SUMMARY (2): Network storage devices

From: Jamie Lawrence (
Date: Wed Jan 13 1999 - 16:03:10 CST

All -

One person pointed out that my last summary was perhaps a
little terse, so I'm going to elaborate on our decision some.

My original summary message is at the bottom.

We were faced with needing fast, reliable storage for two
Ultra 60s serving a web based application that will end up
managing millions of files.

Our choices seemed to be a roll-your-own FCal system, a StorEdge
from Sun, or a Netapp.
Everyone on who responded was pretty much in agreement:
StorEdges aren't worth the money (expensive and slow), NetApps
may be, depending on the application (expensive and very fast).

Due to our size, external support is important, so that knocked
out the roll-your-own avenue.

My main complaint has more to do with NFS than the box itself -
file creation is slower, and NetApp's performance enhancements
can't compensate (file creation is always a cache miss). Still,
even there, it is very quick, comparatively Using it for, say,
mail spools would probably tip the price/performance ratio to
a different product. The performance numbers on are in line with the performance we're

The old RAID adage is still mostly true: Fast, cheap, reliable;
pick any two. NetApp charges a premium, but it is fast and reliable.

Hope this helps someone.



All -

Sorry for the late summary.

My original question was what other managers' experience was
with the various options for large scale, reliable network
storage: Veritas, Netapp, etc.

The quality of the list was evident in the responses - even
the flames were very helpful.

We went with a Netapp 720, which in testing has been wonderful.
It is a component of a larger set of systems, which isn't in
production yet, but I believe this was the right choice.

Thanks to all who replied.


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