Saturday, 15 September 2007

Pause for Thoughtput

I've just read a couple of Gary O's postings over at Thoughtput, the blog from Gear6.

In his article "Feeding the Virtual Machines", he discussed NAS and SAN deployment for a virtual environment and makes the bold claim:

"Most people tend to agree that NAS is easier and more cost effective than SANs for modern data center architectures."

I have to say that I for one don't. Anyone who's had to deploy hardware such as Netapp filers will know there's a minefield of issues around security, DNS and general configuration, which unless you know the products intimately are likely to catch you out. I'm not saying SAN deployments are easier, simply that both SAN and NAS deployments have their pro's and con's.

The second post, Shedding Tiers questions the need to tier storage in the first place and Gary makes the comment:

"If money were no object, people would keep buying fast drives"

Well, of course they would. I'd also be driving a Ferrari to work and living in Cannes with a bevvy of supermodels on each arm but unfortunately like most people (and businesses) I have champagne tastes and beer money...

Tiering is only done to save money as Gary rightly points out, but putting one great honking cache in front of all the storage seems a bit pointless. After all, that cache isn't free either and what happens if those hosts who are using lower tier storage don't need the performance in the first place?

I almost feel obliged to use BarryB's blogketing keyword.... :0)


Parsons Software Services said...

Hi Chris,

I couldn't agree more about the wealth of issues surrounding a filer deployment. Although the functionality is feature rich (in fact, enticingly so), in nearly every place you could want to install them, the teams looking after the services you depend on (NIS,DNS,IP,LDAP,etc,etc) are almost always managed seperately from the storage team. So you're dependent on so many thing outside of your direct control.

Pausing for thought tho - if one DID want a dirty great cache in front of their storage then IBMs SVC might be a contender there.

Administrator said...


I would hope that going forward more people will also use Tiering to save on energy.... While I agree it is done primarily to save money, by moving data to lower performing and often more engery efficient media we will also save energy.