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DAS vs SAS Expander Enclosure

Tags:
  • SAS
  • Storage
  • Enclosure
  • External Hard Drive
Last response: in Storage
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September 22, 2013 5:40:09 PM

I'm looking for a fast, centralized storage solution for our application server for a small business I work for.

We need about 25TB of usable storage and the IT consultants we've hired keep pushing us to buy a PowerVault MD3260 but with the specs they suggest it comes down to about $1,000 a TB. That's way to expensive for us as we would need to buy almost 60TB to have the usable 25TB we need.

I was looking around for another solution and found this SAS Expander Enclosure. Filling those 24 bays with 4TB SAS drives @ 7.2k RPM would come down to less than $15,000... MUCH cheaper than the Dell DAS and even more storage.

So my questions are:
What are the differences between the two (other than the faster spinning disks on the Dell DAS)?
Do you have any other suggestions for a solution that will satisfy our needs (25TB of usable storage and speeds of 6gbps between the server and the drives)?
Can I buy more than one controller for the SAS Expander Enclosure so that I can increase the bandwidth between the enclosure and the server (if, for example, I need to access data from 3 or 4 separate drives in the enclosure at the same time)?

Thanks in advance.

More about : das sas expander enclosure

November 15, 2013 9:03:49 AM

We actually use an implementation that uses daisy-chained Dell MD3200's, and they have a MUCH lower starting price than the 3260. The 3200's have x2 6Gbps SAS inputs, and x3 SAS out, so you could have each of the two 3200's connected directly to a server. That would give you a max of 28.8TB of space, though you don't have redundancy on your connectors.

You could also look into using multi-tiered caching for your data, and have one 3200 directly connected to the server with x2 cables, and the other 3200 chained off the 1st 3200. This one will give you redundancy on the cable connections, and it will all you to expand your storage more easily past 28.8TB in the future.
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December 16, 2013 9:43:21 PM

Thanks for your reply!
Sorry for the late answer, but in the end we went up going with a DAS from EMC.
It's pretty neat since it connects through 10Gbps ethernet ports so we put some PCIe to 10Gbit cards on both our servers and connected it to a 10Gbit switch which in turn is connected to the DAS. This way we can daisy chain DAS's and if we ever buy more servers we just put some 10Gbit cards in there and connect them to that router.

My issue now is that I'm worried our IT consultants are charging us too much for new hard drives on the DAS. They say that it's about $1,000 for a 900GB 10,000rpm SAS drive. Their argument is that those are the only drives that the EMC will support. Do you think that argument holds water? SAS is a pretty universal format... I don't see why any SAS drive wouldn't work with an expandable DAS.
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January 17, 2014 1:59:51 PM

Sorry for my late reply as well :) 

Hopefully you haven't made a decision yet, because that is definitely a ridiculous price. Just going to the Dell website and checking their pricing on direct attached storage modules, and you get this price:
1.2TB 10K RPM SAS 6Gbps 2.5in Hot-plug Hard Drive [$595.38]

You're getting gouged. You can pull up the same price by going to dell, looking at the MD1220 server, "customizing" and you can see drive prices. And normally Dell is more $ than other vendors for drives...

This was the link I had when I looked at these prices. Hope it helps!

GeneralJabroni said:
Thanks for your reply!
Sorry for the late answer, but in the end we went up going with a DAS from EMC.
It's pretty neat since it connects through 10Gbps ethernet ports so we put some PCIe to 10Gbit cards on both our servers and connected it to a 10Gbit switch which in turn is connected to the DAS. This way we can daisy chain DAS's and if we ever buy more servers we just put some 10Gbit cards in there and connect them to that router.

My issue now is that I'm worried our IT consultants are charging us too much for new hard drives on the DAS. They say that it's about $1,000 for a 900GB 10,000rpm SAS drive. Their argument is that those are the only drives that the EMC will support. Do you think that argument holds water? SAS is a pretty universal format... I don't see why any SAS drive wouldn't work with an expandable DAS.


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January 17, 2014 3:41:25 PM

Ooof!
Yeah, we went with the EMC drives by the time I posted that reply.
It's really biting us in the a** now. We needed more storage so we just spent 22k on 19 900GB@10,000RPM drives. What a ripoff. I'm assuming the higher RPM's won't even matter with so many drives in RAID configuration...

Alas, I am but a lowly tech support guy in our office so my opinion was trumped by that of our accountant in all of her infinite wisdom :kaola: 

The crazy thing is, our IT consultants aren't even gouging us that much. I sent EMC an email asking how much the price for a SAS drive is and it came to almost 1k per drive. I also asked EMC if we could use other drives and they said that using a different drive essentially voids the warranty and any support that came with it. Incredible.
They're using the same business model as printers (cheap printers, expensive ink) except the enclosure wasn't even cheap to being with.

Live and learn, I guess.
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a c 971 G Storage
January 17, 2014 3:44:47 PM

You are dealing with IBM and HP too, to get 3 different quotes - right?
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