LeftHand vs Equallogic

Hi Experts,
I would like to know what will be my best option going visualization with two hardware vendors, please give me all good and bad about these two products.

We are not so sure about to going HP or Dell Blade with iSCSI storage solution, we will have two sites one for Production environment and other for DR purpose. Site to sites are linked by 1Gig connection but not a fiber link.

What are my replication and backup options / solution for virtual machines ?

all input welcome & Thank you all.
ThushyaAsked:
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exx1976Connect With a Mentor Commented:
Lefthand = all bad.  I have it here, and I have not one good thing to say about it at all.  Crappy performance, crappy management, poor product all around.

No experience with Dell.


I'd get Fibre though.  Way faster.

-exx
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exx1976Commented:
And yes, you can still replicate FC SANs over your copper link - using Cisco switches with FCIP bridges..

Or a lot of SANs have both FC and iSCSI.  Use FC to the hosts and iSCSI for replication.
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ThushyaAuthor Commented:
could you be more specific ?
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securitythreatConnect With a Mentor Commented:
EXX, I disagree with your comments in regards to the LeftHand product.  I run the product at some of my smaller sites (50 host or less) without issues.  Most issues I have had are in regards to RAID lvls being setup to meet the demand of the virtual. HP also offers a solution called VSA (Virtual Storage Appliance) that allows you to use the storage on your existing host and replicate that amongst the remaining farm host.  In essense, your storage servers are also your ESX host.  This solution also replicates from one PHYSICAL site to another PHYSICAL site allowing redundancy.

In regards to HP vs Dell Blade, your really comparing apples and oranges.  The only difference is price and management capabilitys.  With HP, you have an extra port for each host.  With Dell BLADE, you can configure one site for all host.  However, you will still need to pick a storage solution (VSA, iSCSI, or Fiber).
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ThushyaAuthor Commented:
Thanks securitythreat

I need to justify Hp blade and lefthand storage over dell blade and equallogic or I need to chose dell blade and equallogic over hp .
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exx1976Commented:
Having managed other SAN products in the past, there are many things I specifically do not like about LH.

SATA drives = BAD.  SAS drives = better, but still not FC performance.

The management interface is poor in relation to other SAN products.  You cannot specify a RAID level or a block size for each partition you are creating.  When you specify redundancy, it makes it like an n-way mirror, so you have 2 copies or 3 copies or 4 copies or whatever of your data.  The more redundancy you want, the more severely impacted your performance is on that volume; versus with traditional RAID (especially 10) you can aggregate the IOPS from all the disks and STILL get redundancy.

It might be fine for SMALL companies, or it would definitely fit the bill as just bulk storage for a file server or a D2D target, but I certainly would not (and do not) run any databases or Exchange or anything busy like that on it.

Like I said, I don't know anything about the Dell products, so I'll refrain from comment on those.
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DavidPresidentCommented:
"Lefthand = all bad."  Give me a break.   So every product they make is bad, regardless of the model family?  THey use different operating systems, kernels, GUIs, enclosure manufacturers, motherboards, disk technologies, RAID architectures ... and exactly what percentage of their products do you have experience with ?   Maybe 0.001% of them?  All the other happy customers they have are lying?
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exx1976Commented:
You know, I had this big response written up, but it's not worth it.  This question asked for any & all input (read: opinions).  I gave mine.  No need to be ignorant about it.  You like it?  Say so.  I don't, and none of your personal attacks will make me.


-exx
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DavidPresidentCommented:
Exx- this was not meant to be a personal attack. sorry if you took it that way.  How can you possibly justify your statement, "Lefthand = all bad"?  I have no reason to disagree with your personal experiences, but really, you wrote All bad?!!  Not possible.
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exx1976Commented:
Ok, fair enough.

But in reality it is just a single product, implemented across multiple different types of hardware (not talking about the VSA - just the pure LH stuff - or as HP calls it now "P4xxx").

It's like Windows Me - sure, there were MILLIONS of different configurations that were sold (hardware, disk, etc etc) - but the common thing that made them all bad was the software...

Again - only my opinion.


-exx
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DavidPresidentCommented:
OK, we're on same page here, exx. Just trying to keep you honest :)
For what it is worth, in a former life I was LHNs FAE from the hardware manufacturer that made their systems.  This was not the P4xxx family, it was the previous gen, before they started OEMing HP kit, and that equipment was quite solid ... but they did have some issues that I can't get into because of NDA, but the issues were all resolved.
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ThushyaAuthor Commented:
Guys, thanks for all the inputs - no fight but i like the arguments -:)

hope this thread can grow and bring some good and bad about both products, please continue... need some comments about dell equalogic too.
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DavidPresidentCommented:
It would be helpful if you give specific model numbers.  For example, some of the equalogic products are made by the same company I used to work for, that LHN repackaged and private labeled as their own. Certain LHN and Equalogic kit is exactly the same hardware, just different plastics, all running same hardware management software (that I partially developed). -- but the actual appliance software isn't my design, and differs between each vendor.  
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ThushyaAuthor Commented:
Two sites ( not expecting raid between sites )
storage capacity of 10T usable after raid in each site.
Hp Blade 460e with Lefthand P4500.
OR
Dell Blade M610 with equallogic PS4000 or PS6000

Any suggestion and Recommendation are welcome.
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ThushyaAuthor Commented:
could anyone here give me pros and cons for one or both products ? i am trying hard to get this our from here but not happening.
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DavidPresidentCommented:
Pros/Cons from what context? What are your requirements & selection criteria.  
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ThushyaAuthor Commented:
dlethe
Thanks for the response here, I am not exactly sure about what will be my final choice ( i also need to focus on future growth, as of now i need minimum 8T to 10T space plus future growth) so my target is 10T of usable data after  raid configuration raid ( raid 50 ) ?

my start up option would be lefthand P4500 vs ps610x, if i am not correct please correct me, need to know what will be my ideal choice then i will decide the blades to go with same vendors .
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exx1976Commented:
I think the question that dlethe was really asking (and correct me if I'm wrong) is what are your IOPS requirements?  All too often people only take their capacity needs into account, and end up with crappy SATA systems that provides tremendous amounts of storage and are cheaper than their SAS/FC counterparts, BUT - at the hefty expense of performance.

Prior to anyone telling you which one would work better in your environment, people are going to want to know IOPS specs...  If you can't provide those numbers, then at least provide what you plan on using the storage for - ESX shared storage?  If so, what kind of VMs and how many?  Exchange?  SQL?  Oracle?  File servers?  How many users?

There are a million things to take into account to make sure you get a storage system that is correct for you, because even though they are off-the-shelf products, they are every bit configurable enough to make each particular implementation 100% custom to the environment it's installed in.


HTH,
exx
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DavidPresidentCommented:
Yes exx elaborated well, let me also add
 - is this a 24x7 mission critical i.e. you have near zero downtime requirements & backups need to be hot, and it costs big bucks for unscheduled downtime
 - Or, 9x5, 5 days a week, a few hours down time and people will manage, but might not be happy

This addresses redundancy and backup capability, as well as if you are mission-critical then forget RAID5, you need more redundancy, like RAID6 (or equivalent). Such questions can eliminate a choice, which makes life easy to figure out what you are going to buy.

Please establish a baseline for performance.   Since you are probably windows-oriented, look at perfmon I/O characteristics and networking, tell us what you see on peak and average, and how the workload will change, or what you need to accomplish in terms if performance improvement.

Why are blades important to you?  What features of this technology makes you want it?  Don't read anything into the question, other than it is a way to figure out your requirements and desires.


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ThushyaAuthor Commented:
I will establish a base line performance to estimate my IOPS, apart from that  I will not host any database on VMs, in total i will have maximum of 20MVs across 3 servers.they are files and web servers.

Hope i can still picture out what are my storage options without IOPS report.

Thanks again for all your feedback.
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ThushyaAuthor Commented:
Hello,
can anyone compare the good and bad about these two products regardless of model numbers ? something like features that are available or not available, etc...
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ThushyaAuthor Commented:
thank you.
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InterWorksCommented:
I can talk a little about EqualLogic, its features and benefits, and why my clients and I love them.

EqualLogic arrays are fast - the performance of each array is similar to (and in many cases exceeds) other solutions with the same number and speed of disks. The 2GB of cache in each controller makes it that much better.

With EqualLogic (and only EqualLogic, i think), as you add more arrays of disk, you not only increase the total disk space you have available in your SAN, but you increase the cache (each array adds more cache to the SAN), bandwidth (each array adds more bandwidth), and performance. EqualLogic is configured in such a way that when you add an array to your SAN, volumes can be automatically load balanced across the new array, as well as the existing arrays - at the same time. This means that when you upgrade from just one array (16 disks, 14 active spindles) to two arrays (32 disks, 28 active spindles), your performance can double. With mixed drive speeds, higher performing blocks of data will be placed on the higher performing disks.

The automatic load balancing, immediate expansion of space, and linear performance has helped my clients grow as needed, without downtime. Updating firmware on the device is easy, and takes less than 20 seconds of downtime. As a point of comparison, the timeouts for iSCSI volumes can be configured at 30-60 seconds, meaning that if necessary, updates can be done during production with no adverse affect.

The last thing, and potentially a very important one - ALL (current and new) EqualLogic software features are included with your purchase. If you want snapshots, you get them. If you want replication, you get it. If you want excellent performance monitoring software, it's there. You don't have to pay any extra for those features. If they release a new feature (let's say deduplication), you can simply download the firmware and install, and you have the new feature. It's important to note that all generations of arrays are interoperable, and the firmware is backwards compatible to the very first array that EqualLogic shipped. There's no concept of having to down systems in order to migrate from one generation of SAN to another.

Hope that helps!

PS - If you're a hard core techie, let it be known that I've never seen a company adhere to the iSCSI RFC like EqualLogic's product. Some of the amazing things they can do are simply because they followed the standard. Other vendors tend to imitate Fibre Channel setups, only using iSCSI as a transport method. It's not very clean - EqualLogic's is pristine in comparison.
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