Which SAN Hitachi vs EMC

inspired05
inspired05 used Ask the Experts™
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Hello All

we are currently looking at purchasing a SAN to visualize around 14 physical servers with about 3TB of  used space on to 3 virtual machines using VMware esx.

we have contacted some resellers who have recommended two different SANS which are:

Hitachi AMS2100 with Brocade AMS 320 switches
EMC AX4-5FDC with EMC DS-300B 8 port 8Gb switches

both seem to be around the same price and both fiber channel!

What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?
also what would you personal recommend?

Thanks for any help in advanced

James
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Commented:
from my experience in highend storage and SAN, hitachi is better solution than emc , i our case hitachi/IBM was cheaper and the management of SAN and storage and stuff isi way more flexible ... for example when we needed to format new LUN's on EMC box we never could do it ourselves we always had to wait for EMC guy with special *.ini file ... just my 2 c.
afaik perfomance wise the hitachi was always in front of emc in our shop testing
The AMS2100 is not a direct competitor to the AX4-5. A better comparison would be with the EMC CLARiiON CX4-120, however both will do exactly what you need - so it comes down to price, performance and expandability. Performance is goverened by the number of physical disks in the array - don't fall into the trap of sizing your VMware environment on the space you need. You need to find out what your perofrmance requirements are - VMware's Capacity Planner tool will tell you, or you can use Windows permon and add up the peak performance (IOPS) of each system to be virtualised. The AMS2100 can grow to 159 drives whereas the AX4 is limited to 60 drives. The AMS2100 also has more cache. Proce-wise, I'd expect the AX4 to be considerably cheaper than the AMS2100 as the AX4 is an entry-level system while the AMS2100 at the bottom of HDS' mid-range systems. The entry level HDS system is the SMS 100 (http://www.hds.com/assets/pdf/hitachi-simple-modular-storage-100-datasheet.pdf). If you can get the two arrays for the same price (and be careful with what software HDS is providing), I'd go with the AMS2100, but the EMC array (http://australia.emc.com/products/detail/hardware/clariion-ax4.htm) may be a better choice as you get better integration with VMware and the management suite is bundled with the array (HDS used to charge extra for the management GUI - I presume they still do).

I have a preference for EMC kit - but then again, that's what I've been working with for 12 years, so I guess I'm biased...

Finally, I have to correct something goooc said - the EMC enterprise storage arrays (the Symmetrix) use a 'bin' file for initial configuration, and the Symms have to be set up by EMC - that's true (also true for HDS USP and Thunder and Lightning systems), although running changed are handled by the storage admins. The CLARiiON range, however. are very easy to use and configure via a web-based GUI called Navisphere.

Thanks! Glad I could help.

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