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Thread: NetApp?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
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    NetApp?

    Out of curiosity more than anything, what's up with NetApp devices? It seems to me that, for the cost of a Network Appliance system, I could build something that was an order of magnitude cheaper, and worked at least as well.

    For instance, I'm looking at a 4TB NetApp for $113K. The cost of 4TB of disks (146GB SCSI at 15K RPM) from a 'normal' sources comes to around $7,000, so I'd budget $10K or so for a halfway-decent fileserver.

    Why is the NetApp an order of magnitude more? I just wonder exactly how it's different, and who values those differences so much? (And apologies if I come across as critical of the NetApp: I'm curious, not critical.)

  2. #2
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    Support, Best in there market, Fast, Stable.

    It depends on what your running really, a simple FreeNAS with a r10 might work for others, but creating volumes on volumes with an upwards of 200TB+. Thats where NetApp kicks butt.
    Remote Hands and Your Local Tech for the Los Angeles area.

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  3. #3
    I haven't personally used a NetApp, but a friend of mine wrote some ICAP code to work directly with a NetApp appliance and a few other appliances. He said the NetApp was the best designed ( faster than the other appliances he was working with and more stable).

    The cost comes from people like me that want lots and lots of money before we right code for these guys. Also, Enterprise tech support can be worth its weight in gold. I am not sure if you can read raw network traffic or gdb and kernel debugger output, but those of us that can will let you know if you can have someone else do it (your tech support) let them.
    Enterprise IT Professional, Former Web Hosting Tech.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by fog View Post
    Why is the NetApp an order of magnitude more? I just wonder exactly how it's different, and who values those differences so much? (And apologies if I come across as critical of the NetApp: I'm curious, not critical.)
    Depends on your need, really. Very few environments with large data storage needs do not purchase a SAN these days. Comparatively they are a far more flexible storage solution than DAS - but of course only if you have the considerable dollars to invest in the fibre channel infrastructure - though Netapp will also sell you an iSCSI solution of course.

    If you want centralized very high performance, very high capacity data storage, you purchase Netapp or EMC (or other vendors like IBM, HDS, Pillar, etc.).

    Netapp SANs support nifty things like snapshots, mirroring, and deduplication. These are generally ASIC-based and much, much faster than homebrewing your own solution. They are also heading in the direction of virtualizing physical disks into logical volumes at the hardware level.

    There's also the reliability involved in multi-head units, multipath fiber, power supplies etc. - though obviously you can have similar features in a vanilla file server.

    Netapp's embedded OS allows it to emulate a CIFS file server as well so the Filer can perform just like a Windows-based file server.

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