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  1. #1
    Senior Member Jeff_Jeske's Avatar
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    Default Your overall opinion of NAS?

    A while back our primary vendor (EMC) provided us with a "free NS40" to play around with. Until now its been collecting dust back in the corner of our data center but I believe soon we'll be asked to fire it up and give it a shakedown.

    Currently we have 7 SAN attached file servers that utilize DFS with a total of 20TB. I've never played around with a NAS or its unique features. I'm curious if those that have them think they are truly superior or not.

    When focusing on BCP/DR what perks does a NAS provide? Is TSM a fire and forget install? I'm looking for any kind of feedback at all. An example would be the suggestion of a specific test or comparison I should run.

    Thanks in advance,
    Jeff

  2. #2
    Senior Member Jeff_Jeske's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone!

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    Member dangel42's Avatar
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    We use NAS almost exclusively in our shop with NetApp as the vendor. CIFS shares, a handful of iSCSI for Windows servers, FC for systems where Security doesn't want us using ethernet for data transfers, and NFS for the majority of our VMware farm. I will say that at least in the NetApp world it is very flexible and the default feature set is better than an EMC NAS device can provide. And the integration with VMware is also very good. Typically what you'll see NAS-wise from the EMCs, Hitachis, etc is that you can choose 2 of the 3 protocols(choosing between iSCSI, NFS, and CIFS) whereas NetApp can provide all of them.

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    Senior Member Jeff_Jeske's Avatar
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    Dangle thanks for the bump. I didn't expect to hear you say you use it almost exclusively. What is the benefit of using a NAS with VMWare over something like a modern blade center?

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    Member dangel42's Avatar
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    Just so we're on the same page...we back-end our VMware farm with NAS-based NFS volumes. On the front, we've decided to scale-up vs. out using x3850s from IBM thus saving on licensing because we forklift upgrade our hardware. Hope that makes sense.

  6. #6
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    Default Celerra

    dangel42,

    not sure when was the last time you used Celerra but what you said is not true. Celerra is capable of providing CIFS, NFS and iSCSI all out of the box. If you need fiber channel connectivity that can be achieved by upgrading your unit to FC enabled unit. (EMC installs extra ports on Clariion SPs). I've been using Celerra for over 5 years now ..very solid box.

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    Member dangel42's Avatar
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    Default

    It has been awhile since I've seen an EMC demo...my bad. It only makes sense that they would offer that. How long have they been offering all of the protocols out of the box?

    And maybe I'm confused with what constituted the 2 out of 3. Is NFS and CIFS usually paired together thus making the choice CIFS/NFS, iSCSI, and FC? If that's the case, then NetApp offers all 3 of those standard out of the box. Does the Celerra do the same?

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    Member dangel42's Avatar
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    Looks like FCoE is supported out of the box now, as well.

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    I've been managing Celerra for at least 5 years ..so it's been offered for at least that long. EMC offers 3 type of units.

    Integrated: Basically Celerra is integrated with Clariion backend. It offers CIFS, NFS and iSCSI connectivity

    Gateway: Celerra is sold stand alone and can use storage from Clariion or Symmetrix but the connectivity options are the same (CIFS, NFS and iSCSI)

    FC Enabled : This is almost like integrated unit but it adds an option where you can connected the backend to your SAN, thus allowing you to connect hosts via your normal fiber channel route.

    We've had a NetApp box for a month for eval, very nice system ..but pricey.

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    Member dangel42's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info...I've never run the numbers personally, but I think we gain some savings back on the NetApp by being able to use standard ethernet NICs and switches versus building out a robust and expensive FC infrastructure.

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    iSCSI is very economical indeed but for multi terabyte OLTP database it may not work. Now when 10G becomes more affordable ..then we are talking

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