Need advice on new file server - Storage

This is a discussion on Need advice on new file server - Storage ; We're doing software builds across 25 different UNIX platforms (some platforms as old as Solaris 2.6, HP-UX 10.20, Redhat Linux 7.1, Tru64 UNIX 4.0D to the latest versions of all of these). We currently have the source code repository available ...

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Thread: Need advice on new file server

  1. Need advice on new file server

    We're doing software builds across 25 different UNIX platforms (some
    platforms as old as Solaris 2.6, HP-UX 10.20, Redhat Linux 7.1, Tru64
    UNIX 4.0D to the latest versions of all of these). We currently have
    the source code repository available via NFS with software
    installation done locally. This is getting cumbersome as we continue
    adding new software and upgrading disks isn't fun anymore.

    So, we need a "real" file server solution. We push new releases every
    6 months and archive 4 releases at a time to provide security fixes
    against. Adding up the total disk space requirements for the latest
    release, it's ~600GB.

    To save disk space for the archival releases, we'll snapshot the
    release and create security fixes against the snapshot. VxFS will
    allow us to write to a snapshot without modifying the contents of the
    files the snapshot was taken from. I don't think ONTAP will allow us
    to do this.

    After 4 releases, with security fixes taken into consideration, I'd
    say we need no more than ~1.5TB.

    We'd also like to move the source repository to the new file server
    and some other data files. The source repository will need to be
    archived as well, in a similar manner to the 4 releases. So, this will
    add another ~300GB, including the archival releases.

    Finally, it would be nice to reduce local disk on the Vmware and mail
    servers and possibly use iSCSI to the file server for disk access.
    This will require an additional ~400GB.

    So, we need at least 2.2TB, with expansion capability to, I imagine,
    3TB for the next few years.

    As for backups, we're currently using nearline storage which is
    sufficient and plan to continue this into the future (backup to SATA
    drives).

    What are good options for the file server? I'm currently thinking of a
    Sun server to provide NFS access because we'll need VxFS for the
    archival snapshots. The Sun server will be connected to a storage
    array via FC and, for the Vmware and mail servers, iSCSI access to the
    storage array for direct access.

    --
    albert chin (china @at@ thewrittenword .dot. com)

  2. Re: Need advice on new file server

    On Mon, 09 Oct 2006 13:15:28 -0500, Albert Chin
    wrote:

    >We're doing software builds across 25 different UNIX platforms (some
    >platforms as old as Solaris 2.6, HP-UX 10.20, Redhat Linux 7.1, Tru64
    >UNIX 4.0D to the latest versions of all of these). We currently have
    >the source code repository available via NFS with software
    >installation done locally. This is getting cumbersome as we continue
    >adding new software and upgrading disks isn't fun anymore.
    >
    >So, we need a "real" file server solution. We push new releases every
    >6 months and archive 4 releases at a time to provide security fixes
    >against. Adding up the total disk space requirements for the latest
    >release, it's ~600GB.
    >
    >To save disk space for the archival releases, we'll snapshot the
    >release and create security fixes against the snapshot. VxFS will
    >allow us to write to a snapshot without modifying the contents of the
    >files the snapshot was taken from. I don't think ONTAP will allow us
    >to do this.
    >
    >After 4 releases, with security fixes taken into consideration, I'd
    >say we need no more than ~1.5TB.
    >
    >We'd also like to move the source repository to the new file server
    >and some other data files. The source repository will need to be
    >archived as well, in a similar manner to the 4 releases. So, this will
    >add another ~300GB, including the archival releases.
    >
    >Finally, it would be nice to reduce local disk on the Vmware and mail
    >servers and possibly use iSCSI to the file server for disk access.
    >This will require an additional ~400GB.
    >
    >So, we need at least 2.2TB, with expansion capability to, I imagine,
    >3TB for the next few years.
    >
    >As for backups, we're currently using nearline storage which is
    >sufficient and plan to continue this into the future (backup to SATA
    >drives).
    >
    >What are good options for the file server? I'm currently thinking of a
    >Sun server to provide NFS access because we'll need VxFS for the
    >archival snapshots. The Sun server will be connected to a storage
    >array via FC and, for the Vmware and mail servers, iSCSI access to the
    >storage array for direct access.



    Everything you're looking to do is done beautifully by a NetApp,
    including the writable snapshot (look into flexclone). And iSCSI
    licenses are free.

    If budget does not allow for a NetApp then look into a Sun server
    running ZFS. I've only started to look at that but it has promise.

    But if what you truly want is a "real file server solution" there's
    still nothing that beats a NetApp overall.

    ~F

  3. Re: Need advice on new file server

    I would look at the EMC NSG solution backed by Clariion with ATA
    storage. Compare EMC and NetApp and go with the best priced solution.

    Faeandar wrote:
    > On Mon, 09 Oct 2006 13:15:28 -0500, Albert Chin
    > wrote:
    >
    > >We're doing software builds across 25 different UNIX platforms (some
    > >platforms as old as Solaris 2.6, HP-UX 10.20, Redhat Linux 7.1, Tru64
    > >UNIX 4.0D to the latest versions of all of these). We currently have
    > >the source code repository available via NFS with software
    > >installation done locally. This is getting cumbersome as we continue
    > >adding new software and upgrading disks isn't fun anymore.
    > >
    > >So, we need a "real" file server solution. We push new releases every
    > >6 months and archive 4 releases at a time to provide security fixes
    > >against. Adding up the total disk space requirements for the latest
    > >release, it's ~600GB.
    > >
    > >To save disk space for the archival releases, we'll snapshot the
    > >release and create security fixes against the snapshot. VxFS will
    > >allow us to write to a snapshot without modifying the contents of the
    > >files the snapshot was taken from. I don't think ONTAP will allow us
    > >to do this.
    > >
    > >After 4 releases, with security fixes taken into consideration, I'd
    > >say we need no more than ~1.5TB.
    > >
    > >We'd also like to move the source repository to the new file server
    > >and some other data files. The source repository will need to be
    > >archived as well, in a similar manner to the 4 releases. So, this will
    > >add another ~300GB, including the archival releases.
    > >
    > >Finally, it would be nice to reduce local disk on the Vmware and mail
    > >servers and possibly use iSCSI to the file server for disk access.
    > >This will require an additional ~400GB.
    > >
    > >So, we need at least 2.2TB, with expansion capability to, I imagine,
    > >3TB for the next few years.
    > >
    > >As for backups, we're currently using nearline storage which is
    > >sufficient and plan to continue this into the future (backup to SATA
    > >drives).
    > >
    > >What are good options for the file server? I'm currently thinking of a
    > >Sun server to provide NFS access because we'll need VxFS for the
    > >archival snapshots. The Sun server will be connected to a storage
    > >array via FC and, for the Vmware and mail servers, iSCSI access to the
    > >storage array for direct access.

    >
    >
    > Everything you're looking to do is done beautifully by a NetApp,
    > including the writable snapshot (look into flexclone). And iSCSI
    > licenses are free.
    >
    > If budget does not allow for a NetApp then look into a Sun server
    > running ZFS. I've only started to look at that but it has promise.
    >
    > But if what you truly want is a "real file server solution" there's
    > still nothing that beats a NetApp overall.
    >
    > ~F



  4. Re: Need advice on new file server

    Faeandar wrote:
    > On Mon, 09 Oct 2006 13:15:28 -0500, Albert Chin
    > wrote:
    >
    > If budget does not allow for a NetApp then look into a Sun server
    > running ZFS. I've only started to look at that but it has promise.


    We thought about this but it's essentially a .0 version so we'd rather
    stay with something proven for now.

    --
    albert chin (china @at@ thewrittenword .dot. com)

  5. Re: Need advice on new file server

    Albert Chin wrote:
    > Faeandar wrote:
    >> On Mon, 09 Oct 2006 13:15:28 -0500, Albert Chin
    >> wrote:
    >>
    >> If budget does not allow for a NetApp then look into a Sun server
    >> running ZFS. I've only started to look at that but it has promise.

    >
    > We thought about this but it's essentially a .0 version so we'd rather
    > stay with something proven for now.
    >


    Many people use ZFS in production already. Is there something specific
    with ZFS that you're having problems with?

    /dale

  6. Re: Need advice on new file server

    Dale Ghent wrote:
    > Albert Chin wrote:
    >> Faeandar wrote:
    >>> On Mon, 09 Oct 2006 13:15:28 -0500, Albert Chin
    >>> wrote:
    >>>
    >>> If budget does not allow for a NetApp then look into a Sun server
    >>> running ZFS. I've only started to look at that but it has promise.

    >>
    >> We thought about this but it's essentially a .0 version so we'd rather
    >> stay with something proven for now.

    >
    > Many people use ZFS in production already. Is there something specific
    > with ZFS that you're having problems with?


    No. But, sometimes I read the opensolaris-zfs-discuss mailing list and
    get scared when I see reports of some of the failures encountered.

    --
    albert chin (china @at@ thewrittenword .dot. com)

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