Thoughts on EMC Isilon product when using CIFS?

MrVault
MrVault used Ask the Experts™
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Anyone have any thoughts on EMC's Isilon product? We are considering them and looking for unbiased input. We are concerned about data corruption, performance, multi-drive failures, quality of support reps, drive replacements, etc.

We're with Equallogic right now.

We're a windows shop so I imagine we'll be using CIFS shares. Never used that before so not sure what to be aware of.
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Anyone have any thoughts on EMC's Isilon product? We are considering them and looking for unbiased input. We are concerned about data corruption
Isilon writes a checksum with each block and it maintains multiple copies of each block, so if a corruption occurs in one block, Isilon can detect it and correct it - either from
The checksum or by copying back a good copy of the data from elsewhere in the cluster.

, performance
How fast do you want it to go? Isilon comes in three flavours: S, X and NL. S nodes are 'kinell! fast, X nodes are really really fast and NL are just fast. Again, depends on your requirements and budget. There's also a performance accelerator node that pus a whole bunch of cache in front of the Isilon system if "'kinell! That's fast!!" isn't fast enough.

, multi-drive failures,
Depends on how you configure the Isilon cluster. It can survive up to 5 nodes going out and multiple drive failures. The protection scheme you select depends on your requirements and your budget.


 quality of support reps, drive replacements, etc.
No idea but EMC hardware support is typically a strong point.

Disclaimer: I don't work for EMC. I do, however, work for an EMC partner in Australia. I have been working with EMC storage for more than 12 years. I also really like Isilon. It's cool stuff.

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Commented:
Thanks. They are proposing a 3 node cluster. They are saying we can lose up to two drives per cluster (one on each node), or a whole node. This is the NL nodes I'm guessing. We're using sata drives, not sas or sd.
So that's better data protection than any current RAID schema. As an aside, What you've got there is where RAID is headed as conventional parity RAIDs break in the next couple of years as the Single Bit Error Rate on a drive is exceeded by the number of bits on a big SATA drive.

The NL boxes are quick despite being SATA only but you need to confirm your requirements against what you're purchasing.
Thanks! Glad I could help.

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