What is a Double Server?
It simply is an application and storage server in one. The Active-Active Double Server device takes away the hassle of virtualization downtime if your server fails. Units like the Qnap ES-1640DC are new to the industry and pack a load of enterprise centered features. Be that as it may, you may have seen one but not realized it’s a double server. Unfortunately, people are not talking about them as much, as if they are a secret.
The double sever features dual controllers, its own processor, power supply, and battery backup. In this case, the ES-1640DC works with the QES operating system. The unit is basing off the FreeBSD operating system kernel and uses the ZFS file system.
Now that I have bragged on that unit enough, let us take a look into why a unit of this type would be beneficial to an enterprise environment.
Why would I need a double server?
1. Dual Controllers
These two separately functioning computers running the system are very useful. This provides a huge advantage over single controller units for the simple fact that if one fails, the other picks up the slack.
With the system being modular, you can simply unplug the power from the failing controller module. Then plugin the new module and power the system back to running at full speed again. Differently, some units requires having a second machine while the initial one is in repair. It is really convenient that this type of system has its own fail-safe built in.
2. The Battery Backup Unit (BBU)
The BBU helps the unit power down slowly when the primary power is lost. This keeps from sudden data loss from an incorrect power down of the unit. A main reason why it is highly beneficial for enterprises.
3. Modular Unit
You can replace all the independent modules such as the compute modules, fans, battery backups and power supplies. Whether the manufacturer is willing to release the parts to the public is another story.
Returning a malfunctioning unit to the manufacturer will not your business on pause. The modular system greatly expedites the repair time (should it ever happen).
With all that went in to building such a modular unit, what can I use it for?
How to use a Double Server
With all the work into building this spectacular modular unit, what can you actually use it for? Virtualization leads to designs for such devices. Many of these units are going to systems that are more Linux friendly and include systems like FreeBSD or ZFS file systems. The primary reason for using these type programs are to create a fast, easy to use system more capable of running environment more efficiently. A dual controller unit is capable of high availability capabilities, speeding up your virtualization environments and giving solid reliability.
As a result, why aren’t enterprises using them more often? Surprisingly, for the simple reason they don’t know of them yet since they are relatively new. Some of the new dual controller NAS devices pave the way for new possibilities to the issues of reliability and speed.