You have probably come across Boot Optimized Storage Solution or BOSS somewhere on the Internet. It is a solution from Dell that was designed to separate the OS on a different physical drive. The goal is redundancy and performance, of course. But how does it work?
What is BOSS?
Dell has developed its BOSS for the line of servers called Dell PowerEdge. The idea behind it was to create a hardware RAID, the RAID 1 configuration, on a budget.
RAID 1 is a very simple RAID configuration which makes a complete mirror of a drive. It does not increase performance, but it serves as a backup.
Dell provides this mirroring for the drive where the OS is installed. If something happens to the OS drive, there is a backup that continues operating without any problems.
This comes from the consumers, who wanted a separate hardware controller for that purpose.
This is a common desire of companies that implement SDS – Software-Defined Storage and those with HCI – Hyper-Converged Infrastructure. It is good for application data.
There are two options- one with 1 read-intensive M.2 slot for SSD or another one with 2. The second is used for the RAID 1, the first serves as a separation for the OS.
Dell offers 120GB and 240GB options. For those who want to use Windows, the larger drive is recommended. For Linux distribution usually 120GB is enough for the OS.
A benefit of this solution is that it does not occupy another drive slot but rather a PCIe slot. It is a PCIe adapter card.
Pros and Cons
+Notifications when a disk fails
+Simple to map
-No auto-switch to the second drive in case of failure.
Dell BOSS is a good and economical solution. It supports Windows Server 2012 R2, 2016 and 2019, Linux Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.9-8.0, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server version 12 SP3, 15, 15SP1, Ubuntu 16.04 and 18.04, and VMware ESXi 6.0 Update 3-6.7
It is simple, yet it works.