drop-down menu when customizing your computer.

January 5th, 2016

Posted In: Linux, Mint, ubuntu, Upgrades

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Introducing eRacks/ZENBOOK15.UHD 4D resolution, high power Ultrabook with Linux or BSD operating system

Introducing eRacks/ZENBOOK15.UHD 4D resolution, high power Ultrabook with Linux or BSD operating system

We wanted to start the month in style. So, we thought what better way there is than introducing a great looking Ultrabook with powerful specification?   Then the light bulb went on: “eRacks/ZENBOOK15.UHD”.

This really stylish and elegant eRacks/ZENBOOK15.UHD laptop that comes with a screen resolution of 3840 by 2160 — four times FHD (full high-definition) resolution – really started looking mighty good.

This Ultrabook by Asus can be delivered by eRacks with up to 24 Gigabytes of RAM and up to 1 or even 2 Terabytes of SSD hard disk space. With its 15.6 inch 4K Ultra High Definition IPS screen and a view angle of about 170 degrees, eRacks/ZENBOOK15.UHD is really a great looking and powerful Ultrabook.

As with all eRacks Systems products, this elegant looking Ultrabook will be delivered with your choice of Open Source operating system & software pre-installed and pre-configured. The operating system can be any flavor of Linux or BSD (We can even do other OSes like Haiku, etc on request). We will install and configure the OS fully before packaging your Ultrabook and sending it off your way.

In fact, you can be sure that with your Ultrabook ordered through us, you will receive a powerful open source system, configured to the highest specifications according to your requirements. And you can also be sure that no one else can or will offer anything close to the laptop you will get from us.

So, why not expand your laptop computing power to the next level with us. Contact us and ask about eRacks/ZENBOOK15.UHD. We’ll be happy to hear from you.

info@eracks.com

October 8th, 2015

Posted In: FreeBSD, Laptop cookbooks, New products, News, Products, Upgrades, Zenbook

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eRacks/NAS50 Half Petabytes of Data Storage Server / Cloud Storage

eRacks/NAS50 Half Petabytes of Data Storage Server / Cloud Storage

We were extremely excited to announce the forthcoming release of 500 Terabyte (half Petabyte) storage space upgrade on our flagship product eRacks/NAS50 cloud data storage servers last week.  The new model, to be released shortly, will incorporate 50 HGST 10 Terabyte HelioSeal™ hard drives.  While the new model is not released yet, we are accepting pre-orders from customers.  The current capacity, now available, of the eRacks/NAS50 is 400Terabytes in total, with currently-available 8Terabyte drives.

The new unit is rackmount and holds 50 removable drive bays.  The 9U unit is suitable for any cloud storage application as well as NAS/Local LAN.  eRacks/NAS50™ is also a great solution for media libraries and other applications which require massive amounts of data storage capacity.

Our new servers are truly a remarkable Petascale solution.  The HGST 10 Terabyte HelioSeal™ drives that come with eRacks/NAS50 use two technologies that greatly add to the value that this server carries with it.

The first is referred to as the HelioSeal™ technology.   The HGST hard drives using this technology replace the air inside of the drive with helium.  This would make the drive much lighter as well as allowing the disks to be much thinner.   Due to the helium inside, the thinness of disks will not cause any disruptive turbulence effects.  This will allow us to have more disks inside each drive which in turn means more data space.  Additionally, helium drives have much lower power consumption, as much as 27%, making our NAS50 models truly a green product.

The new drives in the eRacks/NAS50 servers also make use of a technology called SMR.  That is short for Shingled Magnetic Recording.  This technology by itself adds another 25 to 100 percent storage capacity to HGST hard drives.

We are proud of our new eRacks/NAS50 and are ready to take pre-orders.  We are prepared to customize the unit per your instructions with all Open-Source software necessary so your order will reach you completely pre-installed.

Please contact us for pre-orders or any questions you may have.

eRacks Open Source Systems
Phone: (714) 758-5423
Fax: (631) 392-9842
http://www.eRacks.com
eMail: info@eracks.com

September 12th, 2015

Posted In: NAS50, New products, News, Open Source, servers, Upgrades

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eRacks Systems NAS36 8TB Seagate Archive Drive upgrade

eRacks Systems NAS36 8TB Seagate Archive Drive upgrade

We can’t help it with our innovations. Our NAS36 servers offered almost 200 Terabytes of data space already. That is considered quite high for a mid-range data storage server. But we just decided to jump even higher and exchange the standard 6-terabyte disks into 8-terabyte ones. That mean our NAS36 model storage servers are now able to hold 288 terabytes of data in total.

The new NAS36 model with higher data capacity brings even more value to our customers not just because of the storage space it provides but also for its price. Yes, we have decided to slash the prices down below $25,000. That is going to bring considerable saving to our customers. [UPDATE Sep 2015:  current price for maxed-out 288TB config with Seagate Archive 8TB drives is just under $22,000]

We are proud to announce this latest upgrade as we continue to provide petascale data storage servers at affordable prices.

We remain dedicated to open-source systems. We also remain committed to delivering pre-installed, pre-configured systems to our customers.

The NAS36 servers are rack-mount servers. We designed the 4U unit specially to hold large number of drives in a very limited space. That leaves ample amount of space for other necessary accessories inside your data center rack.

The 36 drives in the unit are all Seagate Archive Drives, mounted on a single backplane and controlled by a RAID controller. The unit holds 24 drives in front and 12 in the back making the unit case quite compact.

eRacks Systems is a leading provider of high-capacity, petascale data storage server solutions to companies and enterprises requiring massive amounts of storage data.
Our servers are suitable for Cloud Storage application as well as Near-Line Storage. They are also configurable for NAS (Network Attached Storage) applications.

For a great storage solution at a considerable low price, contact us. We are available through email, phone and our website.

August 19th, 2015

Posted In: NAS36, New products, Open Source, servers, Upgrades

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We’ve upgraded our popular eRacks/NAS24 rackmount storage server for  higher-storage-density – new 8TB Archive drives allow price-breakthrough $/density of nearly 192TB going for $14,880.

Configurable now, it combines a rack usage of only 4U with a density of 24 drives, which, when combined with the available technology of 8TB drives, yields a total storage configuration of up to 192TB.

What makes eRacks/NAS24 so unique

eRacks/NAS36 Front

eRacks/NAS24 Storage Server

The eRacks/NAS24 is a versatile multi-purpose Storage Server, utilizable as a Private Cloud Server, Hybrid Cloud Server, NAS server, SDS server wtih Ceph, LizardFS or many other storage software options,

eRacks/NAS24

The default configuration includes:
Chassis: NAS4U 24RHD 1200W RPS 26″depth
Motherboard: eRacks Intel Dual Xeon E5-2600 v2/v3 IPMI motherboard
CPU: Intel Xeon E5-2609 v3 (15M Cache, 1.90 GHz)
Memory: 4GB DDR4 Memory (2133/2400/2666) ECC / REG
Hard Drives: Seagate Archive 5-8TB 3.5″ SATA6 5900RPM SMR Hard Drive
RAID card: RAID 6 (striped with dual parity)
OS: 2x SSD 120GB Samsung 840 EVO or better, Mirrored
Get the best value for your money and increase efficiency in your output.

Email us at info (at) eracks.com or via our contact page at eracks.com/contact if you have any questions.

Read More in our Press Releases:

PR newswire – http://www.newswire.com/press-release/eracks-announces-upgraded-eracks-nas24-200-tb-class-storage-for

PRlog- http://www.prlog.org/12433970-eracks-announces-upgraded-eracksnas24-200-tb-class-storage-for-under-20000.html

e-releases – http://eracks.com/mar-11-2015-eracks-announces-upgraded-eracks-nas24-200-tb-class-storage-under-20000/

 

Dennis
eRacks

April 13th, 2015

Posted In: NAS24, Open Source, Operating Systems, Reviews, servers, Upgrades

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eRacks/NAS36 Front

eRacks Open Source Systems announces the immediate availability of the eRacks/NAS36 rackmount storage server, with 36 removable 6TB hard drives, which yields a maximum of 216TB (Terabytes*) of raw storage with current widely-available technology. The eRacks/NAS36 rackmount server is shipped pre-configured to the user’s custom specs, with any available open-source software, and more flavors of Linux or BSD available than any other vendor.

Fremont, CA (PRWEB) October 3, 2014

eRacks Open Source Systems is pleased to announce the latest upgrade eRacks/NAS36 rackmount storage server.

Available immediately, it combines a rack usage of only 4U with a density of 36 drives (24 front and 12 rear), which, when combined with the current technology of widely available 6TB drives, yields a total storage of 216TB*.

This rounds out eRacks’ line of rackmount multi-drive storage servers and NAS solutions, nicely filling the gap between the 24-drive eRacks/NAS24 and the all-front-loading 50-drive eRacks/NAS50, eRacks’ flagship storage server.

When populated with 36 removable drives in only 4U, this represents a density / price breakthrough – using the best value (lowest price/TB) 6TB drives, this enables 216TB* of raw storage in only 4U, and for less than $30,000, as configured on the eRacks website.

The unit is also available partially populated, at a reduced price, to make it accessible at a lower initial price, and the storage can be increased later by filling the empty drive trays.

It’s signature service, eRacks will be happy to install any of the popular Linux distributions on request – Ubuntu, Debian, RedHat, Centos, Fedora, even the Arch Linux distro, which is growing fast in popularity, as well as FreeBSD, OpenBSD, or other Open Source OSes.nas36-both

eRacks will also pre-install any open source NAS software, such as FreeNAS, OpenFiler, NAS4Free and OpenMediaVault, among others – and administrative dashboards and web GUIs are offered on most of these software choices.

Also available is OpenStack, and other OSS cloud software, such as Eucaluyptus or CloudStack, as well as best-of-breed Open Source software for BigData / Cloud storage, NAS, and networking – including Hadoop, MooseFS, CIFS, GlusterFS, etc – and eRacks is a partner with MooseFS.org.

In addition, the eRacks policy is to install any Linux/BSD distro or Open Source software on request – Contact eRacks today at http://eracks.com/contact to see how they can meet your needs.

Please email info@eracks.com to request a custom quote.

 

Note: *For the purposes of this press release, the term “Terabyte” is used to mean one trillion bytes – eRacks understands the issues about this, we are using the term as the disk drive and other industry manufacturers use it.

 

Dennis
eRacks

 

October 1st, 2014

Posted In: NAS36, News, Open Source, Ubuntu 14.04, Upgrades

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nas36-angle-squareeRacks Open Source Systems announces the immediate availability of the eRacks/NAS36 rackmount storage server, with 36 removable 3.5″ hard drives, which yields a maximum of 144TB (Terabytes*) of raw storage with current widely-available technology. The eRacks/NAS36 rackmount server is shipped pre-configured to the user’s custom specs, with any available open-source software, and more flavors of Linux or BSD available than any other vendor.

Fremont, CA (PRWEB) February 14, 2014

eRacks Open Source Systems is pleased to announce theeRacks/NAS36 rackmount storage server.

Available immediately, it combines a rack usage of only 4U with a density of 36 drives (24 front and 12 rear), which, when combined with the current technology of widely available 4TB drives, yields a total storage of 144TB.

With the forthcoming 6TB drives from WD HGST, this will increase to 216 Terabytes*, giving a truly petascale solution in only 4U of rackspace.

This rounds out eRacks’ line of rackmount multi-drive storage servers and NAS solutions, nicely filling the gap between the 24-drive eRacks/NAS24 and the all-front-loading 50-drive eRacks/NAS50, eRacks’ flagship storage server.

When populated with 36 removable drives in only 4U, this represent a density / price breakthrough – using the best value (lowest price/TB) 3TB drives, this enables 108TB of raw storage in only 4U, and for less than $20,000, as configured on the eRacks website.

The unit is also available partially populated, at a reduced price, to make it accessible at a lower initial price, and the storage nas36-both can be increased later by filling the empty drive trays.

It’s signature service, eRacks will be happy to install any of the popular Linux distributions on request – Ubuntu, Debian, RedHat, Centos, Fedora, even the Arch Linux distro, which is growing fast in popularity, as well as FreeBSD, OpenBSD, or other Open Source OSes.

eRacks will also pre-install any open source NAS software, such as FreeNAS, OpenFiler, NAS4Free and OpenMediaVault, among others – and administrative dashboards and web GUIs are offered on most of these software choices.

Also available is best-of-breed Open Source software for BigData / Cloud storage, NAS, and networking – including Hadoop, MooseFS, CIFS, GlusterFS, etc – and eRacks is a partner with MooseFS.org.

In addition, the eRacks policy is to install any Linux/BSD distro or Open Source software on request – Contact eRacks today at info(at)eracks(dot)com to see how they can meet your needs.

*For the purposes of this press release, the term “Terabyte” is used to mean one trillion bytes – eRacks understands the issues about this, we are using the term as the disk drive and other industry manufacturers use it.

Regards,
Dennis

February 14th, 2014

Posted In: NAS36, Open Source, servers, Ubuntu 14.04, Upgrades

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Debian LogoeRacks Open Source Systems announces the immediate availability of Debian 7.3

Debian 7.3 is now available in the OS Dropdowns on most or all eRacks Systems.

If you don’t see what you want, just ask us – http://eracks.com/contact

Here’s the paraphrased original notice from the Debian Project:

– – –

The Debian project is pleased to announce the third update of its stable distribution Debian 7 (codename wheezy). This update mainly adds corrections for security problems to the stable release, along with a few adjustments for serious problems. Security advisories were already published separately and are referenced where available.

Please note that this update does not constitute a new version of Debian 7 but only updates some of the packages included. There is no need to throw away old wheezyCDs or DVDs but only to update via an up-to-date Debian mirror after an installation, to cause any out of date packages to be updated.

Those who frequently install updates from security.debian.org won’t have to update many packages and most updates from security.debian.org are included in this update.

New installation media and CD and DVD images containing updated packages will be available soon at the regular locations.

Upgrading to this revision is usually done by using the aptitude (or apt) package tool.

– – –

That’s It!

Dennis
eRacks

December 21st, 2013

Posted In: Debian, News, Operating Systems, Upgrades

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This article is geared toward eRacks customers who have a desktop or laptop system, i.e. a personal workstation.  It is not intended to serve as a guide for customers wishing to upgrade a server.

With the above in mind, for those who use Linux on  such a machine, your choice of distributions that cater to this niche is growing nicely.  You have the “Big Boys” such as Ubuntu, Fedora, Mandriva or OpenSUSE, as well as a host of more specialized distributions, the main focus of most being on user friendliness and “up-to-dateness.”  What this usually leads to is a faster upgrade cycle than what you would typically find on a server oriented distro such as Debian (stable), RedHat Enterprise, SuSE Enterprise or CentOS.

I myself have been tracking RedHat (including Fedora) since version 5.0, doing a mix of upgrades and fresh installs.  I have also kept up with Ubuntu since 6.04, and have had similar experiences with it.  I have found that one way of making regular upgrades easier is to keep a separate /home partition.  This way, you have a choice of an upgrade or a fresh install, without losing valuable data.

My experience, and that of many other salty seasoned Linux gurus, is that upgrading from a previous version tends to be a bit messier and usually takes longer to do than a fresh install.  This can be true, especially if you use third party repositories, if you install software not maintained by your distro package manager (DEB or RPM) or if you do a lot of tweaking.  Doing so may leave you looking at a broken system when the upgrade finishes.  For this reason, it is usually more desirable to do a clean installation and install your third party applications afterward.

How then to keep from losing your data?  Many system admins would suggest the multiple partition method, which has been used on servers a lot, yet not so much on the desktop.  The multiple partition method can have advantages and disadvantages, but since hard drives are so big these days, many of the disadvantages are no longer prevalent.

While most modern desktop distros have a default partitioning scheme that gives you just a swap partition (usually about 2x the amount of RAM, or physical memory) and a large root partition for everything else, most server configurations have multiple partitions for directories like /usr or /var, which can have many advantages.  For example: if you wanted to have /usr mounted as read-only to prevent unauthorized system-wide software installs, if you wanted to keep /boot separate for a RAID array or if you wanted to keep /var and /tmp separate to avoid corrupting the core system files; these are all examples of why one might want to make use of multiple partitions.  In this case, however, the partitioning must be very carefully planned according to the intended use of the server, what programs need to be installed, how many users will be logging in, etc.

Luckily, there is a happy medium that works well for desktops, and that is to use a swap partition with 2x the amount of RAM, a root partition for your operating system and a very large /home partition for all your data.  When you do a fresh install, all you have to do is make sure you don’t format /home, and your data will be safe across installations.  If you want to save any system-wide tweaks, you will, of course, also have to backup important configuration files and check them against their replacements, making changes where necessary.

In my case, I have a 120GB hard drive for Linux, which makes use of the following partition scheme:
20GB /
75GB /home
1GB /swap
14GB “other” (at times it has a Gentoo install, other times it has FreeBSD, depends on my mood…)

I have found through experience that this setup works well.

When I do an OS update, such as my recent one to Fedora 9, I usually backup important configuration files to /home, do a fresh install and finally install any third party programs I need.

In the past, when upgrading systems without doing a fresh install, things for me have tended to get rather wonky.  However, I have recently tried upgrading Ubuntu, and I must say that the recently improved Upgrade Manager, a graphical front end to the apt-get dist-upgrade functionality, is a nice touch.  It allows you to upgrade to the next version of Ubuntu, while still allowing you to run your system so you can go about your business as it downloads and installs all the packages.  When it’s done, you simply reboot, and voila, new version!  Upgrades on Fedora, by contrast, are still usually done by the tried and true method of booting the install disk and running the upgrade procedure.  Fedora does have the capability to do upgrades using the yum package manager, but that functionality isn’t as mature as apt-get dist-upgrade, and thus is not for the faint of heart.

So now, what if you have an existing Linux installation utilizing only a single partition and you want to do a fresh install while keeping your data safe?

Of course, you could just back your data up to a large external hard drive, but not everyone has one at their disposal.  In this case, what you could try is resizing your root partition, create a new partition for /home and copy your personal data to it before starting the upgrade.  Then, just run through the installation as usual.  This is, of course, only if you have enough space to resize.  If not, you may still require an external drive, at least temporarily, to copy your data to before starting the installer.

If you want to make use of multiple partitions on a new eRacks system purchase, just ask for it during your order.  This way, your system will be ready when the next OS update rolls around!

Matt

June 27th, 2008

Posted In: How-To, Laptop cookbooks, Upgrades

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