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?
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.
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.
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.
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
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?
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.
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.
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).Originally Posted by Tsonga
Last edited by Duke; 22nd January 2013 at 12:39 PM.
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