From: Divyaprakash K.C. <>
Date: Tue Mar 08 2005 - 06:47:42 EST
I have sent the summary sometime back.But because of some reason it got
delayed somewhere. Here it goes

Thanks a lot for Kevin Shaw, Michael Horton, RIch Bishop..Very very special
thanks to Tim Chipman, Darryl Baker for helping me to understand what exactly
has to be done..

Finally we are going for a NAS box and most probably it will be a QNAP based
solution. For details please see their website



My question was:-

Hi Managers,

I am sending this to group because have got only a couple of days to give a

Have any of you got a NAS system installed and using with Solaris ? Basically
I have a SAN box here attached to a Sun  E 280 R, have VXFS file system and
serves as a file server. All user homes, projects and apps live here. Now we
get a lot of ftp data and other huge files which are not so critical. Such
files occupy the precious space in the SAN box. I want to put all these files
in another place - a cost effective storage box. Some of my peers suggested
NAS. Since I have no prior experience with a NAS box and also dont know
using it with a Solaris network, I request you to chip in with your thoughts
and experiences.

My network consists of Solaris 8, NIS, VXFS and user homes, projects and
applications are all pushed to them through NIS maps.

Thanks in advance.


Darryl wrote ..
"I have had experience with 4 NAS appliances. Two are no longer in
production so I won't bother with them. The two current systems are
NetAppliance NetFiler and the EMC Celerra. I REALLY like the NetFiler
they have been very reliable and were very cost effective. My experience
with the EMC Celerra is mixed. First it is just a NAS preseentation of SAN
disk which is not what you want anyway. Next when we first started to use
the Celerra it was quite unreliable and at times down right flakey. Now
after a year and a half of tinkering by EMC it has gotten much better.

Suns have been using NFS for more than 20 years now and for a good part
of that time there have been other vendors producing NFS boxes to work
with them. Don;t worry about NAS and Sun. Just find a good NAS box."


Tim Chipman's mail was like a Bible to me..he made me a sort of expert as
far as NAS is concerned , in my organization.Based on his mail I made a
to the management comparing NAS and SAN..Please read his comments.Tim...Thanks



"NAS" box is a pretty broad term :-) and means different things to
different people. However, I do agree with the suggestion - to get "low
priority data" onto cheaper storage, to free up the high-performance san
storage for more appropriate use in the long term.

Out "cheapo storage" here is very simple - an external IDE-disk based
Raid5 array, which is direct-attached to a solaris host which acts
(more-or-less) as a "NAS server", providing NFS and Samba access to
local clients.  It could equally well provide FTP/etc access.  I chose
to use such an arrangement rather than a "dedicated 3rd party blackbox
NAS device" because it gave me full control over user/group assignment,
and was easy to integrate into the environment here.  What is best for
your environment may vary, according to your specific needs clearly.

IF you do have "group and user" file ownership issues that are not going
to be instantly trivial, then a similar solution might be appropriate
for you. If, however, the NAS box will be hosting "anonymous" data for
the most part (or read-only file stores, or something thus) .. then
clearly it isn't a big deal.

For reference, in case it is of use,

-we have a JetStor III disk array from AC&NC, with 8x200 gig IDE disks.
The array cost us approx $8000 USD about 2 years ago ; you should be
able to get a newer model with ~12 or 14 x 200 gigs of storage for the
same price these days (I suspect).

-we also have (more recently purchased, although bought as a refub part)
a Winchester Systems "FlashATA Disk array" [really a rebadged InforTrend
6300] and are *very* happy with its performance - seems much zippier
than the Jetstor [PPC based hw raid controller, rather than intel
chipset..] and was a bargain price [~$3kUSD with 9x200 gig refurb 1-year
warranty WDC HDDs].

-for what it is worth to know, both the IDE-disk-based units above
outperform our Sun A1000 SCSI-based disk array (albeit older technology)
by a long shot.  The WinSys unit is more-or-less on par with our T3 disk
array (slightly slower performance for some access profiles ; slightly
faster for others..) - but again this is pretty impressive IMHO since
the t3 is FCAL subsystem from top-to-bottom ; I guess the age of the
raid controller is relevant here :-)

Certainly there are a zillion raid5-disk-array-vendors out there,
although ultimately many of the products are similar things in different
packaging (ie, intel hardware raid controllers).  This is not to suggest
they are "bad", but rather, it might be good to shop around if you are
going this route.

Finally, IF you do go for any solution that uses ATA disks (quite
likely, since they offer MUCH better price-per-gig than scsi or fcal
drive based solutions) - I must strongly !!! recommend you avoid MAXTOR
disks **LIKE THE PLAGUE**. We have had enough failures on these parts in
our jetstor unit ... that we finally removed and replaced them all with
Seagate parts, which IMHO are of infinitely greater reliability/quality.

So.  Overall, a great idea. How you implement it is really up to you
though :-).  You might have the "easiest" time of it (if appropriate -
depends on IO loading of the 280R system) simply buying  an  IDE raid5
unit, and attaching it directly to the 280r.. then creating
new/appropriate mountpoints for this "cheap storage" and migrating files
over there as required.

HTH // good luck,

sunmanagers mailing list
Received on Tue Mar 8 06:48:42 2005

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