We just transitioned off of an EMC NS350 SCSI 10K rpm drives, to a Lefthand NSM2120 SAS 10K RPM drives (Now HP). We have a backend GB iSCSI network that only our ESX servers and SAN are connected to. The EMC was ok, but we only had a web management interface which was very slow and bothersome. Doing simple tasks like createing a LUN would take upwards of 10 minutes, longer if connecting that lun to multiple server.
The Lefthand is quicker in regrads to read/writes, and the management interface is so much better. I can create a lun and assign it to all my servers in under 5 minutes. It's easy to see the status of all your nodes, and the initial setup take very little time. It took me a month to learn the EMC (I didn't have any formal training), and only a couple of days for the Lefthand. I did however take classes for the Lefthand, but that was only after I had done a couple of months of testing.
Well this depends on what you are planning on running.
Do you have an existing FC infrastructure in place? Does anyone have any experience with FC? How many VMs are you looking to host on the SAN?
Our group uses EMC CX-500 for VMware right now, and we are moving to an EMC Celerra NS-120 next year (as of right now). Another group uses Lefthand for their VMware environment. We used the EMC CX-500 because it was already in place when we installed the VMware hosts. They chose Lefthand for the ability to separate their SAN and ESX hosts into different server rooms for redundancy.
Lefthand is definitely easier to manage and is only iSCSI. EMC CX4-120 can provide both FC and iSCSI.
As mentioned, it really depends how you comfortable using the product and cost wise. We're using CX300, 500, CX-380 for other applications as well, but looking at Celerra next couple of months for scalability and this allows us with iSCSI/FC options. But Lefthand's is a great product and easier to deploy and manage and price wise should be good comparing to EMC gears. I would test them out first before decide to deploy many of this on your environment. You also have other options to look at Equallogic, Compellent and Data Core SANMelody so play shopping and comparisons.
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VMware vExpert 2009
iGeek Systems Inc.
VMware, Citrix, Microsoft Consultant
Hi I am curious what you ended up going with. I am in the exact same situation right now.
Currently have around 5TB of data that needs to be on SAS storage or faster, have about 7TB of data, have about 25 TB of backup space that we would need. The Celerra can be used as a file share system but I am very skeptical about how well this works.