Best storage product

Posted on 2013-06-11
Last Modified: 2016-11-23
We are having an issue in our department. We have a new Infrastructure manager who has come into the fold. We are currently a Netapp shop and we have 4 clustered FAS 3140's. Our new manager came from a Dell storage solution at his previous employer (Dell Compellant) and he wants to get rid of the Netapp at our next storage refresh and go with a new solution (maybe Dell). He is open to any suggestions and wants to go with the best fit for our enviroment. We are a financial instituion and have roughly 450 employees. Can anyone point em to some hard comparisons for me to work with? I have scoured the web and havnt found much. Thanks.
Question by:dolphan82
LVL 47

Expert Comment

ID: 39240061
Best?   Without specific constraints like budget, performance, support, performance, capacity requirements, scalability requirements, availability/backup details then there is just no way to answer.

It is like asking what is the best food to buy for 450 people who work in a bank.   You need to be specific.
LVL 38

Accepted Solution

Aaron Tomosky earned 168 total points
ID: 39240068
Agreed. We need far more detail. For example I wouldn't buy either of these because for MY workload and budget I like zfs with freebsd on supermicro boxes. The expensive version would be oracle kit like
LVL 20

Assisted Solution

SelfGovern earned 166 total points
ID: 39241421
When it comes time to start thinking about the next refresh,
you develop a request-for-proposal (RFP) and submit it to storage
vendors you might be interested in.   You might find that one or
more of their responses brings up issues you might not have
considered; decide if that needs to be included in a modified RFP.

You'll probably want to consider HP, EMC, IBM... who will have
solutions to meet any possible need.  Some of the newer, smaller
storage vendors will have solutions that will only meet certain
customer's needs.

The most important consideration in determining the success of
an RFP and its resultant implementation, is you, the customer,
knowing what you want and need.  Then you'll get the most
comparable responses, which can be best evaluated.
LVL 47

Assisted Solution

dlethe earned 166 total points
ID: 39241466
SelfGovern makes an excellent observation, but let me expand on this.  YOU are the customer.  It is YOUR responsibility to tell people in as much detail what you want and your budgetary constraints.

Give it to multiple vendors and let THEM do all the work, instead of YOU doing all the work!

Remember garbage in = garbage out.  So make a simple list of requirements using the topics we have entered, include your budget for capital equipment and annual support costs and required training.

Then require them to provide a summary page of your format that requires they fill-in-the-blank to answer your list of questions.

Once you have the answers from all vendors, put those simple numbers in a spreadsheet, each vendor in a column, then add another column for a weighting factor.  Then your spreadsheet will tell you who should get the business and there are no emotional decisions required.

Add availability %; MTBDL (mean time between data loss); cost to add X% more storage capacity with comparable performance Y years from now to give you an idea of future growth.

Tell them that deviating from the spreadsheet is discouraged, but they are free to explain their answers and elaborate on all of them elsewhere in the proposal.
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Author Comment

ID: 39259866
Well, we are a Netapp shop now. Our new manager wants to move to Dell Compellent. I know that the Netapp writes in 4K blocks which is very efficient. We also use many of the Snap products that Netapp offers like SMVI (for VMware), Snapmirror,Snapdrive and Snapmanager for SQL.  dlethe, our plan is to have the vendors make the argument. I was just wondering if anyone could tell me why Netapp was better than Compellent. I see they both have their own advantages they are just different. Thanks for all the feedback.
LVL 47

Expert Comment

ID: 39259929
Writing in 4K blocks is a feature of HDD firmware.  It is a feature of the appliance firmware and software also.  Big deal. You've even got 4K sectoring in WD drives that retail for $59.95.

Don't make a decision on marketing fluff that.   It is not fair to say Netapp is better or worse than Compellent.   You aren't comparing specific models in context of your specific constraints.

I refer you to my initial, "what is the best food to buy for people who work at a bank" response.  You aren't making the effort to define and weight your needs.

Author Comment

ID: 39312260
We utilize all od the Netapp Snap products for Exchange, SQL, Backups, etc. I would perfer to stay with Netapp beaucse thats what I know. We have a meting scheduled with the Dell and Netapp Storage vendors. Hopefully they will be able to shed some new light on the topic. Thanks guys.
LVL 47

Expert Comment

ID: 41691996
All respondents should be rewarded equally.  The author asked for "best", and "any suggestions".  That is what the author received ... suggestions and subjective responses.

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