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We are planning to move our production servers to the datacenter and virtualize remaining servers in the process.Datacenter will have HP blades with vSphere on top.Currentliy we are using Celerra NS20 as fileserver.Since datacenter is using HP kit and EVA 4400 as SAN, we cannot have Celerra there, as EMC supoprt for Celerra does not work for non EMC array.

I have searched for possible options and one of them was to have HP NAS blade X3800sb instead of Celerra.However this seems like overkill for me.We are only using Celerra for about 100 users and 50 servers and I think having X3800sb could be waste of resources.

The other option would be to have a virtual fileserver as a part of vmware environment in datacenter.We only need CIFS to be provided.The only option I can think of is Windows Storage server.We had a bad expirience with Windows servers used as fileservers ( memory leaks one thing) in the past and this was one of the reasons we moved to Celerra.

What are the other options?We need something as reliable as Celerra with as many options as possible.For example , Celerra has per folder quotas, deduplication, dynamic volume allocation, automatic failover, VTLU, replication.

Also we would need to replicate NAS data to the failover site.We could use block level replication , SAN-to-SAN, but this would mean wasted bandwidth, as we need only subset of folders to be replicated.We used CA XSoft for windows servers in the past and Celerra has option for Celerra replication.

Thank you very much in advance,

Please ask me if I missed any details!

share|improve this question
Stay as far away from Windows Storage Server as you can. Microsoft is EOLing it shortly, and it's next to impossible to get decent technical support for it. MS won't support it directly because it's sold by the OEMs as an "appliance", and the OEMs (at least HP in my experience) is completely incapable of providing adequate support for WSS. – EEAA Jun 16 '10 at 3:33
up vote 2 down vote accepted

How about a NAS appliance like Nexenta? Can map FC or iSCSI luns (or however the EVA presents its volumes), integrates with AD, can share out volumes via CIFS, NFS, DAV, and a plethora of other protocols. Nexenta uses the ZFS filesystem on the back end so you get goodies like compression, de-duplication, file checksumming, replication, etc.

Additionally, Nexenta will support their product running on top of VMware, which it sounds like you'll have in your environment.

share|improve this answer
Very interesting.I can see they even provide NDMP – Sergei Jun 16 '10 at 8:18

If you're open to using Linux or UNIX, then Samba will allow you to export SMB and CIFS file shares.

You could run a virtualized file server, though if it's getting heavy traffic you'll regret not having raw access to the disks.

share|improve this answer
Thank you. However I am looking for something more suitable for enterprise environment.Samba may be a good choice for SMB but in our case this simply wont make it. – Sergei Feb 26 '10 at 7:54
@Sergei - have you ever checked into what EMC is using to provide CIFS services from the Celerra? My bet is that they're using Samba. Just sayin'. – EEAA Jun 16 '10 at 3:26
Hi ErikA, I am almost sure they have their own customised Samba.However as a customer ,I have well built interface with quick professional support.I simply cannot risk my job going with plain Samba for the enterprise. – Sergei Jun 16 '10 at 8:15

One thing that's not immediately apparent about Windows Storage Server is that it's tied to particular hardware that you comes with it pre-installed, rather than being an OS you can throw on hardware of your choice. So it's probably out as an option, unless you can purchase the additional hardware.

For a VM-based solution running on your virtual environment, you could look at Windows 2008 R2 with DFS replication to a remote site. Alternatively, Openfiler with DRDB replication. Both can authenticate via AD if you need this, but I don't think either of them will do data de-duplication at this time.

share|improve this answer
Thank you for reply. Unfortunately we had a bad experience with DFS and we looking at san replication option here. – Sergei Jun 16 '10 at 11:13
Fair enough, I've heard of a number of admins that had frustrating experiences with DFS. The implementation in 2008 R2 is a completely overhauled system which might be worth looking at again (they've switched from a per-file to byte-level replication method and broken away from FRS). Failing that, OpenFiler with DRDB seems like a popular choice at the mo. – Chris Thorpe Jun 16 '10 at 20:22

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