MSA Storage

DAS Server->MSA upgrade path performance expectations?

Cameron Todd
Regular Advisor

DAS Server->MSA upgrade path performance expectations?


I am about to replace our main production server ( an ML570 Dual PIII-1000, 12 x 36.4GB 10k SCSI, Gigabit Fibre NIC) that has reached the end of its extended warranty period with a SAN solution based on a DL360G4 and 2GB FC MSA1000 with 14 x 72.8GB (146GB?) hdd's.

What sort of performance difference could be expected (hopefully no worse!!!) and is this the correct implementation?

Should choosing 15k disks be significantly better than 10k disks and therefore worth the substantial cost increment?

I've heard from a competitor that MSA is "entry level" and yet looking at the pricing I've been given from the HP vendor, the MSA with SCSI disks is substantially dearer than their offering. (An IBM 3TB SATA array is exactly one half the price of a 1TB MSA1000 here in Aus)

The production server is a File and Print server running NetWare 6 and has about 300 users and 65 printers.

It is very stable and does appear overloaded (although slow to backup, something I'm confident will improve on FC) but given that our current 300GB of data could grow to 2TB+ in a year or two, should I be considering an MSA30 cabinet as well, or would an MSA1500cs and one or more MSA20 SATA cabinets be an equivalently performing alternative?

I believe SATA disks aren't considered as reliable or fast as SCSI but have not seen any specific information comparing the two, nor do I know how SATA on FC would perform compared to the current (aging) DAS environment.

In any event, we require warranty coverage for three years as standard for all our IT infrastructure and that may possibly preclude SATA.

Occasional Advisor

Re: DAS Server->MSA upgrade path performance expectations?

MSA1000 is consider HP's entry level solution, in fact even in HP presentation I have seen they are targeting it as a entry level solution because it does not have active\active controllers. I have been working on MSA1000's since they first came out and I will say that for a entry level solution the MSA1000 is really fast but you have have to tweak it for your environment. If you are going to use it for file and print sharing you should not see any issues. If it is a business critical application or server you are attaching to the MSA I would stick with the MSA1000 and a MSA30 shelf instead of the MSA1500 cs. SCSI is a proven solution where SATA is still relatively new. On other thing to keep in mind isthat the problems that I have run across when working with the MSA1000 relate more to database applicaitons like sql and tuning the cache just right or adjusting the FUA bit to improve performance.

SATA is a nice but cheaper alternative but is usually only recommended where cost plays a major role or a lot of the time SATA is used for secondary data storing before being backed up to tape. One down fall is that with SATA you have a higher failure rate than with SCSI.

Hope my rambling helped
Cameron Todd
Regular Advisor

Re: DAS Server->MSA upgrade path performance expectations?

Thanks Ryan.

We decided to order the MSA1000 and MSA30 combo with 146GB 15k SCSI HDD's in both.

Turns out the deal from the HP vendor got a lot better than their first quote (and the website price) once began looking at a larger quantity order.