Dolph

DAS but not DAS; SDS but not SDS

6 posts in this topic

I could just spit out my question first, and probably get the answer.  Without an introduction and a little soap box time, I would be pretty lame!

First off, let me get a couple of things out there:

1. Brand new here. Heyy! Hai!

2. I work as an engineer in the SMB space. Designing on-premise, private cloud, whatever fits the need, etc.

3. I have a couple of biases, or accurate observations. Eye of the beholder, I suppose.

     - FC is dead/dying/overpriced/bloated/etc...

     - Hyper Convergence is the wave of the future. Operative word being future.

     - Dell/EMC merger sure does look like an abomination right now.

     - Most of the big vendors are drug dealers. First hit is "free", but hold onto your knickers when you want to upgrade and/or renewals show up.

That should cover most background questions.

I have a question coming...

Lots of my customers follow the path... Step 1. OS on bare metal; Step 2. multiple OSes on single hypervisor host; Step 3. multi-OSes on multi-host on DAS;  and 90% don't grow past that. My question falls mostly in the Step 3 arena, with focus on storage.

Background of where the need arises: Usually I would start with an entry level SAN, but in that hybrid DAS environment. AKA not 3-tier (Hosts->switches->SAN). There are plenty of manufacturers of entry level SAN/DAS that fit this description. So I want to tweeze apart, and insert a need that might exist, but is currently forced into entry level SAN/DAS.

To create the ability to have shared storage, to allow for some form of High Availability, without the external storage. This sounds like vSAN/HC, but bare with me. 

Onto the question. The best way to frame it would be pointing out a piece meal parts of a solution that I don't quite understand, and see if it rings any bells. 

I'm looking at something that LSI (Now Avago/Broadcom) called Syncro Shared Storage. (http://www.avagotech.com/products/server-storage/shared-das/It does somehow appear to be something in between the existing DAS and hyper-convergence. I've seen hints at other ones (DataOn?), but Avago's website seems to be the most coherent, that doesn't appear have any kind of links to OEM offerings. 

Can someone shed some more light on this tech? Maybe show it in a packaged up format? Am I right in thinking that this "Syncro Shared Storage" is somewhere lost in the middle of existing tech (DAS/SAN and emerging tech (vSAN/HC) for my market space? Maybe I'm just barking up the wrong tree completely? 

 

Thanks for reading my novel, baring with incoherence, and for hopefully answering my questions!

-Kyle

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We have reviewed it twice I believe - 

http://www.storagereview.com/echostreams_durastreams_dss320_with_lsi_syncro_cs_review

and

http://www.storagereview.com/quanta_mesos_cb220_with_lsi_syncro_cs_review

It's since been updated some but the premise is the same. With the cost of two controller SAN coming down so much and the cost of flash doing the same, I'd be reluctant to do Syncro over a SAN unless you have a pretty specific need where Syncro is a great fit. 

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Welcome to the forum. Syncro is a pretty cool idea, but I'm not sure it was ever successful in terms of catching on as well as other offerings. Performance that we measured worked well for HDD based solutions, but we never saw a huge uptick in terms of all-flash benefits.

I think for the mass market, HBAs presenting raw disks to the software layer offers a better option for the customer. So VSAN, Storage Spaces in the latest Windows Server... stuff along those lines.

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13 minutes ago, Brian said:

We have reviewed it twice I believe - 

http://www.storagereview.com/echostreams_durastreams_dss320_with_lsi_syncro_cs_review

and

http://www.storagereview.com/quanta_mesos_cb220_with_lsi_syncro_cs_review

It's since been updated some but the premise is the same. With the cost of two controller SAN coming down so much and the cost of flash doing the same, I'd be reluctant to do Syncro over a SAN unless you have a pretty specific need where Syncro is a great fit. 

In the echostream review, I see you even have a link to a review of Syncro itself (8/14/2014). Although a bit dated, it gives all the particulars. Thanks for pointing them out. Guess I should have just dumped in Syncro in your search field! 

I have a lot of experience in IBM/Lenovo's entry level SAN the V3700. Gen 1 has a lot of performance bottlenecks, some imposed, some not. Fits our mold for 2-3 hosts with mixed workload. Gen 2 just got released, but no customers bite off just yet. Would love to see your take on the Storwize V series (V3700/V5000/V7000). 

For now.. Just waiting for "good" SDS to trickle down into my market. Looks like it is gonna be a while. 

Thanks for the reply!

-Kyle

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There's always ScaleIO. Actually, you can get a free license for testing, might well be worth your time to experience it some in non-production.

As to Lenovo storage, we haven't seen anything from them. They are reselling the Dot Hill gear too, which is pretty nice. There are a ton of options, VNXe would also be a good place to look if you end up not doing HCI.

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As someone in the VAR/reseller community, I have a very different viewpoint than you.

Quote

 I have a couple of biases, or accurate observations. Eye of the beholder, I suppose.

     - FC is dead/dying/overpriced/bloated/etc...

     - Hyper Convergence is the wave of the future. Operative word being future.

     - Dell/EMC merger sure does look like an abomination right now.

     - Most of the big vendors are drug dealers. First hit is "free", but hold onto your knickers when you want to upgrade and/or renewals show up.

 

FC is very much alive in midsize and enterprise accounts.  SMB maybe not with the likes of Nimble, HP's lefthand stuff, EMC's VNXe, etc, and other start ups.  Startups that are iSCSI first, and recently bolted on FC to inch into the Enterprise.  Think about that.  They added FC after the fact to drive sales in the enterprise, that otherwise wouldn't have given them the time of day.

 

HCI is a great thing.  I've got customers that run both Nutanix and traditional infrastructure.  The traditional environment costs about 5x what they spent on Nutanix, and Nutanix will never grow more than what it is.  I've also worked with customers that went all in with Nutanix.  They are uber successful in that.  HCI is just an option, not a solution.  You need the software/application stack to take notice and adopt.  I have many niche verticals that use apps that require physical infrastructure (healthcare), still use HW dongles for license checks(Design firms), and I have customers that have a need for high sustained single stream read writes (NAS systems).  

 

Dell/EMC merger is a good thing IMO.  It's a marrying of two different business focuses.  One caters to the midrange and highend; the other consumer, low end and midrange.  They are complimentary.  The EMC data protection portfolio is really 2nd to none today.  It wasnt the case just a couple years ago.  Isilon a fantastic scaleout NAS, Dell's servers are extremely affordable, and their datacenter practice is very very good.  You've also got a few very passionate leaders up top that will make waves (top, down) to get his way.  When I worked for an OEM software company, my team had our Lenovo laptops out in Roundrock(They were a reseller of our gear)...  Bad idea when Micheal Dell walks in the room. ;-)  

 

Working with vendors...  The whole first hit free thing.  That's you (or your sales rep) not informing the customer of long term costs.  I run into this a lot as an example with Commvault.  They make the sale, sell the software and required licensing, but dismiss or minimize the HW requirements over time.  Sure looked cheap in yr1!  At the end of yr3, and you need $300k in new servers, SQL licenses, and storage just to maintain organic growth...  CVLT did a poor job of explaining that.  Same goes for EMC, HP, etc.  A good reseller maps out the 1yr, 3yr, and 5yr costs.  Manufacturers make their pricing as such, to refresh the equipment after support is over.  In fact, pricing is so calculated, it's often cheaper to buy new than renew support in many cases.  But new startups are bucking that trend, and the big vendors are taking notice, and making that change.  Flat rate annual maintenance for the life of the product.  Expect to see this transition in many places over the next 3-5yrs.

 

Back to the original discussion..  ScaleIO, the free version could be the ticket.  You can even true-up to pay for support.  You don't run a business without support/insurance!  Thats the thing about taking on a startup.  Is the business viable, the technology sound, can any IT lackey just jump in and manage it?  yes the initial acquisition costs were super low, but if ongoing caring and maintenance takes a lot of time, how much did you really save?  How about Simplivity?  I've lost to them on cost in the past, I have to assume they are doing good...

 

How about just some of the newer rack mounted thecus, synology, qnap arrays?  All are vcenter certified, some support flash, and iSCSI.  Super affordable, and since they have little in the way of data services, not much could go wrong...

 

Good discussion, perfect on the low end.  Of course there are great turnkey low end solutions too if you want to talk to the  bigger vendors...

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