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Chucklehead
Apr 14, 2004
I couldn't think of a custom title, so I got this piece of shit instead!

Wow you guys this is an awesome thread.

I have been working myself to death trying to research a proper SAN, and I am going to have some choice words to share with my asshat vendor partners.

We're a 1000 person organization and if I hadn't started asking questions we very quickly would have been sold an over priced FC solution based entirely on storage capacity.

I'm pretty sold on NetApp right now, feels like I just need to fill in the blanks in regards to sizing and specific features.

Any huge red flags about a NetApp filer? HP guys in town are trying to tell me NetApp is the devil.

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Chucklehead
Apr 14, 2004
I couldn't think of a custom title, so I got this piece of shit instead!

1000101 posted:

Repeating everything Oblomov stated, but also wanted to say that you may want to avoid the 2020. Its growth options are a little limited so a better entry point might be the 2050.

How much capacity do you need? What applications and data are going to be using the storage? Do you have other needs (like remote replication for example)?

I can't sell you a box but I figure we can arm you with the right questions to ask your resellers.

Thanks, I am going to take you up on the offer.

Our data center is currently 1.2TB spread amongst netware file/email servers and windows application boxes. We have 1200 people in our company spread over HQ and 35 branches. Branches range from 8-100 people.

I am working on a virtualization project, we are going to p2v our windows boxes in the next few months. We have some network boxes: email filtering, IDS logging, network monitoring, etc. The remaining windows boxes are running various FI applications: accounting software, budget software, etc etc - most of these things are windows/sql/application. Eventually we want to split off the DB's and host them in their own SQL farm/cluster - we will see how much the DBA likes vmware.

People get really antsy in their pants when we talk about DBs and all the performance required etc etc - majority of our DBs have 10-20 people accessing them with the exception of groupwise which has everyone connecting to it.

As a financial institution we are required to have DR and BCP plans so we need to replicate portions of our SAN to our DR site - bandwidth isn't really a concern, if we need it we'll buy it. One of the compelling features of getting a netapp filer is the snapshot replication - no one from HP has bothered to explain their replication yet.

A few things we are definitely pursuing: A Citrix XenApp farm, we currently have some people sharing certain desktops with magical applications installed on them, I also thing Citrix will help out our remote users - more and more people want to work on the road, from home etc.

VDI/Thin apps: Our CIO does not feel that deploying a full desktop to certain people makes.

One huge thing that attracts me to NetApp is just the flexibility and their whole philosophy. We are going through a massive change in infrastructure here, they are bringing in tonnes of applications and I need to make them available in a DR scenario and even to remote employees. HP would have me buy all FC drives and connect the whole works on FC - doesn't make sense to me.

I appreciate your help - for what its worth the guy I am working with at NetApp has been really great so far.

Edit: As usual I wasn't quite specific enough to start put with. Here is what I have envisioned so far:
6 ESX hosts connected via 8x1G Ethernet. 2 Host Novell Netware Groupwise Cluster, connected via 1G Ethernet, potentially FC. A 2 - 4 Host MS SQL cluster connected via 1G Ethernet, potentially FC. A 2 Host Oracle cluster connected via NFS (1G Ethernet). Our DR site will be pretty similar, just fewer boxes. I say potentially FC because the performance may require it - but can't we just use ethernet teaming to deliver more iSCSI/NFS bandwidth?

We are re-doing our DC network as well so anything I need to implement from the network side to do this right can also be designed now.

Chucklehead fucked around with this message at 15:38 on Dec 23, 2008

Chucklehead
Apr 14, 2004
I couldn't think of a custom title, so I got this piece of shit instead!

oblomov posted:

FC Stuff

If you go with a single SAN scenario (and even with multiples), you just have to make sure to layout network ports (or fiber if you so desire) appropriately, get enough shelves in different aggregates (i.e. you don't want to put Groupwise on same disks as say your financial DBs) and generally, use common sense.

Replication, btw, works, but it's not panacea. SnapMirror has a fairly sizable impact on CPU (do it at night). You have to make sure to get appropriate software to quiesce your apps. I have no clue, for example, if NetApp offers GroupWise support.

For VMware servers, do you mean each one will have 8x1GB connections for iSCSI or is this 8x1GB total amongst eight? You can use NFS, btw, with Netapp and VMware. There are some pro/con scenarios for either iSCSI or NFS.

I was pretty sure about the FC - it costs more which is why they want us to buy it of course. I keep using a video card analogy at work - ya the $600 card is the best but its a waste of money when the $200 will get us by.

What would be some deciding factors when going with multiple SANs/Controllers? You are the first person to bring this up but I have always thought it might be a better idea to go with one FAS for vmware and maybe one for DBs/Groupwise.

Replication has been another issue for me. All of the sales guys will of course tell me we can do active/active across the WAN but I was pretty sure that was BS. Can we have a couple of DBs and maybe a few VMs as active/active and the rest get replicated over night? I forget the acronyms right now but what is a realistic recovery objective with SnapMirror? If we are replicating over night we could potentially lose a day of data?

Our VMware boxes are HP DL380 G5s, they ship with 2x onboard GigE ports, I am planning to purchase two additional quad gig NIC cards - this is likely overkill but the vmware consulting guys said it was 'best practice'. Our farm will consist of 6 hosts to start with: 20Ghz/32Gb ram each.

Chucklehead
Apr 14, 2004
I couldn't think of a custom title, so I got this piece of shit instead!

oblomov posted:

Awesome information

Just wanted to say thanks - you have given me a lot more useful information than most of the guys we are paying to be consultants.

Chucklehead
Apr 14, 2004
I couldn't think of a custom title, so I got this piece of shit instead!

Intrepid00 posted:

I seriously doubt now you are risk of a 2 day repair downtime and if you had to stay up and something extreamly bad happened to one of my nodes I'd remove the node from the cluster so the cluster would restrip and become redudant again if it went past 4 hours.

Anyway, we went with lefthand and the boxes arrive thurdayish. Hopefully we didn't make the wrong decision, but I don't think we did.

Let us know how it goes.

I should be getting a FAS2020 demo unit here right away but HP has also just proposed a Lefthand solution to us instead of the EVA.

Chucklehead
Apr 14, 2004
I couldn't think of a custom title, so I got this piece of shit instead!

AmericanCitizen posted:

Can both of you guys post your experiences, please?

My company is in basically the same boat- narrowed down to either LeftHand or a lower-end NetApp. I'm very interested in any kind of feedback you have.

My experience is that the sales guys are going to lie right to your face and hope you are ignorant and/or lazy and don't call them on their bullshit.

Read this thread - the information in the OP is terrific.

Know what you need, you have to have a pretty good idea of what kind of data is in your environment.

I'll do a full post after I get the thing working.

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Chucklehead
Apr 14, 2004
I couldn't think of a custom title, so I got this piece of shit instead!

Number19 posted:

I agree with you. The idea is certainly not mine. I don't even think the majority of the teams using the data want it (or care). I was just asking for curiosity's sake more than anything and as something I could use for additional leverage in getting this implemented.

I am fairly certain you can do this with CIFS on the filer. I'm not familiar with the details but I am sure this had been discussed with us when talking about migrating existing CIFS shares to a NetApp filer.

For example if you have a windows file server with a share right now that is \\Files1\stuff then you are going to want a way to host that on the Filer without impacting users - and there is a way. You copy all of the data from \\Files1\stuff to your filer. You take a small outage to make sure no one is using the share, shut down the share on \\Files1\stuff and tell the Filer to host that share. I'm sure you could do the same with \\Project1, \\Project2 etc.

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