Best iSCSI SAN solution for site to site replication

I am looking for the best solution for a site to site replication setup.
I am looking at the Dell Equallogic PS4100E vs. EMC VNXe 3100.

I am using vmware and will be using the SANs to replicate only my top tier production servers.

Would I be correct that these two would be compared as apple for apple?
What are the pros and cons for both?
If you had to choose, which one and why?
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TristanIT ManagerCommented:
Robust native replication between Equalogic boxes
Replication functionality is included in the base model cost (not an optional extra that costs you more)
Replication can be LUN based or even VMDK based (Although I haven't used the VMDK specific rep).
Very easy to implement and administer
Reasonably priced and good value.

Replication costs more as an add-on (last time I looked at it)
Rep is real time as opposed to scheduled.
Steep learning curve to implement and administer
More configurability and granular functionailty

If there is some piece of functionality that you  absolutely must have that is in the EMC that is not present in the Equalogic then consider the EMC but the Equalogic will be sufficient for most purposes.

Both very cool SANs.
I chose Equalogic on :

value for money
no hidden costs
ease of use
native replication
good support

We have
 1 x 6000
2x 4000
and 1 x MD3000i

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Thomas RushCommented:
You might want to take a look at HP's P2000, which is available with iSCSI controllers, but can be upgraded to Fibre Channel if you even need to (or even SAS, if you later want to redeploy the system as direct-connect to one or more boxes).  They're pretty easy to use and configure.  They do support replication.

Probably cost in between Equalogic and EMC systems named. --
MECITAuthor Commented:
We also have a MD300i with an attached MD1000.

What do you use the MD3000i for?

The models that you have , where they on the original purchase or have you added some.

EMC vendor stated that with equallogic ,once you utilize the original storage you would need to purchase another equalogic.

Dell states the opposite that you can purchase additional drives.

Which do you find to be true?
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TristanIT ManagerCommented:
We started with the 6000 for our critical applications.

Followed by the MD 3000i for a second teir storage

Later we purchased the two 4000's.

So now we have 3 tiers of storage in our production site and one tier in our DR site.

If you max out an EQ SAN then you purchase another SAN unit as opposed to expanding the original with a drive tray.

But what's cool about that is that you are adding controllers, cache and network thoughput, not just storage space and you can do it while the original is online.

At the moment we use the MD3000 as the disk in out Disk to Disk to Tape solution.
MECITAuthor Commented:
The vendor for EMC broke it down for me on what the EMC VNXe 3100 has to offer:

it has a SAN and NAS platform. it does file and block. Which gives it the capability of consolidating the file server onto the VNXe.
It comes with the standard features of deduplication , compression, and snapshots.
it replicates on the data that has been modified which makes the replication alot faster.
it gaurantees 25% more storage efficeny.
Allows to mix and match drives
it can scale up to 96 drive before buying another SAN
I can manage vm's through vcenter or emc console

On the equalogic:

1. Does it really matter if  the SAN has a file and block platform?
2. Did you have to purchase the features or were they included in the initial purchase?
3. Does replication depend on the hardware or are there other s aspects that are needed to tak into consideration when it comes to replication speed?
4. EMC garuantees 25% more usable storage, how is this possible with them and not on the equallogic?
5. Can the equallogic use mix and match drives or do they need to be all the same?
6.If I bought the equallogic with 12 TB, how much would I have of usable storage?
Have you considered the software solutions you could use as well such as VReplicator and the like?

This would allow you to more easily mix and match SAN solutions so you can have a robust unit to meet your production needs and then still have a unit (although perhaps less robust) for your recovery needs.

Also keep in mind (at least with Equallogic) that you will need more storage on the remote end than you think.  You'll need space for the replica's and then you'll also need space for the recovery volumes you'll create during testing or during a disaster.  

Equallogic does not mix and match drives - they'd all be the same.  Usable space on a 16TB unit would be 6.7-12.5TB depending on the raid configuration (you can change this as needed to increase available space).  Equallogic is also all inclusive and includes all the various features in its pricing - there's no add-ons.

I have setup a number of SAN to SAN setups as well as some software based setups and they all work quite well.  If you are doing SAN to SAN, you may also want to consider VMWare's Site Recovery Manager as this will greatly reduce your recovery time.  
MECITAuthor Commented:
Thanks everyone for giving your input
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