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Hardware Thread, nas storage in Technical; Originally Posted by jjohnsoncantell Would a SAN be overkill for this? All SAN and NAS differentiate between is the way ...
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjohnsoncantell View Post
    Would a SAN be overkill for this?
    All SAN and NAS differentiate between is the way they're accessed and how the data is stored:

    NAS = File-level storage, normally accessed via CIFS/SMB/NFS, the NAS device controls how the data is written to disk and the client just sends file-level commands
    SAN = Block-level storage, normally accessed via iSCSI/FC, the client device has block-level access to the storage (in theory at least - in reality the SAN may do the actual writes and just present a block-level device to the client)

    Whether you need a SAN or NAS very much depends on what you plan to do with it. If you need block-level storage (e.g. for virtual machines) then you need a SAN. If your clients directly access files on a Windows-based system then you probably want a NAS. If you want both then get Unified Storage that does everything (many devices offer this now).

    Do you have any way or working out the IOPS on your current storage to make sure any new device will meet your needs?

    Chris

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    Quote Originally Posted by Duke View Post
    All SAN and NAS differentiate between is the way they're accessed and how the data is stored:
    and cost?

    For some reason in my head i imagine SAN's as a lot more expensive than NAS's

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    Generally they are, yes, but that's because SANs are for enterprise and NAS tends to e backup/home.

    Depending on the brand you might get a better iscsi stack too in the SAN where as I'm yet to see a NAS with anything other than open source software for the protocols.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RTFM View Post
    and cost?

    For some reason in my head i imagine SAN's as a lot more expensive than NAS's
    No necessarily.

    QNAP's do CIFS and iSCSI so are essentially NAS ans SAN and they're cheap. It's more about performance and how 'enterprise' it is these days. You can get a cheap QNAP, but ours struggled with high usage over CIFS and doesn't handle replication particularly well. Our Oracle S7410 on the other hand costs way more, but can handle our 1800 users.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Duke View Post
    No necessarily.

    QNAP's do CIFS and iSCSI so are essentially NAS ans SAN and they're cheap. It's more about performance and how 'enterprise' it is these days. You can get a cheap QNAP, but ours struggled with high usage over CIFS and doesn't handle replication particularly well. Our Oracle S7410 on the other hand costs way more, but can handle our 1800 users.
    Yeah perhaps where my mind is going, we have 2x NetApp 2040's, compare this to a couple of Netgear NAS boxes we've used at primaries (not had a moments bother with them i might add) and that's where my mind is going when I think SAN and NAS and associated costs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RTFM View Post
    Yeah perhaps where my mind is going, we have 2x NetApp 2040's, compare this to a couple of Netgear NAS boxes we've used at primaries (not had a moments bother with them i might add) and that's where my mind is going when I think SAN and NAS and associated costs.
    I think it doesn't help that for a long time consumer-oriented devices were advertised as NAS, while the big players (NetApp, HP, IBM, EMC, etc.) advertised their products as SAN. Most of the bigger players are advertising things as 'Unified Storage' now as the controllers can handle SAN and NAS.

    Anyway, back to James' question - work out your IOPS requirements, work out how fast your storage requirements are growing and how long you want this device to last for, work out your budget, work out whether you need (want?) NAS, SAN or both, then come back to us.

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    @Duke, no plans for virtualising in the future, plus we are all windows clients save for a couple of macs which are standalone. How would you suggest i go about getting those kinds of stats?

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    Thanks to everyone else for your opinions.. I dont know if i would class us as enterprise level.. its a big jump between spending a couple of k to spending over double that for file sharing

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    If you don't need to spend lots then don't, but also balance out how much it would 'cost' your business if the device fails (i.e. is paying extra for a redundant power supply better than having 24hrs downtime until you get a replacement).

    Does you current storage offer any kind of performance metrics? I'm not overly familiar with Storage Server, but I assume it has some kind of performance/resource monitor like normal Windows?

    Cheers,
    Chris

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    I would always spend the extra for an rpsu. Yes its just windows server with a few extra options, ive never really looked into performance metrics before.

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    Quote Originally Posted by j17sparky View Post
    Generally they are, yes, but that's because SANs are for enterprise and NAS tends to e backup/home.

    Depending on the brand you might get a better iscsi stack too in the SAN where as I'm yet to see a NAS with anything other than open source software for the protocols.

    Sorry but this is wrong, Duke's description of the differences is correct and i could point you in the direction of many enterprise NAS devices.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jjohnsoncantell View Post
    @Duke, no plans for virtualising in the future, plus we are all windows clients save for a couple of macs which are standalone. How would you suggest i go about getting those kinds of stats?
    Do you know if your Macs have network homes as this can load up the cpu on the NAS as they open/read/write a lots of files at once when using some apps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by apeman View Post
    Sorry but this is wrong, Duke's description of the differences is correct and i could point you in the direction of many enterprise NAS devices.
    Hmm, I believe I said "tends", yep I did say "tends". Try reading peoples posts before telling them they are wrong.
    Last edited by j17sparky; 21st January 2013 at 10:48 PM.

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    Rack up a QNap or a Synology. Easy to upgrade the hard drives, also very easy to upgrade the machine itself with either more ram or an upgraded connection (e.g. 10gb fibre)

    Most support iSCSI and Hyper-V etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jjohnsoncantell View Post
    ive never really looked into performance metrics before.
    Can you run perfmon on the storage server? If so then that'll give you some basic read/write figures that you can monitor during peak times.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tsonga
    Rack up a QNap
    How have you found the Qnap under heavy CIFS use? Ours really started to struggle and Qnap suggested we move to iSCSI (which solved the issue, but isn't practical in all scenarios).

    Chris
    Last edited by Duke; 22nd January 2013 at 11:39 AM.

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