* Posts by Paul Hargreaves

10 posts • joined 23 May 2008

Is Quantum shopping itself around?

Paul Hargreaves

Better than A-SIS?

Disclaimer: I work at NetApp.

Ignoring the rest of the speculation in the article since it was an entertaining read, I noticed this:

> NetApp would gain the DXi deduplication software which is a stronger technology than its own A-SIS deduplication.

Is it really stronger? I'd be interested to hear about any proof that the DXi technology has much value in primary production workloads which is where a lot of A-SIS is being used. I would suggest that being able to deduplicate production workloads is stronger than deduplicating static backup data.


SAN vs NAS: Spelling out the differences

Paul Hargreaves

NAS vs SAN or "cheap array" vs "expensive array"

> the key difference to focus on is whether or not you need the top performance and reliability of a SAN and are prepared to pay the premium. If not, you need a NAS.

NAS vs. SAN misses the point. The quality of the array and requirements of the host OS and software is much more important than the colour of the network cable, unless you are looking at the ultra-low end where a $100 NAS box will be much worse than a $10000 SAN box.

At the mid/high end, a high quality array will do NAS and SAN equally well, and will also allow apps to run over both classes of network equally well (and in most cases, at the same time).

BTW - someone needs to tell Oracle or VMware that NAS is not performant or reliable.


EMC to release hot flood of unifying products

Paul Hargreaves

I work at NetApp

I'm not the AC. I do work at NetApp.

> Um... OnTap 8 or 7 Mode

Is it broken? If so, how? (BTW, as a certified NetApp individual, you'll know that ONTAP 8 comes in 2 versions, cluster-mode and 7-mode. It isn't "ONTAP 8 or 7-mode", its "ONTAP 8 7-mode or ONTAP 8 cluster-mode").

> OSSV not working outside of GMT +8 / -8?

Seriously? Please point me at the burt / NOW page that says this... since we have an entire APAC business that would struggle to use it...

> RAID-DP is not RAID 6.

According to whom? SNIA, the industry association created by the vendors to represent all of us non-politically, says it is: http://www.snia.org/education/dictionary/r/ (RAID-DP is diagonal)

> averare of 15% loss in real read performace with a NetApp vs. EMC

What? Evidenced how, under what workloads? With what configurations?

> Or howabout the fact that PAM/FlashCache is READ ONLY?

Is this a problem? Why is this bad? [hint, for a NetApp array with WAFL and NVRAM, it's the right way. For other vendors, not so much]

> EMC FASTCache is R/W!

Great. What does this mean? Why is this good? An answer that includes evidence such as published, audited benchmarks would be even better...

> How about "flash is pointless.... oh we've got flash now, it's good" or "Object Storage sux... we bought bytecast, now it's good" or "Not Compresss.... no....wait, we've got it now..

Unified Storage? NAS?

We've been selling Flash for a long time - PAMII / Flash Cache is flash... (hence the name...)

Object Storage is one of those "could be a gigantic market in the future so invest now" but enterprise apps such as Exchange, Oracle etc don't support it, so for most customers it is just an interesting discussion point.

As for compression time-to-market (and sales strategy)- we aren't perfect, and it's just icing on the storage efficiency cake.

> SnapShot's???? Why, oh why do my snapshots occur in my expensive production disks?

For performance and efficiency. That is why Snapshots do not hurt performance, unlike some of our competitors arrays. It's also why dedupe works exceedingly well since we can use the blocks that are also in the snapshots.

> Oh thats write, snapshots can only occur in the same volume... not like EMC where I can snap shot to much, much less expensive disk.

Expensive is a relative term since dedicating entire drives to your snap space, having to have spares of those drive types, hoping that you got the ratio of "production" vs. "snapshot" disks correct, and the performance drop for using them, is probably not worth the effort. Then restore (the reason for them in the first place); if you have to restore an entire multi-tb database from a snapshot it is much quicker if you don't have to move data around to do it...

> Now for a bit of a reality check:

Can we have something more modern than 2007; if this is really a reality check then I assume there will be tons of data to support all of your assumptions.

> So here are the FUD Rules (again):

FUD Rules? I thought the first rule of FUD Rules is not to talk about FUD Rules?


EMC blows CIFS benchmark away

Paul Hargreaves

Don't compare NFS vs CIFS results

In the article:

...and returned a throughput score of 18,784, 2.36 times less than the CIFS throughput score. As a crude comparison, let's suppose then that the EMC Celerra Gateway NS-8 set-up above would score proportionately the same in the NFS benchmark.

From the SPEC website referenced in the article:

SPECsfs2008 results may only be compared to other SPECsfs2008 results for the same protocol. SPECsfs2008_cifs and SPECsfs2008_nfs.v3 are not comparable because they are generated using completely different workloads.

So, no, it's not a crude comparison. You can't just do maths and assume that the platforms perform identically with different protocols. Because none do. NFS (2/3) are much simpler protocols than CIFS and it can show on the throughputs on devices that support both (natively). Where non-native CIFS emulation (e.g. Samba) is involved I'd expect the difference to be orders of magnitude different.


What Ballmer and Hurd should announce this afternoon

Paul Hargreaves

Virtualised tablet?

Maybe it's a virtualised tablet that you run on a normal computer? You could use the mouse to "touch" the screen. That would be pure win!


Thieves lift hives as UK bee numbers drop

Paul Hargreaves
Paris Hilton


£50 per hive per year? 18 hives? £900 lost, plus the bees of course. For a £6000 investment that's a pretty poor ROI given that you've got to maintain the hives, prepare and ship the honey.

Paris, 'cos she's in it for the love too.


Ten of the Best... iPod rivals

Paul Hargreaves
Paris Hilton

Oh dear

If that's the best of the rest then I'll stick with my Touch...


Free for all on London Underground

Paul Hargreaves


> After all this is a public service and not there to line someone's pockets!

Yeah, right.


MPs demand US spooks' guarantees on census data

Paul Hargreaves
IT Angle

Hmm... another thought

£450m in cost.

60m or so people in the UK.

That works out at about £7.50 per person.

Wow. Nice to know how my tax money is being spent.


Surely there is a better way of doing these things though. We aren't having a general election this year so the people who could have been doing that could be doing this instead. Or tracking down the people who have been affected by the 10p tax removal (select * from population where income<18000)?

And don't do these things every 10 years if it's a big deal. Do approximately 1/10th of the house holds every year based on NI numbers so that people only get bothered every so often.

Why does it all just seem so hard?

Paul Hargreaves

Shame we can't do this stuff in Britain

It's amazing we have to continually outsource everything. The government shouldn't need to outsource it's own data collection and processing. And by outsource I mean outsource to any commercial company, foreign or domestic.