Alright, looking at SAN options.
We have a vendor we're working with, and they're obviously pushing EqualLogic hard. They just released the 4100 series which is a bit nicer, and they're trying to get more competitive with their pricing.
However, Dell also released the MD3600 series PowerVault, which also looks quite tasty, both in price and mostly in it's expandability. Our vendor keeps insisting the EqualLogic is so scalable, but it's datasheet details that the 4000 series can only expand to two boxes, and also it seems the technology requires a lot of inter-talk between the boxes, so basically as usual it's wasted resources assuming I don't know how to provision LUNs.
We were originally looking at EMC's VNXe series and NetApps FAS series models because of their attachable disk enclosures, I wanted to be able to use 10/15K SAS for our database and 7.2 NL-SAS for cheap storage for low-demand business apps (Dev, Testing, low demand OSes, etc.).
Of course our vendor gives us the run around about how a non-virtualized block system is practically useless (I think they just don't want us to go with something they may not be familiar with, even though they're a Dell vendor, they almost lost this sale simply because they weren't even willing to disclose the PowerVault did all that we requested of a SAN), and that managing a LUN is way too much work (complaints that if I misprovision a LUN that I'll have to deal with capacity issues, which... I don't expect an engineer to be telling me "well we're going to set you up incorrectly" basically, I love when an engineer is nothing more than another sales person... sigh).
So anyway, the PowerVaults are on ESXi 4.1 and 5.0's HCL, we'll probably be looking at 4.1U1 downgrades being as we'll be running on older blades for this deployment.
So simple enough: Anyone own PowerVaults? How do they stack up? Anyone own both? Is the 8 snapshots per LUN really a problem? Can the PowerVault beat the pants off of the EqualLogic in terms of performance (3200 series has twice the ports, 4x as many in active/active which I was told the EQ could do but then their unit in their rack was NOT)? How about all the VMWare integration that EQ does? Is it worth another 20-25% of cost to our SAN budget? What benefits do I get from a SAN that is Exchange aware (I believe the EQ does)? Is there anything I'm missing here?
We're looking to do replication, I know we lose SAN-to-SAN based replication, but we were probably looking at running Veeam anyway, so that would be fine, right?
Also, I pointed out quite a few times to them that we run NexentaStor right now, and that nothing they throw at us is going to be more confusing to set up and manage than that, actually we're looking to drop to NexentaCore for our backup systems, I'm not scared of having something I have to manage, if anything getting away from such expensive tiering will allow me to buy the equipment to tier.
And they've pushed that it doesn't have RAID-50, which I quesiton that deployment up front, being as however they divy up 22 drives into a RAID 50 (24 - 2 hot spares) means we can get terrible write performance, also it means we have an unmatched RAID-5 size in there which is uh... odd.
Also our ESXi vendor wont support the PowerVault, so it seems they only really know EqualLogic boxes. :\ Leaves me not really confident in them either that they'll only support boxes that require no training to use.
Also, the lack of manual tiering means that our development system gets to fight with production for resources, ugh!