Is this thing on?

Surprised to find this blog still here.  It’s been…oh…a long time since I’ve ventured into the blogging world.  Work has kept me busy…going into year 4 of a six month contract and making all sorts of discoveries of late.

Discovery #1 – Brocade is still a third-rate switch company.  The hardware is fairly bulletproof, when it comes to reliability…  But they’re still married to the idea of “local-switching” as an alternative to building a backplane that’s worth a damn.  Sorry, I’ll take the Cisco MDS 9700 series any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

Discovery #2 – Well not a discovery really.  EMC Symmetrix (Symmetrix/VMAX) is still the flagship storage array.  If you put anything else in, you’re going cheap.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it’s time to admit that that’s what you’re doing.

I say that having worked now with HP 3par – which I put as equivalent to the Clariion/VNX line in stature and performance, and HP XP7 (Hitachi G1000) which is higher end, but a bloody nightmare to manage.  (I don’t know if that’s Hitachi or just HP’s version of Hitachi that makes it a nightmare, I’ll have to wait until I get hands on an actual Hitachi to see)

Let me be clear, this is a personal preference.  Both arrays, 3par to some extent, and XP7 to greater extent, seem to be trying to steer people away from using the CLI to manage their arrays.  GUI’s are fine, but they don’t offer the level of control that you need to micromanage the hell out of your storage (as I like to)  And GUI’s also make scripting changes more difficult, and more prone to error.

I haven’t had a chance to really beat the daylights out of the XP7 yet but will in the months to come, I’ll report further as I discover.


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