back to article NetApp - just like perfection?

Talking to NetApp about storage is like entering a holiday village where everything is well-ordered, well-run, efficient and clear-cut. The world outside can be messy and confusing, but inside the holiday village gates the lawns are mowed, the pavements clean, everything is signposted clearly and it's all consistent. Why would …

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Dead Vulture

Disney didn't have a plan?

Of course history teaches us just how much that terrible mistake hurt them, as their play to move from being just a cartoon and family film company to a multimedia cross-platform / genre behemoth crashed and burned, leaving just the bones of a once-great company to be picked at by corporate lawyers.

Oh, hang on a minute........

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Pirate

That's where OpenStorage comes in....

One OS (OpenSolaris) to rule them all!

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Dead Vulture

A title is required.

So how much was the Reg paid for this gushing infomercial?

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Pirate

WAFL should be AWFL

One hopes that ONTAP version 8 will remove the AWFL problems of the multi-faceted WAFL tax.

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Coat

True, that

"So how much was the Reg paid for this gushing infomercial?"

True, that.

"That's where OpenStorage comes in.... One OS (OpenSolaris) to rule them all!"

True, that.

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Go

Not the only primary dedupe

Always interesting to hear the latest plans as far as the Spinnaker integration goes; NetApp has led a fairly charmed life as things go, besides that problem. For high-end primary NAS they're still fantastic and have few competitors -- I once made the mistake of selecting a competitor (my marketing folks beg me not to berate them in public) and it was possibly the worst consumer electronics experience of my life.

I'd like to add, though, that NetApp is not the only company deduping data for something other than backup! In fact, what they're doing is rather half-assed in that it doesn't scale beyond a single volume, and has significant scalability concerns even within. For them to do dedupe right is a challenge similar to that of integrating Spinnaker, and they just haven't done it yet. My company, Permabit, was founded on doing dedupe for primary storage (albeit at an archive tier of service) and we've spent 8 years on doing it right, doing it scalably, and doing it fast. I wrote a while back about how NetApp is Doing It Wrong: http://permabit.wordpress.com/2008/08/18/jet-engine-on-a-duck-you-cant-retrofit-dedupe/

Regards,

Jered Floyd

CTO, Permabit

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Stop

Erm...

So why would you want this built in? Under Windows there is DFS (and people like Brocade offer a more mature commercial version than ships with GX) and for NFS there is backup NFS targets.

Could this be a way of getting users to replicate more data at a local site level so you have to buy more storage tin? Surely not.

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Such a Beautiful Article

I'm sure there is a marriage proposal coming shortly?

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Stop

Open SlowLaris?

Yes. Open Solaris will not only solve all your storage problems, it will cook your full English breakfast, wash the dishes and make you a nice cuppa afterwards.

There's only one catch. You need to buy these Sun 7000 series boxes. They're brand new - they have dubious performance claims. The don't scale. They have a pretty web interface, though! They're supported by a company who just laid off a massive amount of people and which has been struggling to survive since 2002, from a company who hasn't been exactly noted for their storage.

If you want storage, buy it from a company who has a history of making and supporting good storage products. There are a number of them - but none of them have names that start with "Sun".

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Anonymous Coward

When did "Archive Storage" become "Primary Storage" ??

Talk about half-assed . . .

Permabit's CTO wrote "My company, Permabit, was founded on doing dedupe for primary storage (albeit at an archive tier of service)".

Does he really believe that data center managers view archive on disk as "primary" storage?

Here's a clarifying question - if disk is primary, what is flash / SSD?

Hint: Ehn you answer, try to think like the folks who buy stuff, not like the folks who sell stuff . . .

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Anonymous Coward

De-duping

Net App has to talk about de-duping etc. This is because their performance is so poor.

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global namespace

ONTAP 8 is not just for CIFS or NFS, it's a global namespace for ALL supported protocols and that's the big difference! Imagine the easy management and scalability! If you need more performance, plug another Head in your multi-node cluster and your fine.

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global namespace

Not what I'm hearing NFS and Cifs only, you'll be able to run the others but with little if any benefit over the current systems.

WAFL will never do a good job of block storage in it's current embodiment, it just has fundamental flaws serving block reliably, once Netapp's number one feature, snapshots are enabled.

If you want a great NAS box and a mediocre SAN in a single solution then a Netapp FAS is the perfect fit. But generally the requirment tends to be the reverse, you want a high performance SAN and a reasonble NAS.

But stop pretending all of these widely differing protocols are simple to configure on the same box, cos they just aint, and lets face it, with all these additional services, the only thing keeping performance at a usable level is the constant refresh of multicore CPU's.

At some point they'll have no alternative but to scale out to comptete.

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Go

NetApp is awesome storage

As an admin, I'm sold on NetApp storage compared to the others (Sun, EMC, HP, HDS) that I've had to manage. Yes, it sounds too good to be true but that's because the others are so lousy with lack of integrated features.

As far as performance, NetApp has proven it can hold its own against arrays requiring more disks.

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NetApp is awesome storage

Surely the reverse is true.

Netapp are known to have space reservation issues in block environments, forget the marketing blogs and speak the consultants on the ground. Effectively this requires you to be either very judicial on snapshot usage or to over buy capacity, (more disks) to ensure the underlying capacity that's effectively shared between LUN and Snap can never run out. If your a Netapp administrator then you'd know this.? Now requiring more disks than the competition helps in a couple of ways, firstly you have more I/Ops available and secondly you have plenty of free space available for writes, which is especially important to WAFL given the way it must spray all data to free space.

As for the integrated features, snap integration is Netapp's go to market and they do a great job of markting it. Most of the other vendors you mention also have these integrations, they just don't tend push them on every quote, you generally have to show some interest or state a requirement for integration before they throw the kitchen sink at you.

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Linux

Don't make me lose it.

@ The guy who says 'Netapp are known to have space reservation issues in block environments'

Welcome to yesterday!

Assuming that you're alluding to fractional reservation, updates in Data Ontap means that there are a variety of ways to provision and lun based storage that negate this. Get facts straight before quoting from yesterdays newspaper!

@ Jered ... ASIS dedupe .... is free and works at block and file level. Why would anyone complain about that?

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