Best iSCSI SAN solution for site to site replication

Posted on 2011-10-06
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
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?
Question by:MECIT
    LVL 10

    Accepted Solution

    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
    LVL 20

    Assisted Solution

    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. --

    Author Comment

    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?
    LVL 10

    Assisted Solution

    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.

    Author Comment

    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?
    LVL 8

    Assisted Solution

    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.  

    Author Closing Comment

    Thanks everyone for giving your input

    Featured Post

    Enabling OSINT in Activity Based Intelligence

    Activity based intelligence (ABI) requires access to all available sources of data. Recorded Future allows analysts to observe structured data on the open, deep, and dark web.

    Join & Write a Comment

    Suggested Solutions

    Workplace bullying has increased with the use of email and social media. Retain evidence of this with email archiving to protect your employees.
    The article will include the best Data Recovery Tools along with their Features, Capabilities, and their Download Links. Hope you’ll enjoy it and will choose the one as required by you.
    In this Micro Tutorial viewers will learn how to restore single file or folder from Bare Metal backup image of their system. Tutorial shows how to restore files and folders from system backup. Often it is not needed to restore entire system when onl…
    This tutorial will walk an individual through the steps necessary to configure their installation of BackupExec 2012 to use network shared disk space. Verify that the path to the shared storage is valid and that data can be written to that location:…

    728 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    17 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now