mac_shinobi (22nd January 2013)
We have a Synology, but have had no issues.
mac_shinobi (22nd January 2013)
@jjohnsoncantell - How's your current HP holding up? I see they do larger models - not sure if they're still making them and have updated/upgraded the hardware?
Can you provide a spec of your current storage (number and type of disks, CPU and RAM) and an idea of your budget? What are you doing for backups at present?
@Duke Its holding up well considering its age.. We've had a number of drives die but so far we've been able to get adequate spares. Main issue is the age and having no hardware support if it fails. We currently backup to lto4 tapes
Our nas box is an AIO1200 which is a rebadged DL320s, running 2003 storage server. Single Xeon 2.67ghz, 2GB memory, 10x250gb 7.2k SATA (raid 5 for storage) 2x150gb 10k SATA (mirrored pair for system). Budget shouldnt be an issue, mainly after ballpark figures at the moment.
Which metrics should i be monitoring?
If you've been happy with the HP so far then I'd say have a look at their current offerings in the first instance. There's plenty of companies out there that should be able to have a look at what you've got, what you need, and tell you which HP model will best suit your requirements. Make sure you shop around though, as someone will try to sell you a 2PB-all-SSD-and-15k-SAS-with-dedupe-replication-and-failover, which is probably more than you need.
Other providers in that price bracket should be Dell, EMC (VNXe might suit your needs), NetApp's cheaper stuff, and those kind of people. QNAP and the like might do what you need, just be careful because like I mentioned, their hardware performance couldn't actually live up to the promises when we put it under load.
If you don't know who to talk to, drop me a PM and I've got a few suppliers we've worked with who can help with this stuff.
I don't think perfmon will give you IOPS per se, so have a look at Disk Reads + Writes / sec, Disk Read + Write Bytes / sec, and Current Disk Queue Length. Make a note of those figures during your peak times, and a good storage provider should be able to translate them into useful figures for working out what disks you need. Keep any eye on network usage too.
It doesn't sound like you have an excessively large system at present. Using 600GB 15k SAS disks (if budget permits) should give you the storage size and performance benefits you want.
EDIT: Interesting thread HERE on IOPS and measuring disk performance; it may be of use. Another thread HERE on how some of the bigger players manage their storage.
Last edited by Duke; 23rd January 2013 at 03:29 PM.
Good shout on IOMeter. Only one thing - it's been a while since I used it, but isn't it used for giving you IOPS values for specific test cases that you run through it, rather than monitoring the background IOPS of the disk activity running on the server while it's in use? I'm not criticising, and if you can make a test case that fairly accurately reflects what 'normal usage' is like for you then the IOPS figures should be relatively accurate. You could definitely use it to work out your max IOPS figures for different kinds of disk access (read, write, random, sequential, etc.).
The last time I used it, I was logging the results to a .CSV file and then using that to work out an average IOP value over <x> period of time.
Just replaced an old HP320s 2003 Storage Server in one school with a shiny new X1600
The great thing about them is that they work straight out of the box run Windows Server, Integrate right into your AD without a problem and run for years without a problem.
So they are not cheap, neither is a Lexus, but they have a pair of 146 SAS drives in the back and an expandable 12 Bay Array that takes 3.5" SATA/SAS drives of your choice.
As they run Storage Server 2008R2 or 2012 now they can be up and running in your domain in minutes.
Yes you could do it a lot cheaper by building your own or buying a low cost Korean/Chinese unit but where do you go that morning when you come in and its dropped a disk or the Volume is now 0 Bytes in size and its beeping at you and the manual is in Mandarin and the SLT want to know how long before its all back online?
A windows sysadmin has nothing to fear or learn from using these proven solutions and I have learned not to argue with them.
If you have had an HP Storage Server for 5 or 6 years without a glitch why would you not consider another more up to date one? At least if I were to have a problem I know I can call HP 24/7 and get somebody on site the next day if I need to.
Before turning to the darkside.. look at the HP Storageworks X1000 series or the new StoreEasy 1000 series as sometimes simple is the better option.
A SAN is a great way of making sure that you get the most use out of your storage investment by getting rid of all of those islands of disk space scattered between your server farm but are you actually ready or even need to take on the challenge of clusters and shared storage?
Many are not and thats were the simplicity of NAS still has a place.
If you want a cheap SAN recommendation with all the toys as standard, the the Netgear ReadyData5200 is worth a look.
jjohnsoncantell (6th February 2013)
I hear very good things about Synology. Their feature list is quite impressive. I am buying one today. If you're interested, I can follow up with a review.
@m25man I must admit im inclined to go with a more up to date version of our current box, as you say if it serves me well why not consider it, i just want to be sure im going to get a decent level of performance out of it.
One thing that confuses me a little is why a lot of the third party vendors such as qnap and synology offer their boxes with 10gbe as opposed to 1gbe which the main vendors seem to offer. On a network my size am i really going to need 10gbe? Ive always assumed a teamed pair of 1gbe would be more than sufficient.
@mattcrum I would love to know how it goes please, ive seen their offerings and compated to the hp kit ive been looking at seem to offer way more spec for the money.
@Duke will pm you soon, id like to know who you have been using as you seem to be happy with what they provide.
Again, thanks very much to everyone who has replied to this thread.
No need to assume, just log on to your NAS at peak usage and watch the network traffic (should be as simple as opening task manager and watching the network tab if it's running Windows). I doubt you'll ever exceed 1Gb-2Gb unless you're in a very high usage environment. Anyway, unless you have the 10Gb switches to support it, you won't be able to take advantage of the 10Gb NICs anyway.One thing that confuses me a little is why a lot of the third party vendors such as qnap and synology offer their boxes with 10gbe as opposed to 1gbe which the main vendors seem to offer. On a network my size am i really going to need 10gbe? Ive always assumed a teamed pair of 1gbe would be more than sufficient.
Very happy with the people who sold us our storage - so much so that as of Monday next week I'll be working for them!@Duke will pm you soon, id like to know who you have been using as you seem to be happy with what they provide.
I have used Drobo, Synology, Buffalo, Iomega, ReadyNas and HP Storageworks.
Each have their respective quirks, but when it comes down to file sharing for hundreds of users on a Windows AD Network you really have to look at the better offerings from each of these vendors.
Drobo, yes fine the work well enough but the one client I have that has one has had two failures and each time the whole unit had to be returned.
Synology a great Home NAS box excellent streaming but one bad firmware update and it was toast.
Buffullo, works flawlessly for years then went bang and lost everything.
ReadyNAS, 3 years in still going great, rack units are enterprise level quality (made by Supermicro) dual or quad core CPUs 10Gbe enabled (option) used as iSCSI targets for Hyper-V. The downside is that the backend support is still not there yet, improving immensley but still a long way from HP.
On the one occassion when we lost an array on a ReadyNAS and got Level3 support they has an SSH session into the OS from a nearby PC and sorted it no problem without any loss but getting the issue escalated took some string pulling.
At the end of the day this is a classic "You get what you pay for" scenario. Sub £1000 for a home brew, £30k for an Equallogic what are you comfortable with?
Duke (31st January 2013)
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