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Hardware Thread, So....I need to buy a replacement SAN/NAS this week. in Technical; TLDR: We had a catastrophic power outage that resulted in a backup server losing what appear to be the motherboard ...
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    So....I need to buy a replacement SAN/NAS this week.

    TLDR: We had a catastrophic power outage that resulted in a backup server losing what appear to be the motherboard and a Sun 7110 dying in interesting (most of the disks according to the LSI tool, BMC is corrupt and it's not responding to anything which implies mobo too) ways. Given the age of the box, I'm writing it off as fubar. (yes, they were all on UPS, hence "catastrophic").

    Most of the network is up and working (because of redundant services) but a few of the "would be nice" and the "they'll whine if this isn't working" services aren't.

    I've got the VMs and data, I just have no room to put them anywhere. Services are also not as redundant as I'd like now.

    Edugeeks: What have you bought recently in SAN/NAS hardware that works, is reasonably fast, provides NFS and iSCSI (SMB would be handy too),doesn't have hidden nasty bits that make youy regret the purchase? I'm after 2+ TB RAW on SAS. If I'm replacing it I may as well ponder upgrading the space. *specifically pokes @sonofsanta*

    Vendors: What have you got in stock and how fast is your shipping?

    Want: NAS or SAN box that can provide iSCSI and NFS, predominantly to host virtual machines (currently Xenserver). It needs to handle a mixed workload of 9 vms (linux and windows) with a reasonably even but occasionally spikey load profile. SMB shares would be useful. If it can handle a mix of SAS and SATA (or SSD, SAS and SATA), that'd be cool. The 7110 was 2TB RAW and we used approximately 900GB of the formatted space (can't remember offhand). Looking at 4-12 TB (if I can get a mix of disk types).

    I'm eyeing up hardware at the moment, but I'm not terribly up on "hey, you need to buy a replacement SAN this week", hence the still quite vague hardware spec above.

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    mrbios's Avatar
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    Check these out: EonNAS

    Not sure what model you'd need but personally i have the slowest model (1000 or 1100 or something) purely for backup storage, the features are good, I've always had good support from infortrend on the older Eonstor boxes i have and i've not had one *touch wood* fail on me yet (5 Infortrend boxes in total, 3 iSCSI SANs, 1 NAS, 1 really old SCSI host SAN which i no longer use) They're relatively cheap in comparison to the competition too.

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    you could have a look at the Drobo iscsi boxes, they should be suitable for you. They are great value and easily scalable.

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    We've got a couple of NASs and I have to say that out of all of them (we've got Drobo, Netgear and qNap), the Drobo is the best out of the lot.

    It's not the cheapest, but it comes up straight away after a server reboot, we've got it connected to a Windows server 2012 server for DPM - the other NAS take a few minutes to appear (not saying that the others are bad, just that the Drobo in this case is better)... The one we have is the B800i, fully populated with 8 x 3TB drives.

    However if it's for speed and data thru-put is needed asap, then I would say go for a san.

    I guess it all depends on how much you can spend and what your future requirements are...

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    Norphy's Avatar
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    Aren't Drobos supposed to have awful write performance?

    If you're going to run VMs from the thing, a SAN would be the best bet. We're an Equallogic shop, however HP StorageWorks or EMC are good too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pete View Post
    What have you bought recently in SAN/NAS hardware that works, is reasonably fast, provides NFS and iSCSI (SMB would be handy too),doesn't have hidden nasty bits that make youy regret the purchase? I'm after 2+ TB RAW on SAS. If I'm replacing it I may as well ponder upgrading the space.
    I'm currently reconfiguring our servers, and I was just setting up a backup server today using FreeNAS 9.1. It's technically a release candidate, but seems to be working fine. That provides iSCSI, NFS and CIFS (SMB shares) and sits on top of FreeBSD 9.1, which supports ZFS on top of whatever hardware you install it on. We've just bought some Dell 600GB 15,000RPM SAS drives for £250 each - 12 of those in a 2U rackmount would give you around 6TB of raw space. 4TB drives are £120 each, if you want to go for volume over speed.

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    seawolf's Avatar
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    Do you have support on the 7110? It would have still been eligible and support wouldn't have cost much ($600 per annum maybe). If not, then I have just finished testing several SAN units including the HP P4000s, Sun (Oracle) 7120 and 7320, and XI Systems SANs.

    I would stay away from the Drobo for anything other than backup storage or as an emergency SAN. They are a toy in the SAN space and I wouldn't trust them with my critical VM infrastructure.

    The best value for money of the systems I've used or tested in recent hears would be the XI Systems units, which run on FreeNAS and use SuperMicro chassis. You can order them configured with SATA or SAS drives and SSD read and write caches. They'll build something pretty much to your specs and budget. The interface is good and they provide iSCSI, NFS, SMB, and AFP services. The performance of these isn't as good as the Sun units, but it is as good or better than the HPs.

    The HPs were fine and they aren't overly expensive, but performance was limited as they they typically run in RAID5/6 and had no SSD write cache. They also have a very unintuitive and complex interface compared to Sun or XI Systems units and are not expandable. To get more capacity you have to buy another one. Consultants also typically recommend purchasing two for performance and redundancy. These units tested fine, but were just too limiting to me with no upside. Buying another one whenever I needed performance or capacity improvements just didn't excite me.

    The Sun 7120 had great performance for the cost. It is a big upgrade from the 7110. The 7320 is on a whole other level than any of the other SANs I've tested. Fantastic performance, expandability, and ease of setup (if you're already familiar with Fishworks and even if you're not). I ended up buying the 7320 after several months of demoing several SANs. I was going to buy a 7120, but Oracle had an EOFY deal going that made the 7320 only 10% more expensive than a similarly equipped 7120. I ordered mine with 2 x Zeus write caches. The performance is unreal. It's going to be even better when I hook it up to a couple of new servers over 10GbE in a couple of months.

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    bart21's Avatar
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    Personally I would go for a netapp

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    Quote Originally Posted by bart21 View Post
    Personally I would go for a netapp
    Any specific reason? I like to hear what people have experienced with other vendors and the reasons why they like (or don't like) what they are using.

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    bart21's Avatar
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    I find netapps easy to use and reliable. The one I used to use had been running solidly for 8 years with not even a failed disk. Although if u ask Geoffb he may disagree as it sounds like it just died!

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    Quote Originally Posted by bart21 View Post
    I find netapps easy to use and reliable. The one I used to use had been running solidly for 8 years with not even a failed disk. Although if u ask Geoffb he may disagree as it sounds like it just died!
    I haven't used NetApp SANs so I can't really comment, which is why I asked. If it lasted for more than 8 years without a single fault then one can't really complain when it does pack it in - nothing is bulletproof. Although I once had two Sun Netra servers that had been going for 14 years with nothing more than an annual reboot and maintenance (cleaning). Those things just didn't want to die...

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    It's still going strong fortunately. Sadly I don't speak crazy beeps and random flashing lights and had no idea what it was trying to tell me. (Documentation for an 8 year old NetApp appliance is tricky to find )

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    @pete I would recommend that you take a look at either Overland storage a NAS SnapScale DX2 appliance that can provide a mixture of SATA and SAS drives that will work with your current virtualised setup. There is also the option, bearing in mind that you would like a mixture of SSD, SAS and SATA drives, of looking at NetApp. Of course it depends on what kind of budget you have. Are you backing up to disk/tape, any replication required and what DR you have at the present time?

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    HP & Qnap will be the quickest to ship. Maybe Infortrend.

    If you like, give me a call and you can have a talk with one of our solutions guys to spec something up that fits the bill. 0114 242 7337

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    NetAPP here, and always has been. Rock solid performance and support. Only had a few disks die over the last 6 years, and they were replaced automatically, next day, after the SAN's mailed NetAPP directly to report the failures. Not the cheapest, but you get what you pay for, and they WILL discount if pushed hard enough.

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