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Alternative to xSAN?

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Øystein Rabbe
Alternative to xSAN?
on Feb 20, 2012 at 10:18:43 pm

I have a PromiseRAID that is ready to be set up with xSAN, but I have yet no licenes for xSAN. Is there any good alternatives to this for me with the equipment that I have? Alternatives that does not involve FibreChannel to every client and does not involve a lot of expensive licenses?

I will need up to 8 clients connected.


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Dave Barnard
Re: Alternative to xSAN?
on Feb 20, 2012 at 11:35:17 pm

Worth having a look at MetaSAN & MetaLAN from Tiger Technology

http://www.tiger-technology.com/



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Bob Zelin
Re: Alternative to xSAN?
on Feb 21, 2012 at 12:00:24 am

Have a look at upgrading to OS X Lion. Free XSAN.

Bob Zelin



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Steve Modica
Re: Alternative to xSAN?
on Feb 21, 2012 at 10:42:31 am

Since Lion gives away Xsan, we've been getting a lot of iSCSI and AOE requests. People wants to use it.
Xsan admin is necessary and you'll have to get one copy of OS X server for that, but otherwise, it's free.
We've been certifying it with our Titanium box (using iSCSI target mode)
Steve

Steve Modica
CTO, Small Tree Communications


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Andrew Richards
Re: Alternative to xSAN?
on Feb 22, 2012 at 2:37:54 am

What are you recommending for an OS X iSCSI initiator? ATTO or SNS? Are there any other options?

Best,
Andy


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Steve Modica
Re: Alternative to xSAN?
on Feb 22, 2012 at 11:22:26 am

Ahem.. Small Tree's is quite good.. and free. :) Just check our downloads page.

Steve Modica
CTO, Small Tree Communications


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Andrew Richards
Re: Alternative to xSAN?
on Feb 22, 2012 at 1:01:14 pm

Cool! Didn't know you had one.

Best,
Andy


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Tim Ward
Re: Alternative to xSAN?
on Feb 21, 2012 at 3:27:03 pm

Is there a reason you need Xsan or some other shared file system?

Any reason you can't use AFP over ethernet? A lot easier to set up and manage.

Tim Ward
Small Tree Communications
http://www.small-tree.com


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Bob Zelin
Re: Alternative to xSAN?
on Feb 22, 2012 at 1:00:35 pm

Hi Tim -
after a while, you get to "understand" these posts.
Oystein writes -
" Is there any good alternatives to this for me with the equipment that I have? Alternatives that does not involve FibreChannel to every client and does not involve a lot of expensive licenses?

I will need up to 8 clients connected."

As you can see from his post (even though we have all responded, and he has not responded back to ask more questions) - he already has a Promise array (who knows if it is Fibre or not) - and he has little understanding of the process, yet he is required (probably by his employer who won't hire someone qualified to do this) to setup an 8 seat shared storage enviornment. The most important thing is that he doesn't want to spend any money. If he owned OS X Lion, or ever looked at the Apple website, he would see that XSAN licenses are free with OS X Lion. But of course, to accomplish his job with free XSAN, he still needs a fibre channel switch, fibre channel cards, etc, etc. But this is beyond the scope of his current knowlege. It is my speculation that he was waiting for a respond like "just go to office depot, buy a 50 dollar Netgear switch, (or plug all 8 computers into your existing office network), and you will have shared storage. There is a post on this forum several threads down where a guy claims to have done this, and when I questioned this, he got angry at me (he was asking why all these shared storage systems were so expensive).

So my guess is that Oystein's employer has no interest in purchasing anything, (including someone that has a background in doing this), and is trying to get his employee to find a "free" or "dirt cheap" solution on how to connect the 8 client computers to the Promise array they already own.

Part of the frustration of these forum (and all forums).

Bob Zelin



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Andrew Richards
Re: Alternative to xSAN?
on Feb 22, 2012 at 1:04:18 pm

Also, if he spent any time reading past posts he could have answered his question 100 times over.

Best,
Andy


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Tim Ward
Re: Alternative to xSAN?
on Feb 22, 2012 at 3:52:59 pm

Since I am relatively new to the forum, I have not posted much but have been reading all the posts in this forum. I tend to take what people say at face value, until they give me a reason not to. And not make any assumptions about their intentions. Øystein Rabbe is brand new to this forum, so I think it only fair to give him the full benefit of the doubt and try to help him find a reasonable solution to his challenge.

Tim Ward
Small Tree Communications
http://www.small-tree.com


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Aaron Vaughn
Re: Alternative to xSAN?
on Feb 23, 2012 at 5:07:30 am

You haven't mentioned what applications and functionality you require, that really is the best identifier on what protocol to run for your storage. If you need video feeds for editing, or database applications, I would recommend a faster protocol and a storage array that can push IOPS. If a simple file share or back up repository is needed, then lower IOPS and ease of expansion are the best ways to determine storage need.
To load xSan you are giving some decent management capabilities to the Promise storage, however, you will have additional costs incurred, simply because of the nature of shared storage. The least expensive way is for a Gbit network or iSCSI route. This gives you the flexibility of a file share, but also good controls for management, but lacks in performance with those protocols.

Before investing in a costly fiber solution that involves licensing and HBA's, that can at best give you 8gb, you can migrate over to a 10Gbe. This will also add cost for 10gb cards and about 8k for a netgear 10gbe switch (least expensive I've seen), but the advantage is it's still faster than 8gb fiber, and costs you less being that no licensing is required and 10gbe cards still are lower in cost than a fiber solution.

I'm not sure if your promise is rated for 10gbe, and from the sounds of it, you are not ready to replace the promise box, but hopefully my information is helpful. There are many inexpensive alternatives on the market for storage, but identifying the # of users, types of applications being used, and total budget are typically the best ways to decide how to build your storage network.

Let me know if this helps.

Aaron Vaughn
http://www.arcstorage.com


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