I put in a InfoTrend iSCSI Storage System over the summer. I've got 8 x 750GB HDDs as RAID 6 (for double redundancy), with space for 8 more. Not too bad, it does lack Snapshots technology and doesn't feature a redundant controller (but does have 4 x gigabit network cards and redundant PSUs). Seems quite fast. I just use for user and shared documents file storage. Next year, maybe, I might get a Fibre Channel or iSCSI based SAS Storage system for a server consolidation/terminal services project I would like to do.
Price wise it was about £3,900. It does now support 1TB HDD's.
Who the heck has that much just for storage.???? My boss would freak..Originally Posted by Face-Man
How many Proliants or Dell servers with 1tb raid 5 storage can you buy for that much....?
I can get a DELL PowerEdge 2950 with Raid 5 and have 1tb space, 4gb RAM, fibre connectivity... for £2740
You get power and storage...
So why invest in a storage box for 20 to 30K ?
If you were in a Blowing School Funds project it would probably be worth looking at, but for our setup I looked at it recently and couldn't find anything approaching value for what we wanted.
For plain old file storage I can't see the benefits outweighing the costs. If you're looking at buying SAS disks especially - the prices reach stupid money quite quickly.
Most of the benefits we would get can be achieved in other ways at greatly reduced cost. Considering a couple of people in this thread have had them fall over randomly as well I'm even more wary. Possibly I'm just jealous though
How long does it take to set up another server? How long does it take to maintain another server? How much for windows licenses? Device licenses? etc... How much effort is it to maintain 15 servers and, therefore, files on 15 servers? Backup software licenses? The list goes on.Originally Posted by Grommit
Having a SAN means you minimise the servers needed (and therefore all those things above) and increase the speed and ease at which the storage can be expanded. It also means that upgrading to new servers is a doddle, as no data has to be moved off.
link470 (29th April 2011)
He may not get a 15TB (usable) SAN for that price either, though I do get your point.
The question boils down to whether you have enough data to warrant it. If you can fill a single server with over 1TB, you may well be fine for space for the life of the server. At the end of the day you will still need servers in addition to your SAN and depending how you have it set up, you may need backup licenses for them too. You will also need to backup the SAN, unless you have 2 in different locations Without 2 you have a single point of failure which might be hard to recover - again it depends on your circumstances.
Everyone here can do the numbers for themselves quite quickly and I'll bet for some folks SANs will work out cheaper over 5-10 years. For us it seems to still be too early.
OK I can get a 5TB server ofr under 4 Grand... and that's with 2 processors and multiple gig ports..Originally Posted by sahmeepee
So how would haveing a SAN that 5 times the price justify not having a member server as a file server ?
And how do you back up a 15TB SAN anyway ?
Where can you get that?Originally Posted by Grommit
With a second 15TB SAN? That sort of amount of storage indicates some major usage though! I think introducing a quota policy would be advantageous in any school reaching that amount of data. Even if your school has 1000 pupils and you give them 2GB space (which is a lot!) that is still only 2TB. We have 600 kids and 45 computer using staff and between them they use about 250GB of space (I then use roughly 250GB for admin such as ghost images and software). So it would take a huge amount of time to get to 15TB. The point is that SAN's aid managability and ease expansion. Rather than having to buy another server, set it up etc... you just slap another few disks in and depending on the product, either expand a partition to include the new space or create a new NTFS partition and voila, done. Setting up partitions with our iSCSI unit took a total of 10 minutes from opening the box to having it ready and working.So how would haveing a SAN that 5 times the price justify not having a member server as a file server ?
And how do you back up a 15TB SAN anyway ?
You'd be surprised how quickly you can use up those Terabytes once you start creating RAID groups and allocating them to the servers in the SAN.Originally Posted by Grommit
The benefits of a SAN are flexibility, high performance and fault tolerance. Redundant paths and redundant controllers are the hallmark of an enterprise array. Plus stuff like clustering is ideal for SANs.
As for backing up 15TB well that's why the cost can increase, additional licensing for remote copy and flash copy features mean you can either replicate what you have stored on disk and then offload or archive to tape. Or the best option, invest in a VTL backup solution using lower cost SATA raid. So the VTL can emulate a tape library, but use disk as oppposed to tape.
15TB is the high end of what you'll actually use, with storage virtualization (again more money) you can get very efficient use out of maybe 5TB of useable storage on your SAN.
All this costs. As I've said I wouldn't invest 25K-30K in a single SAN array.
I would invest in two arrays (or mixed FC and SATA shelfs) for two different tiers of storage, some kind of VTL or D2D backup solution (incorporating a third array or utilising the 2nd tier SATA array/shelfs).
Factor in costs for a SAN based tape library and gigabit or FC switches and yes it's a big project probably going over 30K. But better to invest in that than some other projects i've known schools to throw their money at. With SANs you can really take advantage of blade servers and you're future proofing to an extent. Plus after the initial complexity you're making life easier in the long run.
Direct attached storage islands should be a thing of the past, so when you talk about a load of PE2950's with DAS you're really going in the opposite direction to what small and large companies are trying to do. This new direction is possible thanks to iscsi but Fibre channel is still the gold standard.
have you got a contact for the supplierOriginally Posted by robknowles
I recently installed a cluster\SAN installation at my school. We run Novell Netware 6.5 and Zenworks desktop managment 7. All of the hardware is IBM, it consists of 4x IBM x336 servers and a DS4200 Express SAN. We currently have 4Tb of storage (mirror raided, so 2Tb useable) but this is expandable upto 8Tb/4Tb on the current chassis, but you can add expanders to increase the capacity further. This is all backed up on our TS3100 Tape library. Including all the racking, UPS etc without software was around £40,000.
The SAN itself is a FC but it uses SATA drives, which helps keeps the costs down, mine has 500GB drives installed. So far we have had no problems with it, it has run fantasic! IBM gives you some great CD's with examples of set ups and it has interactive tests to see if you have listend and read properly! I think somebody said previously about the partitioning which could cause issues in the future.
If you are looking for a SAN, throw some money at it. IBM offer a lot of good kit for the money, at the time I bought it there was a cash back offer on the SAN's and servers. The only thing with IBM was the wait time on some parts of the orders, the racks for example took 3 months to arrive, I had servers, sans etc in boxes waiting for the racks to arrive to put them in and the UPS took 6 months to arrive!
After looking at the Dell equipment at a nearby school I am glad I chose IBM..
£40.000.00 for storage.. are you nuts ? there is no justification for those massive costs...
Ohhh.... it's for the ego...
Well, Grommit, I suppose with school fees at £2,735 per term at their school - they can spend what they like
Wow! £40k on a SAN! I want to work in your school!
I disagree. There are many justifications for spending more than a pittance on IT equipment in schools, its just that schools usually make excuses due to the budget cycle etc. We are talking about organizations with millions of pounds spent on salary each year. Its the equivalent of one senior(ish) teaching staffs salary for one year. We spent millions on a new block then get upset that the machines are going to cost a few more thousand, its ridiculous.Originally Posted by Grommit
I don't mean that we should be wasteful with money, but we shouldn't always assume cheap is better.
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