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Thread: Future storage - what would you go for?

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    Question Future storage - what would you go for?

    We are looking to seriously increase our storage capacity and we have come up with 2 possible solutions:

    1) HP StorageWorks 2000i Modular Smart Array
    http://h18000.www1.hp.com/products/q...2992_div.HTMLI
    http://www.itpro.co.uk/603621/exclus...storage-arrays
    Initially we would populate this with enough SATA disks to give us approx 7TB of RAW diskspace. We could then then add further disks and drive enclosures over time as our demand for storage increases. This is a very scalable system; currently you could potentially get up to 48TB raw capacity with SATA disks and 21.6TB with SAS. You can mix both drive types too. The SATA disks are more expensive than standard SATA disks, eg a 750gb one is ~£200.
    This would cost us approx £8000inc VAT and includes a 3yr onsite warranty.

    2) Netgear ReadyNAS Pro Business Edition
    http://www.netgear.co.uk/rndp6610.php
    http://www.pcpro.co.uk/reviews/23435...s-edition.html
    This would give us 6TB RAW. This would be using all 6 SATA channels but disks can be replaced giving some scalability.
    Buying 2 of these would allow us to mirror them giving some extra redundancy. Potentially one could live in another building entirely, all though this does depend on another department giving us the space (in one of their very large, secure, server rooms).
    If we need to expand the capacity beyond just replacing the disks we could always buy more NAS devices, although this is not quite as elegant a solution as above.
    Two of these would cost us approx £5600 inc VAT and includes a 5 year RTB warranty.

    To some extent the decision may have already been made for us – money. The first option relies on securing some extra funding. But if we were to get that what would you go for and why?
    _ _ _
    Vroomy

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    Re: Future storage - what would you go for?

    What is this storage for?

    I would have thought the HP would be a better investment and you'd probably get better support. Bad performance and down time can cost a fortune over time.

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    Re: Future storage - what would you go for?

    I'd go for the HP one too its a proper san rather than a NAS unit.
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    Re: Future storage - what would you go for?

    Quote Originally Posted by Funkstar View Post
    What is this storage for?

    I would have thought the HP would be a better investment and you'd probably get better support. Bad performance and down time can cost a fortune over time.
    Agreed .... it depends on what it's for. A home server is a rather different proposition from having 100 staff sitting on their hands (or worse, unable to accept orders) if it fails.

    The HP is more expensive and only has a 3 year warranty, but it is onsite. If you have the need for storage solution of this type and cost, I'd have though an RTB warranty was totally inadequate ..... unless this is one of a duplexed pair.

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    Re: Future storage - what would you go for?

    Agree with the others regarding HP, they do have the best customer services and get things shiped out straight away. They certainly did when our core switch went down at the school i work at last year.

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    Re: Future storage - what would you go for?

    Thank you for all the responses.

    Quote Originally Posted by Funkstar View Post
    What is this storage for? .
    It’s for staff and student data. We are a small academic department, but some staff and PhDs use very large data sets – eg very high res satellite imagery. At the moment the data is spread across 3 servers and totals about 2.5TB

    Quote Originally Posted by Funkstar View Post
    I would have thought the HP would be a better investment and you'd probably get better support. Bad performance and down time can cost a fortune over time.
    Certainly our initial thoughts, although I the think downtime wouldn’t be an issue if as I said we bought 2 NAS’ and mirrored them – in fact it would probably be better. I think performance is the big advantage with the SAN.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    Agreed .... it depends on what it's for. A home server is a rather different proposition from having 100 staff sitting on their hands (or worse, unable to accept orders) if it fails.
    Fortunately we don’t have to worry about taking orders, but I may get a kicking from a Prof. if he’s unable to process any data.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    The HP is more expensive and only has a 3 year warranty, but it is onsite. If you have the need for storage solution of this type and cost, I'd have though an RTB warranty was totally inadequate ..... unless this is one of a duplexed pair.
    Yes, in the case of the NAS they would be duplexed; otherwise I wouldn’t have considered an RTB warranty.

    Oh well, we may still not be able to afford the SAN.
    _ _ _
    Vroomy

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    Re: Future storage - what would you go for?

    I've had so many problems with Netgear products, HP for sure

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    Re: Future storage - what would you go for?

    You could always build your own NAS systems, and use a prerolled NAS distro such as freenas or openfiler. Don't underestimate the usefulness of commodity hardware and software.
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    Re: Future storage - what would you go for?

    I like FreeNAS , its a great product , but I'm not sure I could get a 4 hour onsite replacement with home rolled hardware for it.
    That said , theres nothing wrong with buying a small server wtih a big disk shelf with a warrenty and expandabililty , although it might not work out cheaker than buying the MSA. It depends on how long you can go without your data for.
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    Re: Future storage - what would you go for?

    Quote Originally Posted by Moby-Dick View Post
    I like FreeNAS , its a great product , but I'm not sure I could get a 4 hour onsite replacement with home rolled hardware for it.
    That said , theres nothing wrong with buying a small server wtih a big disk shelf with a warrenty and expandabililty , although it might not work out cheaker than buying the MSA. It depends on how long you can go without your data for.
    I guess it also depends on the respective costs.

    It might be worth, and cheaper, to buy two home-rolled hardware setups than to pay for industrial grade support contracts. For instance, I know of one very large organisation where uptime on their site servers (one per site) is critical. But rather than pay for extreme support, they have duplexed servers. If one goes down, they calculate that the secondary will keep them going for long enough to to rely on a lower grade of support to fix the issue before relying on a simplex server provides too great a risk. And typically, depending on site, if that second one goes down, it'll cost them £130,000 - £250,000 in lost sales per day, so it isn't a decision they take lightly.

    As will all such questions, whether it be a home server or a stock broking system, it's about risk versus cost of covering it.

    If this risk is an angry prof or two, A-Grade options (with A-Grade prices) might not be justified. But if it'll cost a quarter of a million (or a lot more) is lost revenue, per day, you don't take so many chances.

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    Re: Future storage - what would you go for?

    True - that was my plan b - have a couple of freenas boxes running sync for example
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    Re: Future storage - what would you go for?

    Yup, exactly so. It's sometimes practical to have an entire spare system, ready-built, sitting in a cupboard, and with home-rolled hardware, it's feasible. Perhaps two cheap duplexed servers, and on offline spare. With identical hardware, OS, drivers, etc, it's a relatively quick job to pull a dead one off, get the spare in it's place and, if necessary, take the main server offline while you port data across over a fast network. Then, you're back in duplex mode pretty quickly.

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