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Advice on SAN

  • 25-08-2009 11:48am
    Closed Accounts Posts: 41


    I'm thinking of upgrading my existing SAN (HP MSA 1000) but it will be probably pricey enough to consider the new one.

    Am I right to say that if I was about to get 48TB SAN in RAID with say 8HDD's of redundancy (40TB for data assuming a shelf with 1TB discs) I would need:

    - SAN shelf
    - SAN controller
    - SAN switch
    - fibre I/O module
    - 48 HDDs 1TB each (or 24 2TB)
    - fibre cables
    - a fibre card for servers that don't have it yet
    - ?

    I can see there are bundles available ie. MSA1500 with all gear included for approx. 6-8k, but I'm a bit confused about the discs - are SATA discs the only ones I could use? Looks like you can get a 1TB HDD for less than a hundred quid but the SATA ones ie. 750GB are $900 or such...
    I wonder now is there any point of drilling this subject if the whole of would have cost 40k+...

    prob. a silly question but do "budget" solutions involving SAN exisit?? :>
    what would you recommend if you were about to go for 30-40TB of RAID'ed space that would eventually go to the data center?


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 13,018 ✭✭✭✭jank

    Stay away from any HP MSA1500 SATA arrays. The performance is a dog and it will give you loads of issues.
    Whats is the primary usage of this SAN? DR by the looks of it.

    The reason that a 1TB HDD costs less than a hundred and a SATA or SCSI one can cost many times more is that you would never use the that HDD in a server envrinoment. These disks need to communicate with a RAID controller and need to be reliable and FAST! Hence the price difference.

    What RAID are you going to impliement? RAID 5? Any Hot Spares?
    You should be able to reuse the SAN switches, that will save you some money anyway, unless you care about the warranty but they are pretty reliable.

    Have you thought about iSCSI?

    If it were my I would go with IBM or EMC/Dell. HP has not impressed me with its SAN's.

  • Registered Users Posts: 45 stupidskin


    I think you'll find best price if you approach a single supplier for the lot, don't forget about licensing costs etc when it comes to you fabric switches.
    We deployed dell/emc cx310's recently and the have proven to be very easy to use with brocade switches which are also quite friendly. Performance is fanastic with fibre disks and 4gb controllers. I could'nt recommend it highly enough compared to previous standalone dell models

    hope this helps


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 41 RRoger

    thanks for the advices guys

    I kinda figured out if we're talking about discs spinning 24/7/365 they're not the same league as cheap 1Tb ones for a 100 quid designed for occasional use by the masses.

    I already approached one supplier, will probably approach few and compare the prices.
    Most of my gear is HP already hence the original choice to keep things standardized

    I haven't got any issues with our HP SAN for years apart from broken discs but the do go on occasion and are covered by the warranties with instant replacement

    What is typical among the IT people you will always hear the opposite opinions on the same products (ie. MS SP3 for XP caused a lot of problems for some and no problems or even improved performance for others) so I have to use the common sense

    will get back to the subject in two weeks

  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 13,018 ✭✭✭✭jank

    Well from our experience a HP MSA1500CS was the worst performing storage we had. Compared to an IBM DS4700 it was able to do 10 times the amount of I/O compared to the HP.

    We just had loads of problems with it and if I had to choose between a EMC IBM or HP than I would never go for the HP unless I really had to.

    In fairness been pretty impressed with the IBM DS range of storage as I used EMC mostly. There are entry level DS3200 and DS3000 that are pretty good. Dont be afraid to mix and match. HP make good servers but their storage sucks IMO. No reason why you cant have an IBM array of disks sitting there from a different brand. Like they will still all work together unless you have some complex HP LAN management software running. The end user doesn't give a crap and neither does your boss so long its not breaking the bank. If they notice an increase in performance than brownie points for you.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,942 ✭✭✭Mac daddy

    MSA1500 are end of life since the start of this year.
    They brought out a MSA2000 instead.

    The Performance problems on the MSA1500 was purely down to the firmware as it's actually a MSA1000 only real difference is the controller firmware.

    I haven't dealt with entry level storage in a good while as we are using EVA arrays.

    Have a look at the EMC entry level kit they have some pretty solid gear.

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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9 amcdaniel

    Consider iSCSI SAN storage also something like the Dell Equallogic PS6000, excellent performance and scales well beyond what you currently need. I find most FC SAN environments are grossly over spec'd and massively under utilised. Most environments that have poor performance from FC SAN is due to very poor LUN design - getting it right is the key to success with FC/iSCSI storage...

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,472 ✭✭✭Sposs

    Speak to the guys in netapp - , they have a great selection of SAN storage devices - , and currently have some great deals at the moment if you speak to their sales team.

    I just bought some gear off them recently, everything was done quickly and very professional. Very good company to deal with.