Open-E Jovian DSS - A Storage Saving Solution for any Scale

Posted on 02 May, 2023



Here at Boston, we have a wide range of products, services and software which we use to create tailored solutions that match customers’ requirements. A storage partner we regularly recommend to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), for datacentre storage requirements, is Open-E.

Our solutions deployment team includes many members with an Open-E Certified Engineer Jovian storage solution certification. Equally, our primary server vendor of choice, Supermicro, is highly qualified in the Open-E hardware compatibility listings. As a result, we can provide the best possible technically experienced solution, team and support for a variety of use cases.

Founded in 1998, Open-E is a leading provider of IP based storage management software. With headquarters in both America and Europe, their product range has a fantastic reputation for flexibility, reliability, scalability, best-in-class-performance and return-on-investment (ROI), with a worldwide network of system reseller and integrator partners. By also working with technology leaders to deliver their range of products with the flexibility of protocols such as Fibre Channel, Infiniband and iSCSI, with either block data or file transmission, they are known for their ease-of-use, robust architecture and affordability on many industry-standard hardware platforms.

It has received several awards and has major clients, including Cisco, Dell and IBM.


Open-E Jovian has three versions for you to choose: JovianDSS, DSS V7 and DSS V7 SOHO.


JovianDSS is designed for enterprise use on any scale, ideal for SMBs, data centre use cloud providers (be it public or private) and for Managed Service Providers (MSPs). It is a solution for high demand enterprise solution by using deduplication, thin provisioning and tiered caching by utilising a Zettabyte File System (ZFS) based storage operating system; be it for a Big Data cluster environment, a virtualised high availability (HA) configuration or even as a single node.


Data Storage Software (DSS) V7 is for SMBs, private cloud providers and MSPs, which combines both cost effectiveness and performance, as well as robust data storage. It uses both Internet Small Computer Systems Interface (iSCSI) and Network Attached Storage (NAS) which are paired together in one platform. Using XFS filesystem and an active-active failover, iSCSI gives additional performance for resource intensive applications. It is recommended not to have more than 200TB worth of data stored in a single DSS V7 storage platform, but there is technically no limit to its licensable capacity.


Small Office Home Office (SOHO), previously known as DSS V7 Lite, is designed for small or home office use and remote branch offices as the naming convention implies. It allows the use of Storage Area Networks (SAN) and NAS functionalities for these small setups while giving up to 4TB of storage. This product is free to download and uses the XFS file system with single case basic support available.

Side by side comparison

Business type recommendations

Open-E JovianDSS Open-E DSS V7 Open-E DSS V7 SOHO
  • Large, Medium & Small Enterprises
  • Small & Medium Business
  • Small Office, Home Office
  • Small & Medium Business
  • Private cloud providers
  • Remote branch offices
  • Datacentres
  • MSPs
  • Public & Private cloud providers
  • MSPs

Product description

Open-E JovianDSS Open-E DSS V7 Open-E DSS V7 SOHO
ZFS based storage operating system: It is the answer to almost any storage requirement, either as a single node, a virtualised HA setup or a Big Data cluster environment. XFS based unified storage operating system: It helps both small and medium-sized businesses to implement high performing, yet cost-effective and robust data storage solutions. XFS based free version of Open-E DSS V7:
Previously known as Open-E DSS V7 Lite. With SOHO, you can take advantage of basic NAS / SAN functionalities with a capacity of 4TB free of charge and inexpensive additional storage extensions.
Thin provisioning, tiered caching and deduplication make this product a solution for high demand enterprise requirements. iSCSI and NAS unified in one flexible software solution. The iSCSI active-active failover adds extra performance for demanding installations. Single Case Basic Support available.
  One year of support included.  


Open-E JovianDSS Open-E DSS V7 Open-E DSS V7 SOHO


  Open-E JovianDSS Open-E DSS V7 Open-E DSS V7 SOHO
Maximum storage Unlimited Unlimited
(recommended <200TB)
Maximum volume size Unlimited 64TB 36TB
Min. hardware requirements 4 CPU cores, 16GB RAM, HBA 4 CPU cores, 8GB RAM, H/W RAID adapter 2GHz CPU, 2 GB RAM
Architecture 64-bit 64-bit 64-bit
Storage model Storage pools Logical volumes Logical volumes

High Availability Capabilities

  Open-E JovianDSS Open-E DSS V7 Open-E DSS V7 SOHO
HA cluster architecture Physical drives shared between nodes Logical volumes replicated over Ethernet N/A
Metro storage cluster Yes
Shared storage cluster Yes
No N/A
Independent Virtual IPs for HA Cluster Yes No N/A
Max. clustered volume size Unlimited 64TB N/A
Max. clustered storage size Unlimited Unlimited N/A
Persistent Reservation Synchronisation Yes Yes N/A

High Availability Architecture examples

  Open-E JovianDSS Open-E DSS V7 Open-E DSS V7 SOHO
Cluster in a Box (CiB) NVMe Yes N/A N/A
Common Storage Cluster
over SAS
Yes N/A N/A
Cluster over SAS with
internal SAS expander
Yes N/A N/A
Cluster with multiple JBODs over SAS Yes N/A N/A
Cluster with multiple JBODs over FC Yes N/A N/A
Cluster with multiple
JBODs over SAS / FC
(with ATTO bridges)
Yes N/A N/A
Cluster over Ethernet Yes Yes N/A


  Open-E JovianDSS Open-E DSS V7 Open-E DSS V7 SOHO
iSCSI Yes Yes Yes
NAS (SMB/CIFS, FTP, Secure FTP, HTTP, Apple Talk, NFS v2, v3) NFS, SMB/CIFS Yes Yes
Fibre Channel Yes Yes No
IP over Infiniband (connector mode) Yes Yes No

Enterprise-grade features

  Open-E JovianDSS Open-E DSS V7 Open-E DSS V7 SOHO
On- & Off-site Data Protection Yes No No
VAAI Yes No No
Caching Native, tiered RAM and SSD or NVMe Hardware support No
Thin Provisioning Yes No No
Over Provisioning Yes No No
Deduplication Yes No No
Compression Yes No No
Snapshots Unlimited Up to 20 Up to 20
Clones Unlimited No No
VSS Hardware Provider Yes No No
Data & metadata check-summing Yes No No
Atomic transaction writes Yes No No
Online data checking and repairing (Scrub) Yes No No
Storing multiple copies of user data Yes No No
iSCSI and NFS restricted connections Yes Yes Yes
Storage live expansion without downtime Yes Yes Yes
SNMP Yes Yes No


  Open-E JovianDSS Open-E DSS V7 Open-E DSS V7 SOHO
VMware certification VMware Ready V5.5, V6.0, V6.5 VMware Ready V5.5, V6.0, V6.5 No
Citrix certification In progress Citrix Ready No
Hyper-V certification Tested and confirmed Tested and confirmed No

Trial Versions

  Open-E JovianDSS Open-E DSS V7 Open-E DSS V7 SOHO
Benefits 60 days long trial period
(JovianDSS and V7)
Free of charge with no credit card required
All features available 
60 days long trial period
(JovianDSS and V7)
Free of charge with no credit card required
All features available
Full product free of charge
(for soho)
  No credit card required No credit card required Free of charge

Tables and data have been pulled directly from the website which can be found here.

Single, HA and Advanced Metro HA Cluster

Jovian has three main types of setups: single node, High Availability (HA) and Advanced Metro High Availability. Depending on what the consumers’ needs are will determine which version of the Open-E products will be suitable.


A single node is exactly as it sounds: one system dedicated to using the Jovian platform. This is by far the cheapest option for data storage in this line up and is the easiest to setup as no additional networking or failover would be required. However, this is also the least secure method as there can be no access to any data if the system goes offline or if the networking fails for any reason.

It is possible to have other Jovian systems with single node setups to be used as both Backup and Disaster Recovery (DR), which would simply require having the same Jovian version replicated on another system. Automated backup tasks can be created within the Jovian software to do this at specified times. This would mean that if the production node went offline for any reason, users can work from the Backup with only minor data loss depending on when their last backup was created.

The single node setup is available across all three versions of the Open-E platform.

High Availability (HA)

High Availability (HA) clusters are setup with 2 systems that are either linked to each other over the network or are nodes in the same bare metal chassis and share the same storage drives. The storage drives can either be part of the same system or part of a JBOD. The file shares will be able to be moved to the other node in case of a failure, ensuring that there is no downtime or loss of connection to said data storage.

To set this up correctly, general practise dictates to create network bonds within the Jovian software itself for a dedicated failover. This is achieved by pairing two networking ports (ethernet or InfiniBand) which are both connected to the other host(s). This ensures that if one of the ports is disconnected or fails the other port in the pair will still be active. Once completed Open-E have a checklist to make sure the nodes are functioning correctly.

Both systems will be accessible at any given time, hence the HA. One generally acts as the active node and the other will be in standby for any downtime from the primary node. In the event this happens the file system can be moved to the other online node(s), so workflow is uninterrupted.

The HA cluster also has a ping node function which allows you to set an IP address of a server for the HA cluster to reach. If the ping node cannot be reached, then the HA cluster will begin a forced restart cycle until the connection can be re-established. This ensures that the data on the storage nodes does not deviate or have different revisions if the network is not available, commonly referred to as a split-brain. This ping node should always be on a different subnet than the HA cluster and to always be accessible in case there is an issue with the network.

This feature is only available with a HA Cluster Feature Pack which will enable the Failover settings within Jovian.

Note – HA features are not available in DSS V7 SOHO.

Advanced Metro High Availability

The Advanced Metro High Availability (AMHA) has all the benefits of the HA cluster but takes it a step further, giving the ability to host both halves of the cluster up to 50 miles apart. This is achieved by using point-to-point fibre connection and can be extended even further through the use of intermittent switches. This function allows us to create a HA cluster for two server nodes with a storage mirror over Ethernet, allowing us to host full copies of critical data at both locations – excellent for disaster recovery.

Note - This is only available with Jovian DSS

Open-E benefits

Thanks to how the software is utilised, there are many benefits that can be gained from using Jovian software which makes it greater than the sum of its parts.

The first benefit is to use SATA drives for the entire storage solution. These can be either HDD or SSD drives. While not as fast as NVMe drives, they are a lot cheaper and good practise to increase I/O throughput by utilising SSDs for dedicated read and write actions, closing the gap between the speed NVMe drives possess.

Another benefit to using Open-E is the simple GUI the user's interface has. This allows for a much easier integration and compiling settings over other storage software on the market.

Open-E certification

There are Open-E certification exams that can be taken to become an Open-E verified partner. These online courses are spread over the course of a week and go through all the main components of setting up a Jovian system and the file systems for access. As mentioned previously, Boston has multiple OECE in our solutions deployment team with years of experience working with software defined storage solutions.

Solutions, Testing and Platform Validation

All Boston’s Open-E platforms are fully qualified and tested by our team of Open-E Certified Engineers to ensure peace of mind that there won’t be any unexpected problems for our customers.

Equally, as part of each deployment, we create a set of checklists and documentation when setting up systems for production use. These lists go through a large set of tests to check for redundancy and to make sure that the systems are configured correctly as well as any other issues that might occur before going live. This is given to Jovian certified partners to ensure quality and goes through a multitude of rinse and repeat tasks which, with small tweaks, could issue a system error or downtime.

Jovian also have a performance test pre-configured with IoMeter  which ensures the system’s setup by themselves, and trusted partners are running at optimum speeds. From the output of these tests, you can determine if the setup is correct or if there is an underlying issue. The output can also be sent to customers to ensure their configurations are running as intended.

One of our recent customer success stories was a deployment to a local council of a custom-built Boston Igloo 1203-40Q. This dual node system has up to 76.8TB of shared raw NVMe storage which is accessible by both nodes, allowing for High Availability failover in a 2U form factor. It’s fully certified with Jovian Open-E software, has wide protocol support (iSCSI, NFS, SMB (CIFS) and an optional Fibre Channel which can be either physical hardware or virtual with flexible IP ranges.

This allows for both on and off-site backup and disaster recovery, boasting unlimited snapshots and clones with immediate access. Options for 10/25/40GbE networking or a 50/100GbE upgrade, dual 10GbE for storage management have interconnect covered well. Automatic data integrity checks, data compression, de-duplication, and pre-provisioning ensure both uptime, the best value for money and time to deployment.

For more information about the Igloo 1203-40Q, click here.


Open-E provides storage solutions for a range of scenarios and sizes, be it enterprise to home office. These include Single, High Availability and Advanced Metro High Availability that range from one on-site system to multi system configurations which can be miles apart. They also support an array of storage types with award winning service which is also cost-efficient by utilising drives for read and write throughputs.

Their trusted partners and resellers must take exams specially designed to teach how the software configurations work and how to diagnose issues within the system(s) that allow for excellent service. Licensing for different products is available for particular needs which allows for maximum flexibility with setups.

The software is user friendly and easy to understand so end users will be able to read the information presented to them and allow for the creation of storage pools, network redundancy and connection to external systems if the Feature Packs allow for this. It comes in three main flavours which supports any type of setup Jovian would be integrating into.

Boston are proud partners of Open-E with several members of the technical team qualified on the intense Jovian examinations. With our expert team, partnered with Supermicro and many validated partners, we can provide the ultimate optimised and tailored solution(s) you may require.

Test drives of Open-E Jovian are already available via Boston Labs, our onsite R&D and test facility. The team are ready to enable customers to test-drive the latest technology on-premises or remotely via our fast internet connectivity.

If you are ready to start your Jovian journey, then please get in touch either by email or by calling us on 01727 876100 and one of our experienced sales engineers will happily guide you to your perfect tailored solution and invite you in for a demo.

Peter Wilsher
Field Application Engineer

Tags: open-e, joviandss, boston labs, solution

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