Matt Pusateri mpusateri at wickedtrails.com
Tue Jul 18 12:12:31 EDT 2006

On Tue, July 18, 2006 11:35 am, Matt Nash wrote:
> Matt Pusateri wrote:
>> Hello Triluger's,
>> I've been tasked with finding our company a SAN.  Currently we've
>> looked at EMC & Lefthandnetworks.  Were leaning towards ISCSI,
>> corporate is a complete Windows shop, but we here in Raleigh are
>> almost completely Linux.  So I need to find something that plays
>> nice.
>>  I thought about using openfiler(iscsi-target) and rolling my own,
>> but
>> I don't think corporate will buy into it.  Anyone have any
>> suggestions/comments?  Direct experience comments appreciated, as
>> opposed to why don't you just use "Samba" comments :) Also if anyone
>> has a contact at Netapp let me know, I plan to look at them as well.
>> Thanks
>> Matt P.
> The company I work for bought 3 Left Hand units in January, and so far
> they have worked fine without a hitch.  Even MS plays well with them!
> My understanding from the installing technician is that the boxes
> themselves are off-the-shelf servers running a specialized Linux OS.
> The management console is multiplatform, written in Java, and is very
> straightforward and easy to understand.
> I haven't tried mounting one of the iSCSI targets on a Linux machine,
> but that is an experiment I have planned for when I have run out of
> work
> to do.
> Left Hand's technology is pretty interesting, and should be more
> easily
> scaled than EMC.  Not to mention MUCH MUCH cheaper.
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Lefthand is in the running, but I saw issues I didn't like as much. 
These issues may relate to all SAN's, as I'm not that SAN aware yet.

Lefthand issues:
1. All access has to be via iSCSI.  I would prefer if I could NFS/SMB
mount a share if I had to in a pinch.  I think NetApp does this  Yes I
could mount to an iSCSI server and then mount off of there, but I like

2. Backups must be done over the network, it would be nice to be able
to backup directly from the SAN box, that is if it's a smaller SAN,
and not a mutli-box clustered unit.

3. Lefthand stores that data in a raw format(proprietary?), I'd like
to be able to be able to access the data directly via it's native file
format in case of system failure.  Now lefthand does have a network
raid solution to help mitigate, but again I like options.

4. I'm not sure I'm wild about lefthand's management interface, and
they have no way to tie user management/authentication into an
external store such as LDAP or AD.

5. I know there's a five I can't think of it right now :)

I do however like their commodity hardware and also their clustering. 
There's a UK company that supposedly offers clustering support for
openfiler, but I don't think it's all that mature yet.

Matt P.

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