Disk Arrays
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Fast Disk Array

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Simon R Wootton
Regular Advisor

Fast Disk Array

We run an HP N-class server with a Hase array containing 50 9gb 10k rpm disks. This server runs a bespoke database that is used by 18 different sites all over the UK. Our main bottleneck is disk access time, and as we have just opened a new site that will increase disk access by quite a bit we are looking for a new disk array. What we need is 18gb of tripple mirrored space and due to the way our system works we need 2 of them.

The problem we have is that we are not sure what to buy. We need very quick disk access but we also need something that will work well with our existing array. We also need something that is very upgradable as we will want to replace what we already have with the new system eventually. We don't mind buying something that is half empty initially so long as there is room for expansion.

I would be really greatfull if anyone could point me in the right direction, or even supply me with some links to have a look at. I've scoured the net but can only find details on the HP XP arrays. These look great but it is always nice to have a choice.

Thanks in advance.
Honored Contributor

Re: Fast Disk Array

The following link describes info about most vendors solutions.


I personally can't complain much either about the XP solution or the EMC solution in terms of future investments and high availability/reliability.

For 24/7 however, the XP is the real solution.
Online backup, Online f/w upgrade, great performance, Dual backplane etc..

You might want to look at the Hitachi solution at www.hds.com too.. same product, different support center and software.

It works for me (tm)
Alexander M. Ermes
Honored Contributor

Re: Fast Disk Array

Hi there.
We use an EMC solution on a V2500.
We run 15 production databases with users spread allover Europe. We access the EMC with
fibre channel connections and have setup 4GB of cash in that solution. The databases are from 5 GB up to 70 GB in size. Nobody complains about perfoamnce issues. If you hook up something like this ( in your case preferebly an XP solution ), your problems will vanish into thin air.
Alexander M. Ermes
.. and all these memories are going to vanish like tears in the rain! final words from Rutger Hauer in "Blade Runner"
Dave Wherry
Esteemed Contributor

Re: Fast Disk Array

I'll also throw my support towards the XP. I've been on an XP256 for almost 2 years and have been very happy with. Performance is great and upgrades are on-line and very easy. It is very easy to grow this platform.
My second choice would be an EMC frame. I've had recent talks with EMC and they claim to also be able to do almost all upgrades on-line now. That did not used to be the case. However, they also made some statements that were simply not true.
As for HDS, there are too many problems with HDS for my taste. If you use the HP FC interfaces with an HDS array you will only see 8 LUN's per interface. I do not like that limitation. You can get around it by using JNI Emerald interface cards. If you do that, HP will only provide support up to the interface card. You then have to rely on HDS to troubleshoot I/O problems. That is not an acceptable risk for me. I'm a big fan of single vendor solutions.

Re: Fast Disk Array

Something to consider would be Tricord Lunar Flare NAS. Essentially it is an infinitely expandable system that actually gets more powerful as you add more storage and more users. Basically a bunch of 1u nodes with 129GB of raw storage, add as you grow. They are redundant and inexpensive. The best part is you can try them out for 30 days...I am pretty sure the trial program exists in Europe. I would say it is at least worth a look as it solves redundancy, future growth, performance, etc.

"Go Big Or Don't Go At All"