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Erwin
Feb 17, 2006



Anybody familiar with Scale Computing? They caught our eye because they were originally in the financial market, which is what we do (even though they failed at it). Their system starts with 3 1U units, either 1TB, 2TB, or 4TB per unit, and then you can expand 1U at a time, mixing and matching pur-U capacities.

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Erwin
Feb 17, 2006



Erwin posted:

Anybody familiar with Scale Computing? They caught our eye because they were originally in the financial market, which is what we do (even though they failed at it). Their system starts with 3 1U units, either 1TB, 2TB, or 4TB per unit, and then you can expand 1U at a time, mixing and matching pur-U capacities.

Perhaps it would be more useful for me to explain my needs :)

We're a small company (20 users) and we currently have about 2.5TB of data spread across an EMC AX-100 and local storage. We'd like to replace the AX-100 with something that starts at around 6TB and is greatly and cheaply expandable (there's a very good change that our storage needs will jump to 50TB in a year or two). We don't like the EMC because EMC was quick to end-of-life it and we're bitter that we can just put 1TB drives in it and call it a day. Scale Computing/Isilon was attractive because it's so expandable and doesn't require too much management, but Scale Computing is very small and that's scary, and Isilon was too expensive (the sweet spot to start at was 18TB, and that was 40 grand from Isilon).

I'll try to get an idea of cost from LeftHand, but is there anything else that may work for us better?

Erwin
Feb 17, 2006



What do folks use for backup to disk storage? Currently we have a Buffalo Terastation at each site. Other than not supporting SNMP monitoring (seriously Buffalo?) they've met our needs. Is this a bad idea or acceptable? I will need to increase our B2D capacity and will probably just get a second NAS, unless that's a bad idea for some reason.

Erwin
Feb 17, 2006



I have a new EMC AX4 iSCSI array in place and it seems quite a bit slower than I think it should be. Is there a reliable way to benchmark its performance and any statistics for similar devices that I can compare it to? I've tried googling around but I can't find any "here is what speed you should expect with this iSCSI array" information.

Erwin
Feb 17, 2006



oblomov posted:

You really need to provide some more info. What's slow exactly (i.e. whats the throughput you are getting)? Which disks do you have in there? How is it connected (how many ports, port speeds, what switch, switch config, jumbo frames, etc...)? What is it connected to (what is the server hardware, OS, application)?

Sorry, I didn't provide information because I wanted to run a benchmarking test to see if the speeds are really slower than they should be before I ask for more help. I was getting 20-30MB/s read and write when copying files in either direction. I found CrystalDiskMark and here's what I get:

Sequential throughput: about 30MB/s write and read.
Random 512k blocks: 0.8 - 1MB/s read, 28-30MB/s write.
Random 4k blocks: 7MB/s read, 2MB/s write

It's an iSCSI AX4. The array I'm dealing with is a 7-disk RAID 5 with 1TB SATA drives (12 total disks, 4 SAS drives for the Flare software, 7 disks in RAID, one hot spare). The AX4 has dual controllers, so it has a total of 4 gigabit iSCSI ports. iSCSI is on its own switch, a ProCurve 1810-24g, gigabit managed switch. Jumbo frames is currently off.

I tested from two servers, one 2008 R2, one 2003 R2. Both use the Microsoft initiator over one regular gigabit ethernet adapter (not an HBA). EMC PowerPath is installed on both servers.

I realize there are a few things keeping me from optimal speed: SATA drives, no jumbo frames, and no HBAs. I still feel like the speeds are lower than they should be, even considering those factors. Maybe my expectations are too high?

Erwin
Feb 17, 2006



Erwin posted:

Sorry, I didn't provide information because I wanted to run a benchmarking test to see if the speeds are really slower than they should be before I ask for more help. I was getting 20-30MB/s read and write when copying files in either direction. I found CrystalDiskMark and here's what I get:

Sequential throughput: about 30MB/s write and read.
Random 512k blocks: 0.8 - 1MB/s read, 28-30MB/s write.
Random 4k blocks: 7MB/s read, 2MB/s write

It's an iSCSI AX4. The array I'm dealing with is a 7-disk RAID 5 with 1TB SATA drives (12 total disks, 4 SAS drives for the Flare software, 7 disks in RAID, one hot spare). The AX4 has dual controllers, so it has a total of 4 gigabit iSCSI ports. iSCSI is on its own switch, a ProCurve 1810-24g, gigabit managed switch. Jumbo frames is currently off.

I tested from two servers, one 2008 R2, one 2003 R2. Both use the Microsoft initiator over one regular gigabit ethernet adapter (not an HBA). EMC PowerPath is installed on both servers.

I realize there are a few things keeping me from optimal speed: SATA drives, no jumbo frames, and no HBAs. I still feel like the speeds are lower than they should be, even considering those factors. Maybe my expectations are too high?

Can anybody give me an idea as to whether these speeds are to be expected? The application that the server is for has been installed, and it's hanging whenever you do anything that involves reading files from the SAN.

Erwin
Feb 17, 2006



Nukelear v.2 posted:

Yea, those are pretty terrible. In my shittiest SAN, an esxi 4 VM running against a dell md3000i I get,
@ 5/100mb
Seq: 108.3 read / 69 write
512: 101.1 read / 69 write
4k: 8.8 read / 4.9 write

No fancy hba's, no jumbo frames. It is using vmware round robin across two nics however.

Not knowing anything about AX4's or EMC in general. I would guess your cache setup is messed up, maybe something like your LUN owned by ctrl-0 is being accessed via ctrl-1.

That's good to know. I've opened a ticket with EMC.

Erwin
Feb 17, 2006



Syano posted:

Is there any particular reason jumbo frames are off? We pulled a cx3-10 array off a Cisco and put it on a Dell and the performance was absolutely abysmal until we turned jumbo frames on. I didnt realize how much of a difference the two switches would make until I saw it with my own two eyes. Not sure if the procurve is your culprit but its worth a shot if you can turn jumbo frames on.

The contractor who set up the SAN didn't enable them, and I haven't been able to schedule downtime to enable them (I'm under the impression that the AX4 will reset connections when changing MTU size). It's certainly something that should be done, but I don't know if it's the entire cause of the poor performance. I'll see what EMC says.

Erwin
Feb 17, 2006



Anybody have experience with Promise VessRAID units? I know it's super low-end, but it's just going to be our backup-to-disk target/old files archive. My concern with the unit is that it's been synchronizing the 6TB array for almost 23 hours now, and it's at 79%. If I add another array down the road and it takes a day to synchronize, the existing array better be usable.

Erwin
Feb 17, 2006



Wompa164 posted:

I'm not sure if this is the appropriate place to post this, but heregoes.

I've got about 6TB of personal data that I would like to back up to tape, on either LTO4 or LTO5. I don't own a capable tape drive but through my office I have access to a capable controller card and a copy of Kroll OnTrack.

Does anyone have suggestions for possibly renting an LTO4 or 5 drive? I'd only need it to create a backup set of my data so purchasing it doesn't make much sense to me.

Yeah, this is a little weird. But, probably the easiest thing to do would be to buy one on eBay, then when you're done with it, sell it on eBay. It's not like it'll depreciate that fast, so if you're patient, you can probably turn a small profit.

Or just buy 12TB of hard drives or something.

Erwin
Feb 17, 2006



Klenath posted:

EMC's PowerLink makes me want to crawl under my desk and weep some days. :(

Every time I have to use that shitfest and get one of those "Survey's on behalf of EMC" emails I fill it out so god damned hard :argh:

I'm not normally one for surveys, but somehow rating everything about Powerlink as absolutely atrocious helps me get through my day.

Erwin
Feb 17, 2006



Syano posted:

I have a customer that ordered a expansion shelf in for an AX4 and asked me to put it in. I have zero experience with emc much less the clariion line and it looks like I need some sort of login to even get to the documentation. Is adding an expansion shelf a pretty easy prospect? Is it hot add? Or am I going to have to spin down the array?

It's pretty simple, just pay attention to the direction of the arrows on the interconnect ports. You can do it hot, but maybe after hours just in case.

It's funny, they'll let you rack and connect a new tray, and don't provide any documentation to do it, but they insist on sending someone out to do a firmware upgrade.

Erwin
Feb 17, 2006



ehzorg posted:

Hey good storage peoples, advise me please.

You know you can say gently caress and poo poo around here, right?

Your budget is a bit tight, but there's no harm in calling up the vendors and seeing what they'll do. If they know your budget and needs, and feel like they can meet them, they'll come visit and give you a demo. Have a higher-up sit in on some demos so the vendors can tell them what an absolute god-damned nightmare shitpile you're sitting on right now.

I feel like Dell and EMC might be able to offer you something at that price (but they'll push for a little more).

Erwin
Feb 17, 2006



joem83 posted:

AX-100

I probably have the manual somewhere around here on a CD. What's the legality of giving you the PDF?

Also, I've got an AX-100 collecting dust if you wanna buy it :) Also fifteen 500GB drives, new in packaging, that we never used (Dell branded).

Erwin
Feb 17, 2006



demonachizer posted:

Could someone give me some quick advice on how to proceed with converting a file server to a VM? Currently we are consolidating about 4-5 different file servers into a single VM. When deploying it, I am thinking of keeping the disk space of the VM small and presenting the storage to the server rather than provisioning a huge VMDK.

Does this make sense as the best way to do this? Also we have been running backups to tape from a mirrored file server using Data Protector Express. Is it sensible to continue doing it in this fashion?

There's no good reason not to move the file store to a VMDK, other than the work it entails (unless it's hundreds of terabytes or something). Once it's moved, though, you'll be in a more flexible position to move it, tier it, snapshot it, etc. You should keep the OS on a separate VMDK regardless.

If that backup scheme works for you, you might as well keep it going.

Erwin
Feb 17, 2006



demonachizer posted:

There are no issues with having a VMDK that is around 5TB? I was under the impression that an RDM worked out better. It would be great to just P2V the fucker and walk away.
No, ignore me, I'm an idiot. The limit per VMDK is 2TB.

Erwin
Feb 17, 2006



Rated PG-34 posted:

Ballpark budget is not very high: 2-4k.

If it helps, I got an email about "aggressive pricing" on DataDomain through June (read: EMC trying to reach quarterly sales projections), but you'd still be paying 5-10x that for what you need (depending on how good DD's dedupe is).

Erwin
Feb 17, 2006



Yeah, it's awful.

Erwin
Feb 17, 2006



Goon Matchmaker posted:

I don't remember seeing a backups thread so I'll ask here. What's the best way to replicate/copy a backup repository (Veeam) to an offsite location? Right now we're looking at a contrived scheme of converting our iscsi backup lun into an NFS lun and using rsync to move the files offsite, which I think is just pure lunacy. There's been rumblings of "data domain" but the budget for this particular project is $0. We're trying to move ~250GB of weekly backups over a 100Mb line shared with some other stuff.

You might get more answers in the virtualization thread, since Veeam is specific to that (but most people probably read both threads). You can use a Veeam file copy job to copy the backup files, or, depending on the RPO for offsite, create a separate backup job to backup to an offsite target, say weekly fulls or whatever. You'll need a Veeam proxy on the other side, but the nice thing is that you can then take advantage of Veeam's compression.

Erwin
Feb 17, 2006



Goon Matchmaker posted:

We want local copies of the VMs in a local repository. It'd be somewhat stupid to backup straight off site since we might (and have) needed to restore a VM at some point and waiting for the thing to come back over a 100Mb line would be painful to say the least.

You can have more than one backup job per VM. Backup locally, also backup offsite.

Erwin
Feb 17, 2006



theperminator posted:

Does anyone know how difficult it is to replace the Standby powersupply on an EMC AX4-5?

I've had an SPS failure and have to replace it, but I can't really find any documentation of the process other than a note that the SPS can be replaced without powering off the SAN

Is it under support? They sent a dude out to do ours for us.

Erwin
Feb 17, 2006



KS posted:

Oh jesus christ. Now's the time to tell the story of how Unitrends decided an anime woman with fox ears was a good, professional corporate mascot. They pulled most of it, including a godawful youtube video, but some evidence remains.

Wait, that's the PHD Virtual people? Guess they're off my list of products I've heard good things about.

Erwin
Feb 17, 2006



Anybody have a justified opinion on cMLC vs eMLC in the flash space? Tegile's big claim against Nimble is that they use enterprise flash drives, whereas Nimble uses consumer grade flash drives, and they claim that Nimble's performance will degrade over time because of it. I don't really buy it and am viewing these competing arrays as layers of abstraction over arbitrary storage hardware. I don't care too much about the underlying hardware, only about the usable capacity and expected IOPS.

Every article on eMLC vs cMLC is from a storage company that uses one or the other, and therefore has an opinion one way or the other.

Erwin
Feb 17, 2006



adorai posted:

The SSDs are cheap, and you can buy the spares yourself. If it is a concern, just replace them every year.

Not that I would do this, but it can be a yeah, but for Tegile's argument. Thanks.

Erwin
Feb 17, 2006



I have quotes from EMC, Nimble, and Tegile for 40TB usable for VMware and SQL storage. Nimble and Tegile are right in the same price range, and EMC is lower, and they've even included two fibre channel switches in their price, covered under EMC support (they've included 4 years of support). If nothing else, they know how to bargain.

EMC quoted a VNX 5200 vs. Nimble's CS300. I really like the ease of the Nimble since I'm the everything admin and don't want to do too much storage janitoring if I can help it. I also think the Nimble will outperform the VNX (much more flash, although the VNX has a 10k tier vs the Nimble's all NL-SAS). Problem is, not only is EMC's price lower, but I have to add the cost of 10 gig switches and NICs to Nimble's cost to do a proper price comparison.

Anybody have a VNX 5200? The interface isn't great, but it seems like I can mostly ignore it once it's set up. I'm sure it'll outperform our current storage ten-fold, but am I going to regret not going Nimble or Tegile when it seems I'm perfectly situated in the sweet spot for their products?

Erwin
Feb 17, 2006



Bitch Stewie posted:

What's your use case and environment?

Nimble is iSCSI only, Tegile and EMC are unified so that's clearly a difference in potential functionality.

How many hosts? Nimble or anything NAS you need switches (well most times) even if you only have a couple of hosts, if you go FC you could possibly direct connect and save a good few grand.

With Tegile and Nimble you can only expand a full shelf at a time IIRC so the moment you need that 1TB of additional capacity it's gonna cost a lot vs. EMC where you add a shelf and the disks you need.

VMware, like 8-10TB of SQL data (not that heavily hit), and 20TB everything else, but usage isn't ridiculously heavy. 3 hosts, with a 4th planned right after the new storage. I only need block, and prefer iSCSI, but if EMC wants to give me fc switches because they can't do iSCSI as well, that's fine with me.


NippleFloss posted:

I'd do Nimble out of those three options. It will handle small random IO well, which is what you'll see with SQL and VMware.

Yeah, if prices were identical, it'd be Nimble for sure, but there's a big price skew at the moment. EMC sized the last quote wrong, so they're requoting and that may make it closer, but since they're including fibre channel switches, Nimble is still at something like a $10k disadvantage.

Would you do Nimble with 1gig iSCSI over the VNX 5200 on 8gig FC?

Erwin
Feb 17, 2006



Nukelear v.2 posted:

It sounds like a pretty similar build to what we have now. Was planning my next rebuild using Nimble, but now I'm really looking at going the hyper converged route and doing it all on a Nutanix. Simpler, faster, etc. Something to think about.

Nah, I have no reason to replace compute.

Erwin
Feb 17, 2006



Dilbert As gently caress posted:

Who cares the model number it is all about what the product can support vs what the environment needs are.
Nimble performance is directly correlated to model number.

quote:

Nimble is great and all but never design your san upgrade off the sales pitch of compression ratios.
I'm not. I didn't mention compression ratios. Everyone quoted 40TB usable ignoring compression.

quote:

However, nimble is low admin in admin overhead. Then again I admin Netapp, VNX, VNXe, Nimble, Nutanix, vsan, and Nexenta. So who knows, find what works best for you with low admin overhead and best cost per $ in performance. Just remember that caching != baseline performance.
I'm trying to find out by asking for experiences with both the administration of the arrays and the performance.

quote:

loving calculate the IOPS of your san/disks, devolve the cache hits, and understand/justify the business needs for that function... Not hard.
Both arrays abstract the underlying hardware, so I don't think it's as easy as adding up the IOPS of the spindles, but maybe it is, that's why I'm asking. But please, do continue to be the incoherent dick that responds to the questions you imagine in your head, not the ones that are asked :allears:

Erwin
Feb 17, 2006



1000101 posted:

Is Nimble aware you're evaluating EMC as well? Maybe go back to Nimble/your VAR and ask for bigger discounts/free stuff to bring the configurations into balance.
Yup, they're aware and also aware that their price is higher at the moment.

This is probably an incredibly stupid question, but can I use 1 gig links as failover iSCSI paths for 10 gig links? Assuming I'm okay with a performance drop in the event of hardware failure.

Am I an rear end in a top hat if I take that one step further and use only 1 10gig switch with 1 gig switching to back it up?

Erwin
Feb 17, 2006



Signed off on our Nimble purchase last week. One of the big reasons I didn't want another EMC is because their whole support experience is awful. Today I have a faulty drive on the old EMC array and getting the SR in and taken care of has made me so happy that I made the choice I did. To start with, the loving 'attach' button does nothing on their site, in any browser. Even that used to work.

Erwin
Feb 17, 2006



I haven't received my array yet, but I'll answer the applicable questions.

Vanilla posted:

The people?
One of the local sales reps is the type that will just send you calendar invites out of nowhere saying "is this day a good day to spend 30 minutes learning about Nimble?" I went through CDW who put me in touch directly with a sales engineer who handled the whole process. He was very knowledgeable and easy to get a hold of, and is also handling the install. I'm not even sure that sales rep knows that I've now bought a Nimble array.

quote:

Any bad things you've seen as a customer?
If you'll be in sales, I'd encourage prospects to buy through someone besides CDW. Purchasing something this expensive through them was painful and unnecessarily complicated.

quote:

Who would you consider their competitors?
Feature parity seems to be in the other hybrid startups - Tegile was the other quote I got with similar features*. Tegile supports iSCSI, FC, NFS, and CIFS, and they use that as a selling point, but it didn't matter to me. They also use the fact that they use eMLCs as a selling point. Again, eh. Tintri seems to sit in the same space as well. EMC is a competitor in that they sell "hybrid arrays" and will undercut their own mother to sell an array in the sub-50TB range. For ~Big Arrays~ EMC is actually a competitor, but that's in a space that Nimble probably doesn't fit as well.

quote:

Did you look at Pure?
I didn't get a quote, but I looked at them a little. I stuck with hybrid though because it's for primary storage. If I was doing a VDI project or something for a single special dataset, they would make more sense. Their sales guys didn't hound me and understood my standpoint. Seems like a good choice for specific use cases.

*edit: To be clear, by feature parity I mean what they do, not how they do it. Both have high IOPS, some amount of capacity, thin snapshots, compression, replication, etc. Obviously how they accomplish these things can be wildly different.

Erwin fucked around with this message at 19:23 on Nov 5, 2014

Erwin
Feb 17, 2006



We looked at Tegile vs. Nimble (vs. VNX lol) and went Nimble (which invalidates the following story because you need NFS), not because anyone we talked to hated Tegile, but because no one felt strongly about it. Nimble feedback is nothing but positive, and their install base is much larger. Tegile's supposedly shooting for an IPO at some point, but until then, Nimble is a little more transparent if you're into that.

Tegile pushes their use of eMLC flash, which is dumb because the point of a storage array is to abstract away the underlying hardware. I spoke to some Tegile references and they were all like "yeah, I dunno, we set it up and it works, it wasn't too bad." So it is set it and forget it, and I was unable to find someone with juicy support stories, so that was my only real concern. Plenty of people vouched for Nimble's support experience, which I can also do at this point.

So tl;dr, we looked at Tegile and it was unexciting, but not bad. And since you're looking for NFS, my Nimble story is pointless except to explain why we didn't go with Tegile. :tipshat:

Erwin
Feb 17, 2006



kiwid posted:

How come Nimble isn't in the OP? What are Goon's opinions on it?

I've never seen anything negative about Nimble here, or anywhere for that matter. I love mine. I was promised 32,000 IOPS and can pull 40,000. I rarely think about it, which is a compliment.

Erwin
Feb 17, 2006



Fruit Smoothies posted:

but this client can't have a single point of failure

Fruit Smoothies posted:

storage is cheap to buy

These two statements are mutually exclusive. Like Vulture Culture said, they either actually need high availability, or it's okay to use the QNAP storage. Not both.


Fruit Smoothies posted:

Client -> Server -> VM target -> Server -> File store target -> server -> client

Which seems a little long winded. Would there simply be one BIG target that contains big VHD files with the client data in, in the single VM storage cluster target?

Thanks!
Unless you're doing something beyond simple files on a Windows File server, the hypervisor is the only thing that needs an iSCSI connection to the storage. client -> Windows Server VM is all that matters. Even though the actual chain goes deeper, it doesn't matter because it's abstracted away.

Erwin
Feb 17, 2006



Moey posted:

Speaking of Nimble, we just got quoted for some equipment and they are doing some real good deals on hardware right now.

Their stock dropped 50% in November after bad earnings, and it's even lower now. They're probably desperate for sales, and I hope they don't get acquired.

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Erwin
Feb 17, 2006



Langolas posted:

Speaking of Nimble

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20160107005043/en/INVESTOR-ALERT-Investigation-Nimble-Storage-Announced-Law

I really like their product but me thinks something fishy is going on there.

Eh, that happens every time a notable stock drops after earnings. It's the stock market equivalent of ambulance chasers and might as well be an ad saying "have you or a loved one been injured by NMBL?" Just google "investigation on behalf of investors."

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