LeftHand P4500 G2 or EqualLogic PS6000X?

The money's about the same....that makes it harder.

I'm looking to deploy our first SAN.  Simplicity and features naturally draw me to Dell's EqualLogic, and specifically to a PS6000X with SAS drives.  However, not wanting to buy the first one I fancy, I shopped around a bit and I have a juicy little quote for an HP LeftHand AX696A, which actually has a bit more raw capacity than the PS.

What I'm trying to build is a basic three-node VMware cluster, running maybe a dozen and a half VM's. A pretty easy workload, really, and we have about 2TB of data now so either of these gives me plenty of capacity to grow into.  In the near future, we want to also set up a two- or three-node ESX4 cluster at a remote site, using SAN replication to keep everything up-to-date.  We may or may not use VMware's SRM, since we really don't have all that complex of an environment.

I'm probably 70% sold on the PS due to the simplicity and completeness of the thing, along with its very linear scaling and all that jazz...but am I missing out on something brilliant with the LeftHand stuff?  Who out there has real-world experience with these products and can make some recommendations either way?
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Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
Before you buy take a look at actual usable storage and then compare.  Marketing (drives count 1000MB as a gig instead of 1024) and snapshots (may require same size LUN for snapshots) may reduce actual storage so ask for real world numbers and then compare.  If you get a chance take a look at the NetApp, they're offering bundles now for VMware that you can use to snap and restore VMs (snapmanager for VI) vs mounting a whole LUN just to get a single VM

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I'd also look at hardware devices such as the Dell MD3000i and HP MSA2000i.
Here's an online usable capacity calculator:  The best balance for LeftHand SANs is typically to use RAID 5(50) on the physical modules, and then NETWORK RAID 10 (2-way replication) for production critical volumes for high availability.


The "Virtualization SAN" is the same as the LeftHand AX696A..
One other thing of note is the virtualization SAN includes 10 licenses for the virtual SAN appliance (VSA).

With this software, and ESX or ESXi (free) you can turn existing direct attached storage INTO a LeftHand SAN, AND it can participate in asynchronous (remote snapshot) replication and be centrally managed along with the physical AX696A.

This means you can convert up to 100TB (each VSA supports up to [5] 2TB virtual disks) of existing DAS into an iSCSI SAN.

You could also use the VSA to setup a SAN at a remote office to perform off-site SAN replication for DR and/or backups.  For more info check out the VSA: http://www.tdonline.com/hp-lefthand/vsa/
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