beckhamk
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Equallogic Cost/Performance

I am looking for some feedback on using the Equallogic iscsi sans.

First, I would like to ask truely, how well does a PS100/PS300 run using sata disks for vmware? SATA scares the crap out of us and I just can not se using the sata versions.

Second, cost. We had gotten a few quotes from CDW which where supposedly discounted for a PS100, PS300, PS3600. All I can say is WOW. We were quite surprised to see how much these equallogic systems cost compared to a FC cx3-10 or a fc HDS AMS200. For example the AMS200 we had quoted had 30x300gc fc drives with 24/7 4hr support was about $47k before discounts. Then for one PS100 with premium support was $43k all before taxes. I understand that the equallogic boxes come with alot of software included. But to us the FC costs seem like a no brainer compared to the Equallogic costs. Are we missing something here?

Any comments are welcome.

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48 Replies
doubleH
Expert
Expert

No need to be afraid of SATA. Many of us are running production operations on EQL SATA gear. EQL also has SAS models available. Do you have an existing FC infrastructure? If yes then you may want to stick to FC since you have in-house experts. If you're starting from scratch then iSCSI may make sense if you don't have a dedicated storage team. The EQL gear is very easy to get up and running. I would suggest talking to EQL or 1 of their resellers about pricing. I have a PS100 and paid nowhere near $43K. They will come out to your site and give a demo and display the arrays robustness.

There is also a good thread where people are listing their performance with different storage vendors so you could do a comparison based on your projected requirements to find a suitable SAN.

http://www.vmware.com/community/thread.jspa?messageID=584154&#584154

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mikeddib
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I agree with the bulk of the response above, including that 43K is way overpriced for a PS100. My guess if you can get 25% off that number without trying very hard.

Information about cost versus performance I would think is dependant on the environment (number of ESX systems, activity on that storage, etc).

christianZ
Champion
Champion

To be fair I woudn't say that AMS200 with 30 fc disks could be a counterpart to PS100 (with 14 x SATA).

But for now in the thread above you can't find any HDS box. What a pity !

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beckhamk
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

christianZ - not sure i am following you here....

I was basically throwing out the fact that we could get a nice FC good performance and drive space for the HDS price and when compared to the the PS100 or even the PS3600 it seems lop sided.

We just can imagine sata working very well or reliable.

One other question where can one find a list of resellers? As the equallogic website doesnt seem to have any list of resellers.

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christianZ
Champion
Champion

I wanted only to realize there is no magic - 30 fc disks will outperform the 14 sata disks (especially by random ios).

Where are you (what country)? I'm sure there are guys they give you the telephone numbers.

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beckhamk
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Ok that is exactly what I thought you meant. We would want to do two PS units. We are in the US.

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christianZ
Champion
Champion

So I think you can call EQL directly.

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pasikarkkainen
Contributor
Contributor

Don't think of just SATA vs FC drives.. it's not that simple.

Equallogic uses as a default 2 hotspare drives, so drive failures wont cause problems. Also every component in Equallogic array is redundant and hotswappable on the fly - these products are real enterprise hardware with 99,999% availability.

Please ask for Equallogic product demo. They will explain you the whole thing.

About performance.. just check the benchmarks from the internet. Equallogic does very well in the benchmarks, easily beating many FC arrays. EQL is using very good controllers and software.

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beckhamk
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

thanks for all of the input. Performance is our big concern especially for random io's. We dont need 4gb fc, 2gb will work just fine, but when we hear people about using these sata EQL arrays beating some good fc sans it makes you wounder.

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pasikarkkainen
Contributor
Contributor

Well, many of the FC arrays suck? Smiley Wink

Also remember that EQL arrays have linear scalability.. add another array, and you get 2x IOPS and throughput.. this is because volumes (luns) are automatically distributes across arrays, eql is taking advantage of the iscsi protocol possibilities.

with 10 arrays you get almost 10x the performance of single array.. without having to reconfigure clients (servers) - load balancing is automatic and happens behind the scenes with eql arrays/software.

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pasikarkkainen
Contributor
Contributor

oh, and about the cost.. remember that eql arrays include all software features (also upcoming features) - many of the other vendors charge extra for features.. snapshots, replication, etc..

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christianZ
Champion
Champion

>with 10 arrays you get almost 10x the performance of single array

As I remember the max. count of members in one storage group is 8 and you can spann one volume over 3 or max. 4 members (not more)- so please don't exaggerate (I'm using EQL too !).

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crazex
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

bekhamk, you may want to look at a vedor that deals with more than one SAN solution. A lot of times, they will be able to find what is best for your environment. When we initially began researching our SAN, I thought that the EQL would be the one we went with. After talking it over and doing some performance monitoring on our servers, we ended up going with Compellent, as it fit our environment the best. I feel that EQL is a great product, but like I said, it just didn't fit our business needs the best. With our current Compellent config, we can 6 more drive cages, before we need to add more backend loops. So this would allow all of our data to be dynamically spread across a total of 9 cages. Also, Compellent gave us the ability to use both FC and iSCSI. They also allow you to use FC, FATA, and SATA drives. So this can help you scale up as your needs grow. The company that we worked with, was Chi Corporation. They are US based, and we have been happy with their service. I am by no means soliciting them, just saying that we were pleased.

-Jon-

-Jon- VMware Certified Professional
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stisidore
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

In regards to spanning a volume across memebers, the number of arrays supported in a group can now be expanded with the latest firmware. Some volumes are found to "live" on more than 4 arrays - I've seen spanning across 5.

The gotcha will traditional storage vendor business model, such as Compellent, are the features are a la carte and require license keys to enable. In comparison, all of the features and functionality of EqualLogic are built into the operating system.

Many of the bells and whistles that the other vendors offer come with a price.

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pasikarkkainen
Contributor
Contributor

PS SERIES STORAGE ARRAYS[/url]

"Up to 60,000 input/output operations per second per unit, scaling to more than a million I/Os per second".

1 000 000 / 60 000 == 16.667 arrays (in a group).

PS300 - Winner of Excellence in iSCSI Storage 2006[/url]

"A single PS Series array can support 60,000 IOPS out of cache. ESG Lab analyzed results of a 25-array PS group that produced 1.5 million IOPS out of cache. This shows an extremely high level of scalability as well as a near-linear growth in performance."

ESG Lab Report[/url]

"EqualLogic designed the PS Series array architecture to

eclipse the traditional “cluster” architectures by

extending the number of physical systems to up to 32,

having each system being redundant and hot

serviceable, while still being managed as one logical

system. "

"PS Series Product Overview: Up to 32 arrays can be grouped together into a single

system"

Message was edited by:

ken.cline@hp.com to shorten the URLs

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christianZ
Champion
Champion

Well I've just checked the supported limits (fw. 3.2) and see here:

\- max. 8 members 8 (16 nodes, each member has 2 SPs) in one group

The "beautiful" sales numbers - forget them. You won't see such numbers in reality.

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twl031969
Contributor
Contributor

We are an EqualLogic Customer in our Data Center and also bundle their SAN into solutions for our customers. LIST price on the PS100 is $35K USD with 4 hour response maintenance adding another $4K. Perhaps your numbers are in Canadian dollars but seems like you are being quoted way too much.

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pasikarkkainen
Contributor
Contributor

Ok, I checked firmware release notes, and it says maximum supported members in a group is 8.

Based on the ESG lab test (link above) it seems you can put a lot more in the group.. so it works, but is not officially supported I guess.

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VirtualNoitall
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

It used to be supported but that support was removed. 8 is now that maximum although they are looking to increase that in the future.

We are getting a SATA demo unit in shortly. I want to run some tests for myself. The lab supported numbers they provide are pretty wild; something I need to prove, or disprove myself.

The Equalogic magic they say is in the controller and maximizing the use of each revolution of each spindle. We'll see Smiley Happy If it delivers half of what they claim it can I will buy a dozen.

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