EMC? NAS Celerra 704G versus Windows Storage server

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Hi all, Can you compare a NAS EMC? Celerra NS704G against a Windows HP storage server DL585 from a performance point of view? They told me that the WSS server is more for departemental usage. Is this true? Thanks Hans
ASKED: September 26, 2005  10:18 AM
UPDATED: August 25, 2009  4:09 PM

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I don’t have the numbers, but I have seen both. The physical architecture alone should give you judgement. The DL585 has fewer NICs and less redundant fibre channel connections. If you need performance and want to use the NAS for application data (SQL, Lotus Notes, Exchange) then go with the EMC. If you are just looking fo a file server, the DL585 may be a better choice.
In general the EMC gear is oriented more towards enterprise. But if you can afford it, go for the EMC gear, because a small need today is going to grow into a bigger one tomorrow, and you will be ready to scale up or integrate it into your enterprise environment far more easily. EMC has lately been coming down in price as well. So the same hardware with scalability and reliability that was out of reach for SMB is now within the grasp of SMB’s.

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  • Dcsys99
    I don't have the numbers, but I have seen both. The physical architecture alone should give you judgement. The DL585 has fewer NICs and less redundant fibre channel connections. If you need performance and want to use the NAS for application data (SQL, Lotus Notes, Exchange) then go with the EMC. If you are just looking fo a file server, the DL585 may be a better choice.
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  • Rayball
    As previously stated, the NS704G probably has more functionality when it comes to performance. However, make sure you thoroughly understand that EMC has arbitrarily mandated certain interdependencies between Celerra NAS Gateways and the arrays that contain the backend storage. For example, an upgrade to the array firmware may require an upgrade to the 704G firmware as well, or at least require that you shut it down during the array upgrade. Be sure to have your expectations regarding NAS availability confirmed by EMC before you commit to putting a Gateway into production. Obviously, free-standing fileservers and NAS devices (not NAS Gateways) have no interdependencies with external arrays.
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  • Klewis
    I have an NS702G in my environment as my primary NAS. EMC targets the Celerra line squarely at the enterprise gateway market. As the posts have said, it uses FibreChannel connectivity to its backing disk and has many more NICs than a simple server. Since it uses its own operating system (DART), it has its own quirks and requirements, but I think its feature set is ultimately preferable to Windows Storage Server. Now that HP has partnered with Polyserve (http://www.polyserve.com/), you might want to look at this software product as an alternative to Windows Storage Server. It's considerably more flexible.
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  • Dcsys99
    Another consideration should be Network Appliance. As a true NAS device, it offers better performance than a Wintel server. It may not be a Celerra, but it may suit your needs. I have used several different models of the Celerra and the NetApp. I prefer the NetApp when it comes to ease of use and maintenence. Code updates automatically update firmware, etc.
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  • Klewis
    Yes - I agree, hands down. The NetApp filers are considerably simpler to maintain. The EMC support matrix for the Celerra is conisderably cumbersome to keep in line - firmware on the backend storage, code updates on the Celerra itself, minor versions of backup software, ad nauseum! If you have other options, I'd investigate other NAS gateway solutions before the Celerra, unless you are 'required' to use this NAS solution. Since the cost/GB is so high to use the 8TB of space we have on our Celerra (about $20/GB, which includes snapshot space and backups to tape), we're investigating a lower-cost NAS solution to run in parallel. If you have the time, take a look at the ONStor Bobcat (www.onstor.com). It offers many of the same features as the Celerra and the Netapp filers, but allows you to use almost any vendor's storage on the backend. In my analysis, we can use Nexsan SATA-to-FC arrays to get $4/GB with no backup to tape. Our cost with backup will probably be about $10/GB. Thanks!
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