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I manage approximately 10 servers that I would like to set up to each back up a relatively small set of data nightly. Stale backups are deleted, we only need approximately 40gb of storage.

Our hosting provider (Softlayer) offers a few network storage options, each priced slightly differently:

40gb NAS - $20/mo
40gb iSCSI SAN - $30/mo
40gb Evault - $40/mo
Cloud Storage - $0.25/gb storage + $0.10/gb bandwidth

What's the difference between each of these options? Which one would be ideal for data backups where speed does not matter but reliability and ease of use does?

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2 Answers 2

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I think you're going to have to ask Softlayer directly, or try them out ,but you can rule out iSCSI SAN, not because of performance, but because you're looking at a shared filesystem to maximise utilisation, rather than raw block access for performance.

NAS will be easy to use, mount a shared filesystem on each boxes, and just copy the files to that filesystem.

Evault I've not got a clue about but it looks like it's Softlayers brand for snapshot backups of servers, so it does a full copy of the server without downtime. It sounds like it does de-duplication of data, which could generate significant space savings (and so cost-savings) for you.

Cloud storage is generally a term for storage accessed using web protocols like webdav rather than NFS or CIFS for NAS storage, you'll possibly have to run dedicated scripts to copy files to and from it depending how Softlayer have it running.

In terms of performance, each one of these options could run just as fast as any of the others depending how Softlayer actually have it configured and the hardware behind it, but the Evault system sounds like it's their own preferred option for your requirements.

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Can't say what the Cloud\Evault presentation will look like but iSCSI will be presented to you as a local drive on your server, NAS will be accessed as a network share using NFS\SMB. The key differences that may be relevant to you are whether they come with snapshot capability that you can access. What they are matters a lot less than the additional features (if any). Performance wise there are likely to be (significant) differences between them but since they are being provided to you as black box solutions there is no real way for you to tell whether one will perform better than the other without testing.

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