mike.christensen

HPE MSA 2042 vs NetApp E-2724

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Hi All,

 

I've got a HP G7 2 node cluster running on NetApp FAS just now.  The site is not compute intensive, with some licence servers, AD, Printer, DNS, etc, and Exchange.  However, they have a relatively large storage requirement - approx. 12TB and it needs to be fast (not all-flash fast, but responsive).  

 

I'm contemplating renewing this with G9 hosts directly attached with 10G iScsi using either an HP MSA 2042 or NetApp E-2724.  Both are almost identical commercially.

 

They seem fairly similar, although the MSA offers more drive compatibility and uses re-direct on write.  Both specs have SSD cache.

 

Anyone have any input?

 

Thanks.

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Why not another FAS system?  While I personally think NetApp storage is long in the tooth when it comes to innovation, and slow as a company to make good strategic acquisitions...  Their FAS line is tried and true, solid, and most importantly, their data services are 2nd to none.  And getting a 12TB usable all flash system is not a bad investment at all.  You throw out performance issues, right out the door in most all cases.  I've seen quotes of 20TB RAW from the big storage vendors all under $50K for all-flash.

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The MSA systems are nice, we have a lot os hands on experience there via Dot Hill. We're actually about to review the refreshed HPE MSA system, should have it in a few weeks. We're also reviewing the NetApp AFF A200 right now, beauty of a system. I know you're not looking at all flash, but it's probably worth pricing out a tiny one to see if you can make it work. In the end though, you already know NetApp. With similar pricing, I don't see a reason to move to a new platform.

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Thanks for the replies guys.

 

Totally agree re: FAS and NetApp as a company.  Reason for ditching FAS is firstly, budget constraint and also because the plan is to migrate CIFS shares from NetApp to a windows file server (as we have Quest Auditor licensing for this).

 

All-flash is nice and relatively cheap these days, but my budget is about half that :-(

 

@Brian am I right in thinking that the later MSA firmware has auto tiering for data as well as SSD caching?

 

Thanks,

 

Mike.

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Yes, MSA has that goodness. Our system is coming with 2 SSDs installed and a second set of 2 we can add if we want to test with a little more flash. We're pretty excited to see the new controllers, the last set was good, so not sure how much improvement there will be...we'll see. For an entry storage box, it's pretty hard to beat MSA, especially if you're getting a nice price ;)

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We're leveraging the FC side with a Brocade 6510. So far performance has been fantastic, outpacing some other all-flash units in fact. Very fun platform.

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We're gathering data now. Adding a larger SSD pool to run some additional tests, but the review is likely to be posted in 2-3 weeks. VMworld next week slows us down some. The early results with just 4x800GB SSDs are very good though. We're impressed with the early results. 

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Well, that's the good news though with the hybrid value prop still, even if all the marketing dollars are going into all flash. If you can get a lot of your workload in that small pool of 4x800GB SSDs in the MSA, you're going to be thrilled with that investment. We just want to use the 1.6TB SSDs in the system to show peak controller capabilities. I do wonder if internally the HPE people ever think about what the MSA can do with more flash compared to low-end 3PAR. Different systems and targets, but I think the MSA would put up quite the fight.

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Marketing/product manager/product area sales manager would get in front of that fast.  Swim lanes they call it.  

Why sell an MSA when 3Par has more margins and upside sales? Or this new shiny widget (nimble) that we have over hear. Don't blink, shiny!  

I agree, take away the data services, and an entry level MSA or Dell MD series, heck even a supermicro storage array; and then it just comes down to capacity, and IOPS. Put enough spindles/SSD with the proper controller, they all can all hit over 50k IOPS, in some cases, I've seen close to 100k stated in marketing rags.

But data services, that is what makes a san a san.  Otherwise, you just bought a toy. :-P

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7 hours ago, mitchm3 said:

Marketing/product manager/product area sales manager would get in front of that fast.  Swim lanes they call it.  

Why sell an MSA when 3Par has more margins and upside sales? Or this new shiny widget (nimble) that we have over hear. Don't blink, shiny!  

I agree, take away the data services, and an entry level MSA or Dell MD series, heck even a supermicro storage array; and then it just comes down to capacity, and IOPS. Put enough spindles/SSD with the proper controller, they all can all hit over 50k IOPS, in some cases, I've seen close to 100k stated in marketing rags.

But data services, that is what makes a san a san.  Otherwise, you just bought a toy. :-P

What data services do you get out of a SAN that you can't get out of the host/hypervisor these days though?

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Application data services.  Whether that be SnapManager for SQL/Exchange/Oracle.  Or AppSync from DellEMC.  Perhaps it's the ProtectPoint features of VMAX/XtremIO to DataDomain, or HPE's similar offering from 3Par to StoreOnce.

Hypervisors only care about themselves, and not the applications within.  VMware can't do anything for Oracle or SQL.  Nutanix cannot either.  Hyper-V, nope.  Sure you can use things like VADP to make a crash consistent backup.  Or an IP replication technology and SRM for some site to site level failover.  But that still doesn't take into account actual applications living in the VM, supported natively by hypervisor tools/api's.  The ability to truncate logs, quiesce databases, flush and commit transaction from RAM to disk, etc.

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