“Moskvich” in the world of servers

Short description

Sitonica, a Russian company, has produced a 4U server, the SR403W, which acts as both a data store and a virtualisation node. The server is an OEM from Chinese company PowerLeader, with a Supermicro motherboard. The server can be equipped with a MegaRAID 9361-8i hardware RAID controller, but without a license, the array configuration option via the BMC is missing. Stress testing showed that the server’s temperature did not exceed 56°C, and the server has performed well in tests with 1C, Redis and Nginx. While the server is largely Chinese in origin, it is supplied by Sitonica, a Russian company.

“Moskvich” in the world of servers

Hello, Habre! Today we are sharing our server tests from the company “Sitonica”. This 4U server, which can act as both a data store and one of the virtualization nodes, is supplied by a Russian company. Practice has shown that it is enough to solve most typical tasks. How Sitonica SR403W differs from Chinese servers that have recently flooded the domestic market, and why we still had to find out the nuances of its operation in WeChat, read below.

Regular readers of our blog probably immediately noticed that the Sitonica SR403W server is somewhat similar to a large The Lezo 6U server, which we have already tested and shown in the previous post. This is a basic model from the line sold in the Russian Federation – also a large, but already 4-unit server, packed on both sides with large disks. Similar to Lezo, it can be used as a data store, as well as cover other basic IT needs. However, there are differences between these servers. So let’s get to know the SR403W more closely.

Test sample configuration:

  • Intel Xeon Silver 4314 processor – 2 pcs.;

  • motherboard Supermicro X12Dpi-N(T)6;

  • memory modules Micron 2666 DDR4 64GB – 8 pcs.;

  • SATA SSD 2’5″ 480GB drive – 2 pcs.;

  • SATA HDD 3’5″14 TB – 36 pcs.;

  • built-in network controller Intel i350-T2 1GbE – 1 pc.;

  • MegaRAID 9361-8i RAID controller – 1 pc.

“Sytonika” servers – OEM, which will definitely be brought

The SR403W package includes a server, a sled for installation in a standard 19-inch telecom rack (unlike some Chinese ones, they fit), a mounting kit, 2 power cables, installed HDD and SSD drives. The manufacturer noted that WD drives are the best. Well, WD is WD.

Our laboratory received 3 different configurations of the server model from “Sitonika” at once, but we decided to write a post about the most optimal server from our point of view. And all of them were quite different from each other: different platforms, display, even generations of controllers are different – if not for the nameplate, and not to assume that they are all products of the same brand.

But the solution to this situation is simple. In general, “Sytonika” sells quite a lot of various IT products under its brand. But if we talk about the servers that came to us for review, they are a completely OEM solution. Yes, the Sitonica SR403W is actually an OEM from Chinese company PowerLeader with a motherboard from Supermicro.

The appearance of the Sitonica server in the rack

On the Chinese market, this server has been sold for quite some time, and this means that the platform has already established itself, it should not have any childhood problems. In principle, our functional tests showed that this is the case. This server was able to install all target operating systems, deploy the virtualization platform, and test remote connectivity.

Management through the BMC console

An interesting feature to consider is the BIOS IPMI (AMI) and BMC management module (ASPEED AST2600) used on the server. They support IPMI 2.0, SOL, KVM over IP, Virtual Media, etc. protocols.

On the one hand – this is good, because in BMC there is a dashboard with the status of the physical components of the server and data from various sensors and sensors. On the other hand, there is no functionality for viewing performance metrics, but the interface shows the metric of consumed electricity. There is also no way to view information about the disk subsystem. But since a MegaRAID controller is installed in the server, you can get information about disks and arrays from it.

The server log is available in the BMC interface, you can additionally configure the sending of SNMP or SMTP notifications, configure Syslog. In the console, both “health” events of the server and “maintenance” events are logged; logs can be exported as an Excel file. A similar option is available for downloading an Excel table with the status of system components (sensor readings).

On the front panel of the server there is an informative display unit: the presence of power, the selection (service illumination) of the server – UID, the alarm about malfunctions with an icon in the form of an exclamation mark, as well as an indication of two network interfaces:

Nuances with RAID

The Sitonica SR403W server can be equipped with a MegaRAID 9361-8i hardware RAID controller. On its basis, you can assemble an array for SAS and SATA drives, HDD and SSD drives are supported. It should be noted that the array configuration option via BMC is missing only if you do not have an advanced Supermicro Remote Media license to access drives. Our test samples didn’t come with it, so we had to request the vendor to support the functionality, which isn’t fast because the OEM is in China. Therefore, when ordering a server for real tasks, it is better to immediately purchase an SR403W with the necessary licenses – by the way, this is exactly what we recommend to customers who are interested in Sitonica servers.

However, you can, without waiting for the Remote Media license, configure RAID through special utilities. Such utilities as MegaRAID, storageCLI and similar are suitable for this. We did so. As a result, no problems were observed with the deletion, production and modification of the array. In general, the functionality of creating a RAID group is available in the utilities in full.

Stress test

Traditionally, we started checking the server with a stress test. It lasted 18 hours and was successful. During the run, the temperature of the main components of the system did not exceed 56°C. By the way, the sensors in the BMC showed values ​​similar to AIDA, which indicates the correct operation of the monitoring system.

Performance tests

Gilov’s test showed that this server is quite suitable for working with 1C.

In the Redis test, the server performed well. Even when compared to the Xeon Gold benchmark, the Sitonica SR403W’s results were strong. The diagram shows the results for 1000 threads and a message length of 1000000 with a parallelism factor of 32:

When checking the performance of nginx – the ability to download files in parallel – the results were also quite decent.

The server of stars from the sky is not enough, but it shows itself at the level.

The compression/decompression test showed almost the same results. Server performance with Xeon Silver is on par with reference Gold. So the platform works well.

Conclusion

In summary, we can say that the Sitonica SR403W is a quite decent server that works well with Russian OSes, on which virtualization is deployed without too many complications. Its general level of performance is also not bad, and we have already learned all the complexities of BMC activation, RAID configuration and server health monitoring.

The form factor of this server, unlike the recently reviewed Lezo, is not 6U, but 4U, which may be more convenient in cases where you do not have extra rack space or simply do not need that much raw disk capacity. But the most important thing is that despite all the Chinese origin, these servers are still supplied by a Russian company. They can be ordered now and receive the necessary configuration in 6-8 weeks after the application is made. By the way, Sitonica SR403W is already used by one Russian bank, and this once again confirms that the server is fully operational and copes with the main mainstream tasks.

“Sytonika” is a Russian company. Therefore, technical issues are resolved much faster than with Chinese suppliers. However, if any question requires contacting the original vendor, communication still goes across the border. For example, we discussed licensing issues through Chinese WeChat (you can’t get in by invitation only, and you also need to adapt to the time difference with China). But when all the subtleties have already become clear, there is no particular need for this.

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