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ISILON vs NETAPP for midsize enterprise customer?

Quick and dirty...

EMC is our primary vendor so Isilon is being pushed hard....   we are interested in what NetApp does better than Isilon for the "average Joe" customer. 

We are a midsized company that is looking for a HA solution that will be easy to grow and manage as our demands grow.

To keep things simple...  we currently have 60TB of unstructured file server data that we would like to move off of our expensive VMAX storage and onto a NAS.

Additionally we will be looking to migrate some test VMWare servers over to NAS as well as begin testing VDI solutions.

Our proposed solution from NetApp is (4) 2240s at our primary and DR sites.  We will leverage snapshots as a backup solution and replicate to the DR site.  Know I know this will do what we want and we can always had heads as they are needed.  What I want to know is what this solution will do better than what I primary vendor has to offer.  

Please keep in mind simplicy and reduced complexity is HUGE for my shop.... we have a limited number of engineers that are doing it all ... builds, deployments, capacity planning, research and dev.... bla bla bla ... We do not have time to babysit and storage frames.  I'm not really looking for ultimate storage IOP and latency showdowns.  Can anyone help with real world examples?

Re: ISILON vs NETAPP for midsize enterprise customer?

Take a look at this:

If you are looking for a general purpose storage system go with Netapp.  If you need to provide high sequential speeds for large files over NAS protocols as the documents suggests, go Isilon.  I like the flexability Netapp offers, you think you may only use it for the items you listed above but will find out it really is a tool you can't live without in your datacenter infrastructure.  We use the VSC VMWare plugin to provision VDI machines to our VIEW brokers on Netapp.  I can configure 40 on the fly in about 9 minutes, thinly provissioned and ready to use.  Take a sip of the Netapp Kool Aid, you will never want anything else.

My two cents.


Re: ISILON vs NETAPP for midsize enterprise customer?

Thanks for the link and description....

Is there anything you don't like about NetApp?  I'd just like to know the day to day things that you wish they had done differently.  Real world input from people that use the stuff means more to me than most other reports.

Re: ISILON vs NETAPP for midsize enterprise customer?


If you are moving from VMAX to FAS2240, then bear in mind the latter is an entry level box, so make sure it will fit the bill performance-wise. Especially that you mentioned not only flat files, but also some VMs & VDI.



Re: ISILON vs NETAPP for midsize enterprise customer?

We will still have the VMAX.  We want to move our unstructured data to a NAS device... first set of data would be the file servers then in our test environment we would rather run lightly pushed test VMs on something other than VMAX.  The VDI thing is new to us.  We currently haven't deployed any but it is on the horizon.

Honestly I'm sure the NetApp design will be fine for the first two years.... but I"m more worried about management and capacity a few more years down the road. 

I'd still like to get a comparision where you could see what one box has over another.  For example...  Isilon has auto tiering of storage... this may not be important now but 3 years from now it may be critical.  Also with a new launch I'm sure the 2240s will be plenty but what about down the road... will I need to migrate data and load balance nodes?  How difficult will it be for me to add another node to a NetApp system and will it automatically redistribute the load.  See I have a few items that make isilon appear better but I want you guys to give me a few examples of what NetApp does better other than response time.

Re: ISILON vs NETAPP for midsize enterprise customer?

in our environment to benefits of netapp over isilon include near-instant snaps & smaller arrays as you need 3 nodes for minimum isilon config, although you could order isilons that were not fully populated

i'm currently of bigger fan of the isilon

Re: ISILON vs NETAPP for midsize enterprise customer?

I'm really surprised there isn't more activity in here....  Maybe I need to ask specific questions to get my answers.

Is anyone running VDI on NetApp?  If so what size boxes and how many?  How does it perform?  Do you have any pain points with NetApp?  What pain points were you trying to address when purchasing NetApp?  What other technology did you evaluate?  Do you find yourself needing to migrate or load balance your data?  How difficult is it to perform the analysis needed to understand this process?  Have you added any nodes to your farm?  If so please describe the process.  Are you replicating data to a dr site?  If so do you have any issues?  Are you leveraging NetApp on-board AV scanning?  How would you evaluate the AV scanning process?  What degree of space savings have you achieved using dedupe/compression?

Re: ISILON vs NETAPP for midsize enterprise customer?

OK - first of all: too many questions! You can make not one, but probably 5 threads of them Smiley Wink

Secondly, comparing NetApp with Isilon is a bit like comparing apples with oranges (at least in some aspects - e.g. I doubt the latter would be any good for VDI)

Thirdly, virtually any platform could be either good, or bad, depending how you position, size, deploy and finally manage it.

Re: ISILON vs NETAPP for midsize enterprise customer?

Ha!  Okay maybe that was a bit much.... but it's like pulling teeth to get any useful information on here.

Question:  What are your current pain points with NetApp?

I'm not sure they are apples to oranges.... though so far the retail price for NetApp appears to be lower than the discounted price for Isilon.

Re: ISILON vs NETAPP for midsize enterprise customer?

so far the retail price for NetApp appears to be lower than the discounted price for Isilon. 

So it is apples vs. oranges - normally it should be the other way around, so quite likely there is a very decent spec from Isilon on the table vs. entry-level NetApp.