* Posts by frunkis

3 posts • joined 21 Sep 2011

Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards


Was there anything better than the Sierra Online games back then? I was fortunate enough to witness Al Lowe modify a bit of code for the Police Quest series one day. He showed me how a line of code could correct the bug I had discovered. I didn't understand what he had done, but was able to see the results. It fascinated me and I believe that moment and the Sierra Online game series had a lot of influence on where I am today.


Off-the-shelf servers spar with million-dollar storage arrays



We were and continue to be vendor agnostic when making purchasing decisions and we looked at a lot of options. You admit your EMC bias and sound like someone in sales at emc. I am a one of those customer success stories for a competing product.

Every vendor we met marched through the doors with their customer list and references. You are not impressing anyone with yours. Some vendors went a step further and brought on the FUD surrounding their competitors. As a potential customer, it made my skin crawl every time they tried bashing someone. A feature comparison is one thing, but sometimes their comments were egregious and came off as desperate. EMC and Netapp's favorite was that XIV has double disk failure problems. IBM had a different story. Most did a job comparing the products. Oracle's solution was feature rich without the expensive licensing costs.

In the end, we took a chance with a Nexenta solution over the similar product offered by Oracle. BTW, the ZFS lawsuits were settled over a year ago. Check Netapps website ;) We still like Netapp and continue to use their filers, but in this round of storage refresh they lost out due to cost. IBMs XIV was really interesting too, but even after they shaved off $1 MILLION from their imaginary internal list price, it was still more expensive and shipped with fewer features than what we ended up with. We also talked with BlueArc, Nexsan, Compellent, Dell ( who were reselling EMC gear ), HP and a few others.

Competition is good.


"would encourage any customer to get quotes and come to their own conclusions."

And our conclusion was, Nexenta. All the features and more at a fraction of the cost.

With our budget constraints, we could no longer afford to expand or upgrade our aging Netapp gear and got quotes from all kinds of vendors. We stumbled on a Nexenta solution and the price and feature set was too tempting to pass up. We purchased a system with their software and couldn't be happier. The performance and reliability has been outstanding.

When you factor in the cost of licensing, for all the features offered with Nexenta platforms, it wasn't even close. Nexenta destroyed the competition. In one case, Netapp's solution was heavily discounted off the street price, had fewer software features and was still 400% more expensive than a similar system spec'd with Nexenta. Basically, their software is a pretty interface to opensolaris with ZFS that manages commodity hardware.

Where we see differences between Nexenta, Netapp, XIV, EMC, Compellent, etc. is the level of vendor support, education programs and community support, but if you don't need constant hand holding to manage storage, justifying the expensive EMC/Netapp gear becomes difficult.

Nexenta has replication, snapshots, compression, deduplication, WORM, HA, FC, iSCSI, CIFS, NFS, WebDav, Rsync and a host of other features. With Netapp, they license every feature, per controller and charge you $2000 for a $150 harddrive. Want to use snapmirror with Netapp? Two licenses for the source HA controllers and 2 more for the destination controllers. Want NFS, CIFS? pay them more. Nexenta? included at no cost. We just got so much more than we ever did with other vendor solutions.



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