Any experiences with EMC NS500 series? - Storage

This is a discussion on Any experiences with EMC NS500 series? - Storage ; I am looking for any experiences/opinions with the EMC NS501 or NS502 series. In particular in using the NAS gateway for CIFS/NFS and ISCSI connected to a CX300 with a mixed shelf (1 shelf FC, 1 shelf ATA). I also ...

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Thread: Any experiences with EMC NS500 series?

  1. Any experiences with EMC NS500 series?

    I am looking for any experiences/opinions with the EMC NS501 or NS502
    series. In particular in using the NAS gateway for CIFS/NFS and ISCSI
    connected to a CX300 with a mixed shelf (1 shelf FC, 1 shelf ATA).

    I also heard that the EMC takes a overall performance hit when trying
    to rebuild a broken volume (due to disk failure). Is that right?

    Thanks.


  2. Re: Any experiences with EMC NS500 series?

    On 17 Jun 2005 07:06:47 -0700, cameron.kim@gmail.com wrote:

    >I am looking for any experiences/opinions with the EMC NS501 or NS502
    >series. In particular in using the NAS gateway for CIFS/NFS and ISCSI
    >connected to a CX300 with a mixed shelf (1 shelf FC, 1 shelf ATA).


    Personally, I like the NS products. They are stable, quick and
    flexible with a decent feature set. Although the GUI has improved
    immeasurably over the past couple of years, the CLI remains the most
    complete management tool.

    If you're minded to go with EMC for disk, you'll like the NS.

    >I also heard that the EMC takes a overall performance hit when trying
    >to rebuild a broken volume (due to disk failure). Is that right?


    Technically the one word answer is: Yes. But so does pretty much
    every disk array that uses RAID, especially RAID 4 or 5 (it has to
    calculate the original data from the parity bits).

    However, it depends on how you have configured it. The CX allows you
    to set a priority for the rebuild. That is, you can tell it that
    application i/o is far more (or less) important than the disk rebuild.

    This allows you to choose how much of an impact the rebuild operation
    has on performance of your application - many other arrays don't give
    you this choice.

    For the record, you have four choices on the CX: ASAP, High, Med, Low.
    These pertain to the priority of the rebuild. ASAP is the quickest
    rebuild, but will have the greatest potential impact on application
    performance. Low will take the longest to rebuild the data but the
    least potential to impact app performance.

    Depending on your application, if it's not hammering the array, you
    might not notice any performance degradation, even if it's set to
    'ASAP'.

    You have a choice. Look at what your app is doing. You need to
    balance your application i/o prioriy against the likelihood of
    multiple disk failures in a single RAID group.

    HVB.

  3. Re: Any experiences with EMC NS500 series?

    Thanks for the reply, HVB.

    In my second question, i was particularly interested in the performance
    impact... to FC shelf volumes, when there is a disk failure on an ata
    shelf. With the NS500 trying to rebuild the ata shelf, i am wondering
    if it impacts the performance on the FC shelves.

    Also, how is the performance with snapshots?

    I am comparing this unit to a Netapp system (using cifs/nfs/iscsi)

    Ironically, your posting is the only positive thing i have heard
    regarding this product. Everyone from competitors (thats expected),
    previous EMC reps, and so forth, have informed of the either the poor
    performance or the instability of this device.

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts.


  4. Re: Any experiences with EMC NS500 series?

    On 17 Jun 2005 08:58:08 -0700, cameron.kim@gmail.com wrote:

    >Thanks for the reply, HVB.


    No probs!

    >In my second question, i was particularly interested in the performance
    >impact... to FC shelf volumes, when there is a disk failure on an ata
    >shelf. With the NS500 trying to rebuild the ata shelf, i am wondering
    >if it impacts the performance on the FC shelves.


    Rebuilding data from parity (i.e. RAID 5) will consume CPU cycles on
    the Service Processor (controller). The more CPU cycles you use for
    various activities (RAID rebuild, mirroring, etc.) the less is
    available for regular I/O.

    So, to answer your question, if you have a mix of FC and ATA disks,
    and you have an ATA disk failure, performane of the OVERALL system
    could be affected, depending on how you've set the rebuild priority.

    I don't believe this is any different to the majority of modular
    arrays available from other vendors (if anyone knows different, please
    post!).

    It's worth noting that the rebuild priority can be configured per LUN.
    You could choose to have 'LOW' priority on your ATA LUNs to minimise
    any potential performance hit on production I/O.

    >Also, how is the performance with snapshots?


    Are you asking if you kill disk performance by using snapshots?

    No, not unless you're doing something really funky, in which case EMC
    Engineering would be all over you like a rash anyway. I doubt you'd
    be able to detect any performance difference with snapshots on or off.

    >I am comparing this unit to a Netapp system (using cifs/nfs/iscsi)


    Which NetApp box? Just out of interest.

    Are you planning on using it just for regular file sharing, or are you
    looking at applications also? (for EMC and NetApp)

    >Ironically, your posting is the only positive thing i have heard
    >regarding this product. Everyone from competitors (thats expected),
    >previous EMC reps, and so forth, have informed of the either the poor
    >performance or the instability of this device.


    Lots of people seem to have a chip on their shoulder when it comes to
    EMC and I think that's responsible for a lot of the negative press you
    hear.

    Other than Microsoft, I've never known a company to be as disliked by
    so many people as EMC. I know EMC have a reputation for being
    aggressive, but they do have some great products too. Not everybody
    is willing to look past their prejudices! ;-)

    There are not *that* many people, even in EMC, with direct experience
    of the NAS products. They are too specialised for the regular account
    teams and SEs - I'm not knocking the guys, but that's just the way it
    is. There is a specialist group that know pretty much everything
    there is to know about them, but outside of that, knowledge is patchy.

    The big players in the NAS market are NetApp and EMC. EMC rules in
    the highest echelons of that space. If you have HUGE (and I mean
    50TB+) the scalability and management features of the EMC products
    really make them the only game in town.

    If you have less than that, and most of us do... well, NetApp own
    about 80% of the market and for a great reason: they do what most
    people want, most of the time.

    Compared to NetApp, EMC's NAS GUI sucks. Compared to NetApp, EMC
    don't have the fullest range of software functionality. If you really
    want to use the Fibre Channel capabilities, EMC have a far better
    story to tell. None of this matters if you don't need all those extra
    features.

    >Thanks in advance for your thoughts.


    You're welcome!

    HVB.

  5. Re: Any experiences with EMC NS500 series?

    I am comparing the NS502G (clustered) with a CX300 or CX500 backend vs
    the new Netapp 3020 with a shelf of fiber and a shelf of ata. (7 TB)

    We have previous experience with a netapp, so we are somewhat inclined
    to them. They run great and have yet to have them crash.

    Primarily we will be using them for ISCSI volumes. It will also server
    CIFS and NFS shares, however, we are looking at both products in
    consolidating our storage. Around 15 servers, varying LUN sizes of
    200GB to 3 TB).

    Thanks again.


  6. Re: Any experiences with EMC NS500 series?



    >
    > Lots of people seem to have a chip on their shoulder when it comes to
    > EMC and I think that's responsible for a lot of the negative press you
    > hear.
    >



    Really?


    > Other than Microsoft, I've never known a company to be as disliked by
    > so many people as EMC. I know EMC have a reputation for being
    > aggressive, but they do have some great products too. Not everybody
    > is willing to look past their prejudices! ;-)
    >


    Really?Really?Really?

    > There are not *that* many people, even in EMC, with direct experience
    > of the NAS products. They are too specialised for the regular account
    > teams and SEs - I'm not knocking the guys, but that's just the way it
    > is. There is a specialist group that know pretty much everything
    > there is to know about them, but outside of that, knowledge is patchy.
    >


    I doubt it. If that is true, then the dislike described above is justified.



  7. Re: Any experiences with EMC NS500 series?

    On Fri, 17 Jun 2005 23:19:23 -0400, "Ramesh Pun" wrote:

    >> Lots of people seem to have a chip on their shoulder when it comes to
    >> EMC and I think that's responsible for a lot of the negative press you
    >> hear.

    >
    >Really?


    I think so, yes.

    >> There are not *that* many people, even in EMC, with direct experience
    >> of the NAS products. They are too specialised for the regular account
    >> teams and SEs - I'm not knocking the guys, but that's just the way it
    >> is. There is a specialist group that know pretty much everything
    >> there is to know about them, but outside of that, knowledge is patchy.
    >>

    >
    >I doubt it. If that is true, then the dislike described above is justified.


    What do you doubt, specifically?
    - That there are not many people with EMC NAS expertise?
    - That the EMC sales and SE teams don't have much expertise in NAS?
    - That there is a specialist NAS group in EMC?

    I stand by all three of these statements.

    HVB.

  8. Re: Any experiences with EMC NS500 series?

    Hey Cameron & the NG,

    On 17 Jun 2005 10:54:43 -0700, cameron.kim@gmail.com wrote:
    >I am comparing the NS502G (clustered) with a CX300 or CX500 backend vs
    >the new Netapp 3020 with a shelf of fiber and a shelf of ata. (7 TB)


    EMC will tell you that you're not making a like-for-like comparison.

    Although they can sell a single-headed NAS device, EMC like to use at
    least two. This allows for Data Mover failover (or dual active if you
    prefer), so it's a resonable assertion, in my view.

    They'll tell you that you should be looking at a FAS2030C, because
    that provides somewhere to failover (and doubles the price for the
    NetApp kit).

    However... (see below)

    >We have previous experience with a netapp, so we are somewhat inclined
    >to them. They run great and have yet to have them crash.


    The NetApp kit seems extremely reliable, even in single Filer
    environments. I think NetApp quote a real-world 99.6% uptime, or
    something like that, measured against all Filers that report their
    stats to NetApp (i.e. lots of them).

    If you were to have multiple NetApp devices in your company, you
    should also look at VFM software (NuView), as it will give you lots of
    additional flexibility.

    >Primarily we will be using them for ISCSI volumes. It will also server
    >CIFS and NFS shares, however, we are looking at both products in
    >consolidating our storage. Around 15 servers, varying LUN sizes of
    >200GB to 3 TB).


    I'd stick with NetApp, unless EMC are doing you a fantastic deal. If
    you are used to Snapshot, SnapRestore and any of the other NetApp
    software features, I think you'd be disappointed with the EMC way of
    doing things. YMMV.

    HVB.

  9. Re: Any experiences with EMC NS500 series?

    remember if you have a NS it realies on the hotspare from the CX. The
    nas does not do anything when it comes to a failed drive. The normal
    amount of time for a Hot spare to buil in is 8 to 12 minutes. The I/O
    will only take a suttle hit if you are running raid 5. Raid 10 or Raid
    1 would not show the perfromance hit.


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