Shawn (antjedi) wrote in it_admin,

Enterprise SAN Brands

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It all depends on the needs of your organization. Questions include will you be using Wintel gear, SUN/Fujitsu gear, Linux, etc. Are you looking for lots of cheap disk, or the most reliable/redundant gear possible?

For a cheap starter SAN that is OS independent I'd look at:
Qlogic HBAs (my HBA of choice)
a Sun 6140 (very nice inexpensive array, supports FCAL and SATA disks, 16 drives per tray)
and a small cisco 9000 series switch if you have more than two hosts.
You also might look in to a iSCSI head from Cisco or Sun and run storage over gigabit Ethernet (only recommended for a small setup or wintel)

For an enterprise class, redundant/insane setup:
Qlogic HBAs (my HBA of choice)
A Hitachi 9990V (insane redundancy, guaranteed no downtime/dataloss)
Two Cisco 9500 series MDS switches for redundant multipathing

For SAN tape I'd strongly suggest Sun/Storagetek (Sun now owns Storagetek). They are pretty much the best solution out there. Netbackup is also a good enterprise class LAN/SAN backup software

As a second on switching I'd look at Brocade. They've been in the game forever but tend to be more expensive and a bit behind the curve.

For large amounts of data I'd look at the Sun 6540. Imagine having 130tb raw disk in a 42U cabinet for around $500k.

Let me know if this answers your question or if you were looking for more in a specific area. If your organization is serious about this I'd find a qualified contracting company to help you design and implement a solution that best fits your needs.
I forgot to mention: EMC = Evil Machine Company. Run away no matter what deal they cut you.

Also never ever buy the cheap JNI or Emulex HBAs. They are quite evil also.
Interesting response, why the distaste for EMC?

We're getting some quotes from a local VAR we've used before for our backup solutions, and a few others for comparison (CDW, etc), however one thing resellers I've dealt with never seem to really comment on is the 'annoying aspects' or 'troubling trends' that some brands seem to have. Which is why I'm asking around here.

To answer some of your questions, We're mostly Windows, however we are 'almost required' to find a solution that works with IBM's AIX platform, if only for budget approval reasons. We also have some Linux boxes around which may end up having benefit to work in if possible.

Alot of the other detail is in my first post over at itprofessionals:

But we're looking for 'small' in current terms of storage, 1-2 TB max, but as it will be running 'everything' from a storage point of view, reliability will be pretty key. We're not quite 24/7 but close to it, and if servers are offline during production time, production stops and that's not good (we're a manufacturing company).
Be sure to look carefully into training/monitoring/support. My experience with SAN gear is that you will run into performance problems that can be fixed by knowledgeable people, so make sure you are one or can become one.

I also second Hitachi Gear -- the AMS series rocks in bang for buck if you don't require active/active channels. Either switch is OK, but I'm personally more experienced with the Brocade.

No one throws away data, so leave plenty of space for extra shelves.