Re: share your opinion and experience with mid-tier SAN devices

From: David Wade (
Date: 08/12/03

Date: Tue, 12 Aug 2003 21:23:24 +0100

"Captain Avocado" <JV711@yahoo.comSPAM> wrote in message
> Dear Internet brothers and sisters -
> I have been tasked with researching and reviewing bids for our
> datacenter's SAN storage needs.
> We are moderately experienced with small SAN deployments, know all the
> software functions of volume managers, remote mirrors, remote
> replication, snapshots, rollbacks, etc.
> The first wave of vendor bids is in. I am looking for experiences,
> positive or negative with these products that you have used in your
> production unix environment. My interest is in the administration,
> operation, support/serviceability, performance, easy-of-use type
> things. I don't care about the ROI, software license costs, or $$$ per
> GB ratios. That's me bosses' job.
> * Network Appliance (NetApp) FAS960

This is a Network Appliance, not a SAN. Not sure why you would want to use
one. Mose times adding an extra server will do just as well.

> * StorageTEK/LSI D280
> * EMC CX600
> * HP/Compaq EVA5000

The HP is nice, but last time I played with one Solaris integration was not
its strong point.

> * IBM FASTt 700
> * Sun Storedge 6320
> Our current environment consists exclusively of Sun Solaris 8 servers
> (6500's) running Oracle 8i on Veritas Database Edition (Quick I/O
> [raw/block filesystem trick], Veritas Volume Manager, VXFS
> filesystems). Our big databases are 300GB and our small ones are 5 GB.
> Our workload is RANDOM READ with WRITE-INTENSIVE batchwork & OLTP.
> Total SAN deployment would be about 20 TB, which makes us a small fish
> as far as regional datacenters go. We have a lot of Oracle Financials,
> custom-spaghetti code for our manufacturing and finance environments,
> and we run one of the top ERP packages for our specific industry. 95%
> of users are on the same campus or over low-latency WAN links at
> fab/warehouse/research sites around the continental USA. We don't need
> cluster/concurrent access filesystems, just the ability to finely
> slice and dice the disk array to varied SAN Clients, mount snapshots
> as read-write then take it away 1-6 months later and throw it "back in
> the pool". Oh yeah, and serve out about 1 TB of Windows fileshare
> miscellany.
> Current Direct-Attached technology is Sun A5200 photons, T3s, A1000,
> and NetApp 840s. Equipment is showing it's age, GBICs and disks die
> weekly, if not daily, like fruit falling from a tree. Backups are
> segregated onto their own switched fabric network and not part of this
> STORAGE SAN deployment.
> I prefer the Sun or NetApp stuff, looking for reason to kill the HP,
> EMC, and IBM stuff in vitro. Our IT team skill set is strong in
> Veritas, Oracle, and Sun. Local Mgmt is unwilling to increase
> headcount and stingey on the training, so I need something EASY. IBM
> has approached us with the aplomb of Mafia-hitmen, threatening
> "corporate standards", and initimating phone calls to higher-ups and
> jobs astonishingly similar to ours might be posted on
> if we dare to buy someone else's product.
> So if your opinion be political, technical, or just years of
> battle-hardened wisdom from the operations trenches, why not drop a
> few lines to a fellow sysadmin with a few bucks to spend but not many
> friends in the Storage/SAN business who don't get a commission from
> the outcome of their advice.
> Sincerely,
> Solaris Dude
> please trim the SPAM off my email address to reply.

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