SUMMARY: Network attached storage ideas

From: GDS <>
Date: Sat Jan 15 2005 - 19:31:03 EST
Dear Managers,

Thank you for your responses.

Let me start by clarifying that the issue with Solaris
9 and NFS is not with Solaris but with how the Snaps
interact with Solaris 9 NFS. Sorry for the confusion.
On to the responses.

It seems that (money notwithstanding)  the safest bet
is with Network Appliance. There have also been
numerous alternatives proposed (will have to visit all
the vendors) along with Sun Storage and Apple Xserve

As foar as I know, for my customer, the Sun solutions
are prohibitively expensive. The Apple Xserve RAID may
be a nice robust system but customer does not want
another OS in the  current environment. I have to look
at prices for NetAPPs and the other options. Thank you
again for all your help.  Special thanks to Tim
Chipman for his pointers and detailed response.

Following you will find the original question and 
responses (in no particular order).

===================== ORIGINAL QUESTION
Long-time listener, first time caller.
We have been using Snap servers for quite some time to
perform our backups (using our home-grown scripts).
They have been OK but flaky but we always managed with
some hacks to deal with the problems.
However, we just moved to Solaris 9 and NFS mounting
is a nightmare.  I am looking into network attached
storage ideas for something in the order of 2+TB.
RAID is good, performance requirements are not strict
(we will only use them for backups).
I looked at and I like their IDE-type
of setup.
Does anyone have any suggestions or recommendations
for what products or vendors to look for?

===================== RESPONSES =====================
Network Appliance.  Might be a bit more expensive that
you want to 
spend, but they are true appliances.  Incredibly easy
to setup and maintain.
They have a Nearstore 200, which starts at 8Tb and
expands to 96Tb.

From:	"Grzegorz Bakalarski"
Anyway you may look for e.g. following vendors:,, and many, many similar.
proware, synetic, acns(JetStor), maxtor(Arena) use 
more or less the same raid controller (intel based)
and interface,
Infortrend is build around PowerPC chipset (similar to
SUN Storage
3310/3311/3510 array). NexSan uses own chipset base on

From:	"Linux Admin"
it really depends on how deep your pockets are. Netapp
R200 is nice,
NetAPP OS is awesome. The unit is a cadilac as far
pricing. it plays
nice with Sun, Linux , MS.

From:	"David Foster" 
We are using Nexsan ATAboy2 arrays (2.6TB) and have
extremely happy with them. Cheaper because they use
commodity ATA drives, but performance has been similar
to our Sun T3 arrays. Just be sure to configure a
as these drives are slightly less reliable than the
more expensive SCSI or FC disks. We indeed had one go
the unit picked up the hot-spare and didn't miss a
and Nexsan replaced the drive immediately.

The web-based interface for the Nexsans is superb.

From:	"John Malick"
Sun's 5310 NAS storage is great. Check it out.

From: 	"Tim Chipman"
-not quite clear why NFS is a nightmare for you ..
maybe if you want to 
clarify what you were trying / what you are trying to
mount - backup 
etc .. further clarification/resolution might be
possible there (?)

-for what it is worth: We've got an IDE_based disk
array from AC&NC, 
"JetStor III", which I've been very happy with. Price
was good (~$9k 
USD for 8 x 200 gig, or ~1.4tb in raid5 without
hot-spare) and similar 
things can be had for slightly less per gig from them
especially if 
larger capacity is your target (12 / 14 / 16 disk
arrays ...).  For 
it is worth, AVOID like the plague and large Maxtor
IDE disks, we had 
serious problems with them.. Seagate disks have better
warranty and 
fewer failure issues.

-we also recently bought an array from Winchester
Systems, also IDE 
based, an "older refurb" model that I got specifically
b/c it was cheap 
and we needed another brick for a development/test
box. This one I 
haven't tested much yet, but seems to work well, so I
can also 
them. IF you can get an off-lease or "last years unit"
you will find 
great prices. OR go the full splurge and buy the
latest and greatest, 
whatever you prefer :-)

anyhow, in general, for sure IDE based units will be
WAY! cheaper than 
SCSI/Fcal disk models. Performance will be a bit lower
too but probably 
not a big issue for your needs. also, for ref, our
Jetstor unit with 
200gig IDE disks is about the same performance as an
A1000 (all scsi 
disks) so clearly the IDE-based units aren't "junk"
(as some might tell 

finally, as you have found, there are MANY vendors
selling this sort of 
stuff ... (IDE disk arrays) ... lots of options. Just
be picky with the 
brand of disk used, IMHO Maxtor is toxic to be
avoided. (we had bad 
blocks pile up on 6 of our 8 disks in the array in
their first 18 
of service, totally unacceptable).

From:	Send an Instant Message "Solo" 
Hi there

This may at first sound like a joke, but I am dead
serious when I say 
you ought to check out Apple's Xserve RAID. They're
beating anything 
else hands down both in price and performance. Even
Oracle were amazed 
by it and they now run Apple internally for all their
SAN infra.

The Xserve RAID uses IDE disks and you connect to it
fibrechannel. Scales up to 5.6 TB and has a number of
for various SAN products including Veritas Volume

From:	"Alex J. Avriette"
Hi Gregor.

It's tough to beat the Apple XServe RAID for
dollars-per-gig. In a
similar homegrown setup a couple years ago, I
installed 2tb of XServe
and it did the trick just fine.

From:	"Derek Olsen" 

 I dont understand your statement about nfs mounting
being a nightmare 
on solaris 9 but I will give you some info I came
across while looking 
for NAS storage besides netapp and snap appliance.

  This product is something I considered in an
environment where I 
use ide drives but I dont have any experience with it
beyond the 

   The EMC NS line of NAS devices when populated with
ata drives 
of fibre channel comes in at a pretty reasonable
price.     Obviously 
what I consider a reasonable price was in relation to
the importance of 
the project I was working on and the associated
revenue so it may not 
right for you. 

From:	jastrologo

netapp fas250.

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Received on Sat Jan 15 19:31:33 2005

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