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Storage solution evaluation

http://biz.pcconnection.com/IPA/Shop/Product/Detail.htm?sku=7729099

Is this a good product? What are its UPs and DOWNs? How does it compare to an Dell MD3000i?

We are definetly looking for something Rackmountable. Is this product reliable, easy to use?

The good thing about this unit, is it inexpensive. However, does the quality match the price tag?
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pzozulka
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pzozulka
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Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
The ReadyNAS and a Dell MD3000i are two different types of hardware.  The ReadyNAS is a NAS which means you will only have access to it via shared folders.  The Dell MD3000i is an ISCSI SAN which allows you present LUNs to your servers as if they were local volumes on the systems.  

The ReadyNAS is for regular file storage in general as with most NAS units.  A SAN is used for faster and more reliable way to provide local storage, normally no a separate subnet.  This is helpfull especially with messaging, sql, virtualization, etc..

There are other differences such as block level access on a SAN vs byte level on a NAS but we really need to know what you will be using the storage to see what solution suits you best.  The ReadyNAS may not be a good NAS even if a NAS suits you better

The ReadyNAS only has 512MB RAM and only has SATA 150 drives.  A SAN will normally have faster drives, at least SATA 10k and preferably SAS drives which are faster and more reliable.

Here's a good link with explaining NAS vs SAN

Hope this helps

Paul
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Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
Link was missing, here you go

http://www.nas-san.com/differ.html
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pzozulkaAuthor Commented:
The ReadyNAS was a suggestion by my boss. I need to evaluate it.
Can you give me points describing what is bad about it, and points what is good about it. (Pros vs Cons)
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Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
Pros: Cheap, X-Raid hot swap drives at low cost, ftp server capability

Cons:  Memory 512MB (not upgradable), slow hard drives, inconsistent support compared to HP & Netapp, only for file shares (can't be used like a SAN for local volumes), Linux OS (doing ntfs emulation which may cause some issues if using with certain applications).  Not sure how backups will work with it, some applications work ok for backups, others do not due to ntfs emulation via samba and the like.  Backups need to take place during the backup time window unless using the NAS backup mechanisms.  The one item that usually drives me nuts is with linus os NAS units they are able to connect to Active Directory but security is set through the NAS for each share/folder.  This can be time consuming if you have a lot of folders.  I haven't worked with this one in particular but have had experience with similar NAS units

If you'll be using it only for file shares in a environment that is not using heavy duty applications than it may work. If you're looking for faster storage that can be used for multiple servers and mission critical applications such as mail, sql, etc.. than this may not be a good choice.  Unlike most SANs this is not expandable, most SANs allow you to put another tray with drives as requested.
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