IBM has added SONAS-style NAS heads to create a Storwize V7000 Unified storage array that complements, it says, both SONAS and its NetApp-sourced N-Series filers. The Storwize V7000 is a tiered mid-range block-access storage array with SAN Volume Controller (SVC) code enabling it to virtualise its storage as a single pool and …
Like EMC's VPLEX.....
Clearly you have no idea what EMC VPLEX is if you liken it to this IBM product or a NetApp V-Series.
does that mean EMC don't understand it either?
Based on your comment I went to EMC's website and read the marketing blurb - it made me think "they are positioning it like San Volume Controller and V7000".
Perhaps you can tell Chris, the readers of this article and most importantly, EMC marketing, what EMC VPLEX is and how they should be positioning it.
Overall a well-written article, similar to a first-glace post I just did (http://bit.ly/opBEyh). I had some exposure to SONAS in a previous life, and this will be a serious contender that EMC and NTAP have to deal with in the mid-range Unified space. To the previous posters point, true VPLEX does more than V-Series and SVC, but one of its primary features is to virtualize back-end storage, so it wasn't a completely egregious comparison.
It seems there is some confusion about what "unified" means
Dimitris from NetApp here...
At NetApp, "unified" means that the exact same controller, UNDER A SINGLE STORAGE OS, does ALL the following:
Clearly we've had tremendous success with this architecture, to the point that all the other vendors that plonk a NAS gateway on top of a separate block storage device plus add replication appliances are now calling this approach also "unified".
So "unified" seems to mean "in the same rack" for some folks.
different approaches to "unified" storage
I'm a big fan of the NetApp FAS architecture and their unified approach. But let's be honest, at the end of the day all that counts is it's reliability and availability to the end users. It just doesn't matter if there's a single box (FAS) or two (V7000) at the backend if you can manage it as a single entity.
architecture does matter
Management is not the same as architecture.
Let me illustrate a point:
With gateway-based NAS boxes (of which VNX is one), the gateway is effectively a server that is given LUNs by the block controllers, and keeps those LUNs in perpetuity (since striped filesystems are laid on said LUNs you can't reduce the size, and you can't thin the LUNs themselves).
So, let's say you get a VNX and allocate out of the storage pool 50TB to NAS and 50TB to block.
You can't reduce the 50TB you gave the NAS unless you are willing to destroy all of it and re-provision.
I've had customers in exactly that scenario, they'd purchased a ton of disk, allocated it to the NAS heads, realized they didn't need all that capacity, but weren't able to recover the disk.
In a TRULY unified system, the box (a single box) does it all, and doesn't care whether it's NAS or block, so you can very fluidly allocate stuff.
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