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JBOD Server Applications [2019 update & in-depth whitepaper]

by Yazz Krdzalic, on Nov 2, 2018 9:09:35 AM

First things first - do you call it a JBOF or JBOD Server? Valid arguments for both exist but the answer depends on how you define the term.

"Just a Bunch Of Drives" vs. "Just a Bunch Of Disks", either version gives you the same acronym - JBOD.

The problem comes to light when you call it a Disk.

Most people think of disks as spinning hard drives, not flash memory like NVMe SSDs; this is where JBOF or "Just a Bunch Of Flash" was born.

Now, let's think about the first definition of JBOD - "Just a Bunch Of Drives". It's an all encompassing phrase. An SSD is still a drive, more correctly a 'flash drive' but a drive nonetheless.

The argument between what to call it boils down to preference. I choose the industry standard - JBOD.

How do I know this?

Google the term JBOD - you'll get 2,630,000 results in 0.36 seconds. Do the same for JBOF and you'll get 54,300 results in 0.48 seconds.

There you have it - numbers don't lie - now we can move on and talk about the different JBOD Server applications today.

What are some JBOD Server Applications?

To understand why JBOD Server popularity is on the rise, it's best to first understand the applications where these powerful systems are being utilized.

Instead of describing each one, I'll simply list the top 8 JBOD Server applications to paint a picture of why we are seeing a rise in interest for JBOD Systems.

  1. AI
  2. Machine Learning
  3. Near-line Database Expansion Storage
  4. Local Storage for Video/Post-Production
  5. Multimedia on Demand
  6. Private/Public Cloud Expansion
  7. Enterprise High-Performance Storage Systems
  8. Direct-Attached Storage for HPCs

Today's world is all about staying connected.

With smart devices popping up everywhere and the IoT taking over - the data has to be stored, managed, analyzed somewhere - welcome to the spotlight JBOD.

What industries are best suited for a JBOD Server?

Ready for a simplified answer? An industry with the need for local storage expansion.

If you are not a fan of sending sensitive data to the cloud, a JBOD Server is a valid solution.

If you'd like to control the amount of data storage without renting it somewhere - think JBOD.

Would you like to expand your current storage capabilities? Think JBOD Server once again.

We've had numerous calls from various industries asking for a JBOD System solution. Military, Medical, Industrial Automation, you name it. This is why we have decided that it's time to build one.

If you want to read more about Trenton Systems' JBOD Server, make sure to download the whitepaper that showcases the unique design requested by one of our Military clients.

Industry Standard JBOD Server Features

Form Factor

Most JBOD Systems are enclosed in a standard rackmount chassis with form factors ranging from 2U to 5U.


The dimensions vary based on how many drives the JBOD Server can hold and if it comes equipped with a motherboard (much deeper chassis) or has inputs for external hosts to connect to the system (short-depth chassis).

Types of Drives

The popular contenders are SATA, SAS3, and NVMe Flash Storage. The difference is the speed in which data moves from the host to the drive.

Hot-Swap / Hot-Plug

This simply means that you can replace your drive without having to shut the entire system down.

Power Supply

A big factor to consider here is redundancy. How much wattage do you have and is it redundant power? If true, you have another power supply to run the JBOD Server until you repair/replace the other.


For JBOD Servers living in harsh environments (hot/cold/humid/etc.) the temp/humidity ranges play a major factor in application success.


MTTR (mean time to repair/replace) is drastically reduced when you can access your drives without tools.

What does the future demand look like?

The biggest ask, in my humble opinion, is to have a Native PCIe connection straight to the CPU(s).

This enables a direct path between the drives (your data) to the processor(s).

No latency. No conversions/translations. Just a straight shot to the source.


Whether you are thinking about purchasing a JBOD Server or would like to understand its benefits, it's important to note that industries far and wide are already jumping in - head-first.

The scalability of a rugged JBOD System with an SBC-agnostic setup and direct path from CPU to Drives is unbeatable. You'll have local, secure storage with full control.

Hence why it's a popular choice for so many businesses.

With hardware hacks knocking on the door of every business big and small, data now needs a local solution that is hardened, secured, and controlled in-house.

This is the solution a JBOD Server offers. No matter the application or industry.

As we continue to make technological advances in this direction, it's interesting to see what clients come up with to fight their pain points, and out of these very pain points is where we provide solutions that shape tomorrow's JBOD Server solutions.

I am quite excited to be part of a few unique projects that incorporate this technology.

Stay tuned for further updates and make sure to read the JBOD Server Whitepaper!



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