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Thread: Open-E DSS v6 and the competition

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    England
    Posts
    2

    Thumbs up Open-E DSS v6 and the competition

    I was invited to post about a recent blog post that I did where I was comparing the Trial version of DSS v6 against the like of Openfiler and Freenas.

    First let me tell you a little about me and why I blog.

    I am an IT Consultant working in London, England. I have a keen interest in Virtualisation (predominantly VMware vSphere with a little bit of Hyper-V thrown in occasionally) and wanted to create my own blog about my experiences with Virtualisation and Home Lab environments in general.

    Part of my testing was trying to determine which shared storage solution was going to work best for me, I currently own a couple of the Iomega IX4-200dís as well as a HP Microserver and I wanted to ensure that the best device was being used for my shared storage needs.

    A lot of the VMware blogging community use the IX4s as their shared storage solution but wanted to know if there was anything else out there worth a look. This is where Open-E DSS v6, Openfiler, Freenas and a couple of other solutions come in.
    Initial testing so far has been carried out using the IX4, Openfiler and DSS v6, a small amount of testing was carried out on Freenas 8 (RC5) but due to issues with the iSCSI stack I have stopped testing that until a new release is out.

    I knew very little about Open-E and the DSS product, in fact my initial testing was carried out using the IX4 and Openfiler but further investigations highlighted DSS and a couple of ZFS based solutions as well.

    Initial impressions on DSS were very good, itís really very easy to install and the management interface is nice to work with and fairly easy to understand and navigate, use of the console to carry out some tasks (deletion of Units to create new RAID arrays) was also straight forward (unlike some *nix commands, I am not a *nix guy).
    I followed the testing methodology from the VMware forums using IOmeter as the test tool, itís been a comprehensive test with two runs to get an average score (just in case there were some issues, I didnít want the scores to be skewed), and tested both NFS and iSCSI connectivity between my HP Microserver and my Lenovo TS200 running ESXi (4.1u1).

    The test OS was a fully patched (and disk aligned) install of Windows XP SP3 running on the ESXi host. The storage platform only hosted the single VM.
    What I can tell you is that whilst the iSCSI performance was pretty much on par with the rest of the products tested, DSS was by far the best performer where NFS was concerned and as it currently stands if I needed to install a storage solution using NFS I would be hard pressed to choose a product over DSS.

    From a Home Labs environment this is a decent (but perhaps slightly limiting) solution, my only issue with DSS v6 Lite is the amount of storage you get free. When you consider the cost of disk these days and the fact that the likes of NexentaStor offer 18tb of storage capacity I think the limit of 2tb of capacity from DSS is the only negative in what is otherwise a very decent storage platform.

    For those interested in reading more of my blog please have a look over at www.everything-virtual.com

  2. #2

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    Thanks Simon for your review! All the hard work (trust me we work hard!) that the developers and support engineers we thanks you!
    All the best,

    Todd Maxwell


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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    GA
    Posts
    935

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    I want to jump in and also give a big thanks to you, Simon.
    Great write up, and we are very glad that you are pleased with performance. And great blog by the way too!
    As 'To-M' mentioned we do work very hard at this, and its great to hear feedback from happy users.
    As you move forward we will be in touch with you.

    Again...... big THANKS to you for the kind words.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    404

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    Dear SimonD, really thank you for your very kind post and your interesting blog.

    What I would like to say is that for DSS Lite version, it can be expanded even to an Unlimited storage size version with support.

    And what we believe in is that no one having 18TB or more of data and do not think of having a support for all this amount of data(unless if it's not an important data), that’s why we give our customers the support starting from the 4TB plane.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    England
    Posts
    2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Al-S
    Dear SimonD, really thank you for your very kind post and your interesting blog.

    What I would like to say is that for DSS Lite version, it can be expanded even to an Unlimited storage size version with support.

    And what we believe in is that no one having 18TB or more of data and do not think of having a support for all this amount of data(unless if it's not an important data), thatís why we give our customers the support starting from the 4TB plane.
    Al,

    Please don't get me wrong, I really am impressed with DSS and I think it's a great product but I believe you would get a greater take up of the Lite (and therefore Full) version if more people used it, what could be limiting that is the 2tb restriction.

    Whilst I don't have 18tb of data I do have about 14tb of disk capacity from 3 different NAS devices at home excluding the the MicroServer (which is my home lab shared storage platform) is capable of using more than 2tb of disk space (my 3 additional NAS devices are 2 Iomega IX4-200D's and a Buffalo TeraStation Pro II all with more than 70% utilisation).

    As far as backup of my data is concerned the cost of backing up even 5tb of data at the moment is huge and thats why I replicate the data between my various NAS devices and that's my backup strategy (and so far it's worked for the last 3 years).

    I will be doing more with DSS though, more testing for NFS Failover in the next couple of weeks.

  6. #6

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    ...really great research/test and work done from your side. Appreciate your time being spent on that huge process. From my perspective it's always nice to hear positive information regarding the product we support but also your suggestions are very helpful for future improvement tasks and processes.

    I hope to hear from you in near future next summary this time regarding NFS Failover...


    Well done !
    Last edited by Mi-M; 04-29-2011 at 12:26 PM.

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