Advice - I've been asked to look into replacing our NAS at each site (4), and would like some advice...

Hi all,

I've been asked to look into replacing all our NAS. The question is whether to buy more NAS, or simply buy normal servers to use as disk space. If possible, i'd like advice on advantages of both options, and if anyone has any specific advice on makes and models to look into, that would be much appreciated too!

We currently have HP NAS, with varying amounts of disk space depending on the number of clients at the site etc. Apparently at the moment the redundancy is virtual, although I know so little on that subject I have no idea what would be important to know or not!

I believe the idea is to figure out which way to go, and have just RAID5 across all drives. I'm a real beginner here on the subject of storage technologies, so excuse me if i've missed anything obviously important.

Many thanks!
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PeteJThomasAsked:
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Smart_ManCommented:
do you have a backup plan ?

do you have mirror servers ?

what about raid0 ?

http://www.laynetworks.com/RAID-Tutorial.htm

http://compreviews.about.com/od/storage/l/aaRAIDPage1.htm

what is your cost/performance factor ?

waiting for your reply
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PeteJThomasAuthor Commented:
I think all options are open! Problem is i've been at this job a few weeks, so I still lack the background knowledge of the way things work at the moment...

To the best of my knowledge, we have 1 much larger NAS here at the headoffice (by much larger I mean 1TB, half of which is a mirror I think), and all the other NAS's replicate all their data on to it using some kind of Veritas replication software. We then have a server pretty much dedicated to backups, which backs up our NAS at HQ to tapes (differentially during the week, with a full on Friday - not that this makes any difference).

I've not been given any kind of budget to work with, I think the idea is to find the best solution possible, and once I have a good understand of the technologies, we can 'refine' that solution to meet any budgetary restrictions.

Performance wise I'm afraid I have no idea - The hardware in place at the moment is HP Storageworks NAS 1200s, but these have become problematic, and keep failing etc (not ALL the time, but often enough to bring about this project). At least that may be some sort of guideline I suppose...

I hope some of this info is useful to you, please ask any other questions you have, baring in mind my lack of knowledge in general on storage tech, and my lack of local knowledge here! (however obviously I can do some digging and find things out if it's important).

Many thanks again!
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PeteJThomasAuthor Commented:
Oh and the initial question I would like answered if possible, which will help give me some base knowledge on the subject, is what are the advantages (if any) of using NAS over standard server with a lot of disk space. If someone can give me some pointers on that, it'd help me a lot too!
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Smart_ManCommented:
the price the of server , free :)

http://www.symantec.com/business/products/overview.jsp?pcid=2254&pvid=57_1


are you looking for online resources about storage plans ? or online course /advice ?
or a solution for specific situation ?

waiting for your reply
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PeteJThomasAuthor Commented:
More kind of general information than specific, as I think I need to understand more about the technologies before I can start to put it together into a solution specific to our needs! So maybe some good online resources to read through (explaining about NAS Vs Standard server storage)?

And any knowledge from people like yourself, recommendations on some proved solutions etc...

Just trying to build up some base knowledge on the subject!
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Smart_ManCommented:
ummm .. well info from ppl like me will be like more specific and solution oriented if they do not just provide you with the final solution.

experts here tend to talk and explain less and solve more.

and again proved solution will be case-specfic if you got what i mean. which you are avoiding to get in here , at least until you build your own knowldge db.

i can recommend some urls(through professional search/election through the net) or courses. and that is how you can build up your know-how.

for proven solution. you got to represent your case.

waiting for your reply
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Lonewolf70Commented:
Have you had any discussions with the HP Storage Team that represents your company?  I believe their new "push" in the NAS space is for their Polyserve product.  You could get some recommendations from them as to the best way to refresh that hardware.

There are many different companies that offer NAS servers for SMBs to large enterprises.  Price point will be key here, but you should be able to find something entry-level that will meet your needs and be close to the cost of a few Windows servers.  I have experience with both Windows clusters serving only as file servers and with enterprise class NAS systems, and the NAS is by far superior because that's what it was built to do.  They each run a specialized OS (usually Linux flavor) that is designed for performance, the hardware is fully redundant, and you don't have to worry about things operating system patches that require downtime and the other inherent issues with running generic servers.  It is kind of a broad subject that is really going to depend on your performance, costs, scalibility, and availability needs.

You can start here for some "NAS schooling" - http://searchstorage.techtarget.com/topics/0,295493,sid5_tax298616,00.html

Does your company run a SAN as well?
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PeteJThomasAuthor Commented:
Thanks Lonewolf, that's just the sort of info I was after! Now I have the basic stuff down I can get on with it! Thanks again, both of you!
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PeteJThomasAuthor Commented:
Oooops I meant to give an A... Sorry!
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Smart_ManCommented:
anyway the grade can be modified ?

waiting for the admin reply
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PeteJThomasAuthor Commented:
I didn't know the grade could be modified! How do I get it done?
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Smart_ManCommented:
have you tried to post a request to change the grade to the admin ?

waiting for your reply
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PeteJThomasAuthor Commented:
Do you just post it like a normal question? Or is there a special place to post for these types of things?
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Lonewolf70Commented:
No worries.  Thanks, though.
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Smart_ManCommented:
i guess it would be like posting a new question , just the one in this link

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Community_Support/General/Q_21589682.html?sfQueryTermInfo=1+chang+grade

mentioning the question number that you want to change.

thnx for you .. :) although it is ok :) but it would be better

waiting for your reply
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