I am working on a hosting project for a database application where high performance and reliability on the storage subsystem are very important. Initially it will require 8 TBs but is expected to grow to the 40 TB level. Several forum members have made great postings on why NetApp has worked better for them than EMC or HP SANs. I am considering NetApp as a strong candidate for the SAN implementation.
Which NetApp FAS systems are popular among hosting providers? The FAS2000 series appears very capable for my project, but I am curious whether higher end models have advantages for a hosting environment with moderate total storage requirements.
Does off-site replication (e.g. to another SAN in a remote datacenter) work well with NetApp? Do you use a lower tier IP transit channel (Cogent, HE) to reduce the impact of replication on latency and bandwidth costs?
If you have recommendations of NetApp resellers that work with hosting providers, please post them on this topic or send them via PM. Many of the channel partners listed at netapp.com appear to focus on enterprise installations with value added and consulting services that are usually not required for hosting providers.
I've used FAS 270 + FAS2050 for hosting mail (Snapmirror from 2050 > 270) for about 4 years'ish now. The FAS 2050 great performance wise for that, with around about 100,000 mail accounts and 90+ million files.
The replication is block level to the 270, so the snapshot copy of changed blocks only takes about 5 minutes per hour for us. Obviously, a slower connection over wan would increase that somewhat.
We're upgrading this year, just priced up a FAS 3020 Cluster, as we want to use it for other things too and need a bit more performance, and the SSD cache the 3020 is capable of. The pricing I got was really good for the cluster 3020 with 18TB (mirrored SAS disk), about comparable to buying 2 seperate units, bit cheaper as we only needed 1 NFS license etc.
We are going to be snapvaulting the 3020 to a remote dc, where we have a netapp vendor leasing us space per TB for peanuts (so we don't need to buy 2 units).
If you have modest performance requirements, the FAS 2040 is better performance wise than the 2050 and cheaper.
These units are bullet proof in my experience with them since 2004 - the smarts are simply fantastic in these boxes.
Speaking to a Netapp integrator worth their salt, you should get solid options and support, always been my experience.