Monday, March 09, 2009

Why I chose Equallogic over NetApp

I recently had to buy some more storage for our virtualized XenServer cluster at work and just wanted to comment on how I believe NetApp have shot themselves in the foot when it comes to SMBs. I don't usually post such techie stuff, but this really annoyed me.

We currently run an older entry level NetApp FAS250 box. Its a single controller model with 14x300Gb FC disks in it and I can say it is one of the most reliable things on our network, although performance isn't incredible.

So I went to upgrade and wittled the choices down to boxes with comparible pricing: the NetApp FAS2020 (12x1TB SATA disks) and Equallogic PS5000E (16x750GB disks), both with dual controllers.

Here is a big problem with NetApp I found:

You cannot create RAID groups over 8TB on the NetApp. In addition to this, on a dual controller setup you need at least two aggregates anyway.

So, on a one box filer you not only lose a massive amount of space but also, as the more spindles you have in a RAID group the higher the performance, you lose that too!

Compare the two standard setups and see the difference:

NetApp FAS2020: 1x Five Disk RAID-DP, 1x Six Disk RAID-DP, 1x hot spare ~7TB raw space (1TB disks).

Equallogic PS5000E: 1x Fourteen disk RAID 10, 2x hot spares. ~ 5.25TB raw space (750GB disks) or 1x 15 disk RAID 50, 1x hot spare. ~7.5TB raw space.

RAID 10 is probably going to be faster than RAID DP anyway, so add the extra spindles and it should be MUCH faster than the NetApp box. Does anyone from NetApp want to comment on these stupid restrictions? I'll report more when my box arrives and tell you about the performance.

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