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Which array to get?

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Sean OB_1
Honored Contributor

Which array to get?


I have a system that I need to attach a small raid 5 array.

The system is an rp54x0 hp/ux system and I need to have a very small amount of data on an array.

Realistically I only need about 40gb of useable space, but the client wants a hardware raid.

So what is the cheapest array that HP offers that will give me hardware raid 5 and will work with the rp54x0 series of servers?

Sean OB_1
Honored Contributor

Re: Which array to get?

Sorry, the server is an RP24x0 not 54.

Quin Hammes
Valued Contributor

Re: Which array to get?

I think the VA7100 is the least expensive array which HP offers that can do RAID 5. Actually it does AUTO RAID which means that it does RAID 1/0 when its less than 50% utilized and then automatically migrates data to RAID 5 as it goes above 50%. The advantage there is that you get the extra performance with RAID 0/1. All this process is behind the scenes. Administration is pretty simple. I don't know what price range you are looking for.

You could at other vendors but there has been such a hit to the storage market right now that any small player might be out of business and companies like EMC and HDS only offer larger systems.

The problem with the VA is I am not sure how much longer they are going to be offered because I thought HP was moving to the old Compaq arrays which I personally dont like very much and are hard to use.


p.s. Do you work at AE?
Sean OB_1
Honored Contributor

Re: Which array to get?

Yes Quinn I do work for AE. This is for a new system at MATC.

I'd prefer to just use something like a DS2100 and let LVM stripe across the disks. But Mike would prefer to let the hardware take care of it to lessen the admin later.

Sean OB_1
Honored Contributor

Re: Which array to get?

Whoops, sorry about the typo on your name. I used to work with a Quinn with two 'n's!
Brian M Rawlings
Honored Contributor

Re: Which array to get?


HP plans to discontinue the VA7x00 arrays, which I would have recommended for your needs, but I would avoid recommending a product that is going (or is at) end-of-life to any client. They will see it as your fault, when their maintenance costs begin to soar...

HP is switching to the Compaq EVA array, a quite similar 'modular array' that is not quite like the old compaq/DEC arrays. It's main benefit would be end-to-end one-vendor support, which has plenty of value. In your case, I'd recommend the EVA array, since you don't need lots of high-end features.

EMC and HDS both have competitive units, however, and very competitive pricing in the low end modular-type arrays.

EMC has the Clariion line, check out the CX400 at the low end, it would do what you need, and may be the cheapest of the bunch. It is brand new, but builds on an existing line that I have always found easy to administer and deploy.

HDS has their "thunder" series, the 9200 family. Like the other 'modular' units, the controller section can be expanded with drive trays as needed, but for such a small data footprint, you'll only need the minimum complement of disks in the main chassis.

All these arrays have disk in the main controller enclosure (3U or 4U in a rack), and will be all you need.

Aside from the advantage of being the single-source provider that goes to HP, the other units have possible price advantage (EMC CX400), and, well, I can't think of any advantage of the HDS units off-hand. You'll need to work with a reseller to acquire any of these, I think, and they may have other options or recommendations.

If you have no local reseller, email me, I can get you some additional info on any of these.


Regards, --bmr
We must indeed all hang together, or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately. (Benjamin Franklin)
Vincent Fleming
Honored Contributor

Re: Which array to get?

All the small external arrays such as the VA7100, or competing arrays in the same class (such as the previously-mentioned ones) are around $40K or more, which is a bit much for 40GB of usable data... they hold >1TB, which is why they are that expensive.

You can use a 4si card in your rp24xx machine, and a DS2100 as the external enclosure. Look on hp.com for info about the 4si.

Good luck!
No matter where you go, there you are.
Chris Thomas_3
Occasional Visitor

Re: Which array to get?

The VA7100 is a nice array with 1G FC end-to-end... so the 1G drives should be cheaper, but a little slower. If you want a 2G FC setup, you would have to upgrade to a VA7410 array, with faster 2G drives, but naturally costs more.

Both arrays also have cache options too, I think 512Meg per controller is okay for the VA7100, but the VA7410 needs at least 1Gig. The VA7100 will run with as little as 256Meg.

I suppose you might consider a single controller configuration in VA7100 with 256Meg cache and like 8-10 8Gig FC drives as your lowest cost RAID 5 solution.

But I don't know if you'll actually need dual controllers and HBAs to do this job...

Honored Contributor

Re: Which array to get?

I would also recommend going for the RAID 4si cards... They are relatively cheap, and allow for most common RAID levels (and takes the processing OFF the normal cpu - unlike VxVM)

Get the docs/release notes here:

You could easily attach a cheap disk System 2300, housing up to 10 Ultra3 SCSI disks:

Hope this helps !

The Unix Programmer's Manual, 2nd Edition, June, 1972: "The number of Unix installations has grown to 10, with more expected."