caustic386
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Diskless SAN purchase?

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Can anyone recommend a highly available SAN that's sold without disks? I'd like to bring my own disks to the table, as I have some sort of philosophical issue with paying EMC (or whoever) 3x the drive value just because they put an extra chunk of firmware on them. InforTrend seems to be the best option I've found - 2.5" would be great as I'm looking to use SSD, but not a requirement.

This will be for a MS cluster primarily, but VMware qualified sure wouldn't be a downside!

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DCasota
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Yes, all disks were from Infortrend, the price was ok and the guarantee period, too (3 years).

View solution in original post

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RParker
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? I'd like to bring my own disks to the table, as I have some sort of philosophical issue with paying EMC

2 problems with that, if you want a SAN they have to support you, which INCLUDES the disks. The other problem is these driver aren't merely sold at the nearest Walmart, they are hand picked and top quality drives, not to mention they are slightly modified BIOS to comply / communicate with the SAN head units.

And you can build your own SAN, by an external drive array, put NFS on it, SAN. So you don't need to buy a SAN if you insist on your own disks...

On top of that the disks are NOT the most expensive part, it's the technology you are paying for, not the drives.. maybe they lump the price into the drives to cover their costs.. but the drives are the most essential part of the equation.. so perhaps you need to rethink that cheap philosophy.. you GET what you PAY for...

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caustic386
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The InforTrend options have a drive HCL that qualifies you for full support from them - that's the track I'm trying to stay on, I'm just curious if there's anybody else out there with similar policies.

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kac2
Expert
Expert

NetApp has a product that is called a "Gateway". It's basically a front-end for any type of storage. For instance, if you had an EMC Clarrion and you didn't just want to get rid of all those disks, but you wanted NetApp technology for it, you can put the NetApp gateway in front of the Clarrion and use primary de-dup, etc. You would have to talk to a local NetApp vendor for more info, but I know that this option is just about as expensive for a new SAN because licensing is a real killer.

I've heard good things about Nexenta. try giving that a look because thats a SAN front-end and you can supply your own shelf of disks.

caustic386
Contributor
Contributor

This looks rather promising - similar to OpenFiler/Open-E but with a true support plan. Thanks for the suggestion! Any others are welcome, of course...

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TimPhillips
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I had similar situation. In my case StarWind appeared much reliable.

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caustic386
Contributor
Contributor

I checked out StarWind and DataCore, my issue there is not only managing 2 windows boxes that would be required for HA, but also the fact that Windows is the base of this thing.

StarWind is a little short on features; DataCore seems to be the real deal but you're still stuck with boxes that need to be rebooted occasionally.

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DCasota
Expert
Expert

Hi

Have a look to qnap.com -> A rackmounted version with space for 8 disks is available.

Bye

Daniel

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PaulSvirin
Expert
Expert

Have a look at this software iSCSI SAN :

I think you will find all of the necessary features in this product.

--- iSCSI SAN software http://www.starwindsoftware.com
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Josh26
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

Paul,

I've made this post a couple of times on this forum, and I'm still interested in an answer.

Did you read the bit where he said he looked at starwind, or do you just browse forums for anything with the word "san" and respond by recommending the product? Your post history is almost exclusively references to Starwind being great.

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AntonVZhbankov
Immortal
Immortal

>Your post history is almost exclusively references to Starwind being great.

That is not a surprise since he is Starwind employee, and I think he takes great part in Starwind iSCSI development Smiley Happy


---

MCSA, MCTS, VCP, VMware vExpert '2009

http://blog.vadmin.ru

EMCCAe, MCITP: SA+VA, VCP 3/4/5, VMware vExpert http://blog.vadmin.ru
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caustic386
Contributor
Contributor

I checked out QNAP - the featureset is mostly there, but I don't feel comfortable without redundant controllers.

Apologies if I'm sounding picky, I just want to have my cake and eat it too!

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DCasota
Expert
Expert

Hi,

QNAP appliances are for small offices, where SLAs with one business day are "good enough". If you need more redundancy - guaranteed by the vendor - follow the advice of RParker: "Eat the lemon" and buy a one-vendor-solution like netapp, dell equallogic, emc, etc.

Even if you buy Infortrend (we had once the old DAS-appliance, it was good, btw) they won't guarantee that their appliance works with any disks: Have a look to the releasenotes of the controller firmware: You will notice that there are always little bugfixes, little "known issues". So maybe you have luck, and your disks will work fine, and you saved money for your company, but maybe not, and you have to explain, why it was cheaper, but not so reliable...

I don't want to say that I never would buy a case and separated disks - it depends on the operational strategy of the IT (again: SLAs, confirmed by the business).

BTW: Dell Equallogic (afaik: HP, too) ships some arrays even with only one controller and you can add a second controller later, if your IT manager is not willing to pay for right now. But again: the disks are not as cheap as if you would buy them on an online store...but: you have full support for the whole appliance.

Hope it helps

Daniel

caustic386
Contributor
Contributor

Did you ever deal with InforTrend support? If so, what was your experience?

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sudiady
Contributor
Contributor

Check this ParaScale Cloud Storage software (PCS) R2.0 - solution leverages any commodity hardware

http://www.parascale.com/index.php/parascale-introduces-open-private-cloud-storage/39-news-category/...

Parascale Network Capacity Scaling Solutions:

http://www.parascale.com/index.php/products/hyper-scale-storage-cloud

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glynnd1
Expert
Expert

I'd like to bring my own disks to the table, as I have some sort of philosophical issue with paying EMC (or whoever) 3x the drive value just because they put an extra chunk of firmware on them.

EMC, and others, do a little more then slap some custom firmware on the drive. Each and every drive, whether it shipped with the product or is later shipped as an upgrade or replacement goes through seven to ten days of test. Plus they gotta stock replacement drivers for 5 years or more after the product stops shipping. That costs money and hence is one of the reasons why "SAN" drives appears to cost three times as much.

In any case, good luck, and have fun.

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admin
Immortal
Immortal

Your thought process is a little flawed here in reference to the starwind or datacore products. Whether it be linux or windows platform or even openfiler with a kernel update, regardless of what os your running your solution on, either one os will have patches available and ones that will require a reboot to take effect. whether you need to apply those patches or not is based on your requirements. To put things in perspective, we run all equallogic arrays (about 45tb's worth on xv's) but we also have an instance of starwind enterprise running on a 2950 with windows 2008 attached to three md1000's in a striped raid-10 providing roughly 5tb of storage to a development environment. the uptime is sitting at 412 days and its pounded pretty good on an almost 24/7 basis! But its being treated as an appliance, the same as any other SAN is or would be. Even our equallogic arrays require the controllers to be rebooted for a firmware update. This is no different than the cx500', cx3-40's or older eva 3000 and 5000's i have used in the past.

So just because the OS is not a customized 1gb flash based unix interface to the hardware doesnt mean it cant provide the same services with the same availability if properly configured and supported.

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caustic386
Contributor
Contributor

Scott,

Thanks for your input - I was hoping a Datacore owner would chime in. How do you mean that you "treat it like any other appliance"? Just keep it out of band whenever possible and don't do patching unless you have a good reason?

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admin
Immortal
Immortal

Yup, thats exactly what I mean. Not everyone will necessarily agree with me but then there will be those in larger organizations which will know where Im coming from. Not every patch that microsoft releases for an OS is necessarily relavent to your environment. For instance, half of the vulnerability patches released relate to internet based attacks and exploits. If your servers are locked down from any type of internet related access to or from or access from internal users who could exploit those vulnerabilities then why patch them? You are interrupting service, run the risk of compatbility issues, system stability, etc. Likewise when

you are managing hundreds of servers (like in our environment roughly 600 windows and 350 linux servers) patching would be a constant everyday affair.

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caustic386
Contributor
Contributor

Which version of Windows are you running SANmelody/symphony on? I believe Server 2008 is the current recommendation, which I'd be more enthusiastic about if they had support for Core installs. I can't find anything on their site regarding this type of installation, however.

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