Entry Level SAN

I need help with some SAN storage advice.

I work for a small (20 user) software firm that needs some vm's.  We are unable to afford SAN's systems from the big vendors (10k+) so we are looking at some smaller devices.  I am concentrating on two,

http://www.dlink.com/products/?pid=688
http://www.amazon.com/Synology-RackStation-Rackmount-Redundant-RS810RP/dp/B003TWOKKW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1298316003&sr=1-1

My goal is to create iscsi for backup purposes, and to provide logical disk space for my vm's.  Again, this is not for a large company.

Any advice as to which one is better?  Is it possible to perform database applications using this as a iscsi target with reasonable speed?  I don't need overkill, but I don't want it slow either.  Would Exchange, SQL and Pervasive be reasonable for 20 users using either of these devices?

Any advice is appreciated.

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jonyeltonAsked:
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ToxaconConnect With a Mentor Commented:
You could also take a look at QNAP devices:

http://www.qnap.com/pro_detail_hardware.asp?p_id=111

The device above is around $2000.
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woolnoirCommented:
Have you considered a DROBO - http://www.drobo.com/products/index.php very reliable for VM use specifically the higher end ones. In addition they have excellent community support and are used a lot in the tech industry - specifically in the small/medium business space.
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ToxaconCommented:
The Synology device is a rackmount so you may need a rack for it unless you have a suitable shelf for it. From that point of view, I'd select D-link for small company backups and test VMs. However, if you'll be using it for production, just make sure it is redundant. The D-link has only one PSU while Synology device has redundant power supply.

If you want better disk perfomance along with redundancy, the device should support RAID 0+1 (RAID10). RAID10 requires four disks minimum. Again, if you use it for production, a hotspare disk would be good to have, so RAID10+spare requires minimum on five disk bays, which Synology can't offer.

Also consider building a separate iSCSI network.



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jonyeltonAuthor Commented:
Yes, I looked at it, been including support, drobo is at least $4500 vs $1500 and $1700.  If there are any users out there that have experience from both products that can specifically recommend that the addtional cost is worth it?
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woolnoirConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I'd recommend DROBO based purely on their support which i have found to be nothing short of amazing. It also has advantages such as BeyondRaid http://www.drobo.com/products/drobosanbusiness.php?ID=Technology which builds upon and expands raids inherent limitations.
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OriNetworksCommented:
I am also looking at SAN alternatives. In my initial research I was looking for $10K-15K solutions from HP but now this DROBO looks interesting. My only concern is no support for traditional RAID. I'm not sure how I feel about a proprietay raid system that I don't understand.
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gmbaxterCommented:
That qnap device looks quite good - is it hardware raid based though?

The only advice I can offer is stay away from Thecus! terrible build quality.
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jonyeltonAuthor Commented:
Thanks guys.  I have decided to go with the d-link.  The goal here was very low-end, and I think that will work for our needs.  I researched DROBO, and that does seem like a very good product, but it's the difference between 2k and 4k after hard drives.
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woolnoirCommented:
Fair enough - glad i could provide something to think about anyway :)
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