Looking for a SAN consultant that isn't selling them..


  • Banned

    We are looking to replace 6-12 SANs. The VAR which is having us look at Dell, EMC, and Nimble options. When they gave us the quote it was for running it at RAID 5. They say that running RAID 6/60 is "old storage technologies" and RAID 5 is the way to go with the newer arrays. (not all flash based only 1-2 SSDs for cache).

    I don't think that's true I've given them the facts but they still say RAID 5 is the best option. Is there a consultant we can hire who does not deal sales at all in their company to give us good recommendations?



  • Yes we do not sell any of this stuff. We can help you out.



  • You should avoid that reseller at all costs... they are clearly inept and driven by sales commission.



  • I don't know RAID like some here, and I know that @scottalanmiller has done several in-depth write up on the matter. From what I have learn though, you will want to go with RAID 10.


  • Banned

    @RojoLoco said:

    You should avoid that reseller at all costs... they are clearly inept and driven by sales commission.

    That's my thought but we are on a team. I don't make the calls by myself.



  • This is all quoted from @scottalanmiller

    Why RAID 5 on SSDs, and not on Classic Hard Drives
    The question often comes up as to why RAID 5 is so dramatically warned against and considered deprecated for use with traditional Winchester hard drives (aka spinning rust) and yet is often recommended for use with more modern SSDs (solid state drives.) Like with anything, is its actually a combination of many factors that come together to make one use case so bad and the other so generally good. Here is the run down:
    UREs (Unrecoverable read error) are the primary risk factor for traditional hard drives in RAID 5 arrays, but UREs are not a risk (so far) on SSDs. So this one fact alone completely changes the "risk game" between Winchester drives and SSDs
    Time to resilver is hugely reduced with traditional arrays often taking days or even weeks to resilver. The move to SSDs often cuts that to a small fraction of the original time. That resilver time is not just a performance impact to the environment, in some cases actually making the array useless until it has completely, but also means that the array is completely at risk of secondary drive failure during that window. Reducing that window greatly reduces that risk.
    Resilver Impact is much reduced as SSDs handle non-sequential data access so well meaning that even during a typical resilver an all SSD RAID 5 array may continue to function extremely well while still performing a high speed resilver operation meaning that the risk of performance impact to the environment is much smaller.
    Parity Resilver secondary drive failure risk does not exist. This is a rather sizeable risk to Winchester drives. The parity resilver operation often induces other drives to fail during the resilver operation due to the large strain placed on them for the operation. This does not impact SSDs making the resilver operation far safer.
    Performance is very different between Winchester drives and SSDs. The move from Winchester drives to SSD is a many orders of magnitude jump in performance. The write performance difference between RAID 5 and its key competitor, RAID 10, is small by comparison. So while the latency impact



  • The above bullets by them self should make you and your team want to sprint away from a re-seller. I actually have a meeting for today with my Boss about a proposed solution in a very similar scenario.


  • Service Provider

    @JasonNM said:

    We are looking to replace 6-12 SANs. The VAR which is having us look at Dell, EMC, and Nimble options. When they gave us the quote it was for running it at RAID 5. They say that running RAID 6/60 is "old storage technologies" and RAID 5 is the way to go with the newer arrays. (not all flash based only 1-2 SSDs for cache).

    They should be fired immediately. They not only are missing the most fundamental knowledge about storage, but they even got the "rules of thumb" backwards. RAID 6 was developed expressly to meet the needs that RAID 5 could no longer meet back in the 1990s. So it sounds like they are young kids who don't understand the terms repeating things that they heard but didn't understand and got backwards since they were just repeating words and had no idea what they meant.

    Here are some resources:
    http://www.mangolassi.it/topic/121/raid-link-blast


  • Service Provider

    @JasonNM said:

    @RojoLoco said:

    You should avoid that reseller at all costs... they are clearly inept and driven by sales commission.

    That's my thought but we are on a team. I don't make the calls by myself.

    Everyone on your team should have run away from them immediately. :)



  • This is Dell - perhaps you don't want to run away from them because you know their hardware is good or even great - but these 'people' who are trying to sell you their solution just need to be fired and a new team who will sell you what you tell them you want can be sub'ed in.


  • Banned

    @Dashrender said:

    This is Dell - perhaps you don't want to run away from them because you know their hardware is good or even great - but these 'people' who are trying to sell you their solution just need to be fired and a new team who will sell you what you tell them you want can be sub'ed in.

    It's not dell, It's a re-seller that sells from most manufacturers not just dell. They account executive's (two of them) are the one's making the recommendations.



  • @JasonNM said:

    @Dashrender said:

    This is Dell - perhaps you don't want to run away from them because you know their hardware is good or even great - but these 'people' who are trying to sell you their solution just need to be fired and a new team who will sell you what you tell them you want can be sub'ed in.

    It's not dell, It's a re-seller that sells from most manufacturers not just dell. They account executive's (two of them) are the one's making the recommendations.

    Sounds like you need to develop a valid argument in which they are misinformed. If they want to waste money on a process and hardware that will not give the performance or redundancy - keep moving forward.

    Want to have a reliable configuration, have it done right the first time - RAID 10 with the correct hardware.


  • Service Provider

    @gjacobse said:

    Sounds like you need to develop a valid argument in which they are misinformed. If they want to waste money on a process and hardware that will not give the performance or redundancy - keep moving forward.

    My valid argument to their argument boils down to 2 words, No Sale!

    @JasonNM - If you don't go with NTG, if you engage another consultant, have them sign an agreement which prohibits them from reseller agreements or sales on your behalf, you'll need the right legal phrasing but for any prospective consultant, lay that out up front.


  • Service Provider

    @Breffni-Potter said:

    @JasonNM - If you don't go with NTG, if you engage another consultant, have them sign an agreement which prohibits them from reseller agreements or sales on your behalf, you'll need the right legal phrasing but for any prospective consultant, lay that out up front.

    While I do completely agree with this in general, as it is how we run our company, just because someone is a reseller, should not rule them out. It should reduce they value of their input, but if you are getting competing information, they can still be a value.


  • Banned

    Yeah, I'm seeing what CDW will tell us now. The other re-seller I'm not to confidant in. (not that I am about CDW either)... I'm trying to get options from as much places as possible with lots of $$$ at stake. It won't be til late Q2 - Q3 next year before we buy.



  • @JasonNM said:

    Yeah, I'm seeing what CDW will tell us now. The other re-seller I'm not to confidant in. (not that I am about CDW either)... I'm trying to get options from as much places as possible with lots of $$$ at stake. It won't be til late Q2 - Q3 next year before we buy.

    Getting information from CDW other than simple specs is a complete waste of time. They are always trying to sell me on the latest and greatest highest margin thing they just got in. You can't trust those guys to sell you what you really need.


  • Banned

    @Dashrender said:

    @JasonNM said:

    Yeah, I'm seeing what CDW will tell us now. The other re-seller I'm not to confidant in. (not that I am about CDW either)... I'm trying to get options from as much places as possible with lots of $$$ at stake. It won't be til late Q2 - Q3 next year before we buy.

    Getting information from CDW other than simple specs is a complete waste of time. They are always trying to sell me on the latest and greatest highest margin thing they just got in. You can't trust those guys to sell you what you really need.

    I agree.. But, It's just about getting information to compare. I likely won't be able to get information any other way. We used the Systems Engineers at the Resellers/Partners last time we bought them. And haven't had a problem with them even though, they were configured for RAID 50. So it's likely if they tell us to do RAID 5 that is what we will do. No one else on my team has ever experienced a failure during a rebuild of a RAID 5 array so they aren't skeptical of it.

    Also I think it's funny that the last one which is 24x 1TB Drives in a RAID 50 which was configured by dell and the partner. But, that has been against dell's best practice guide of RAID since 2009. They only recommend Raid 6, 60, or 10.


  • Service Provider

    @JasonNM said:

    I agree.. But, It's just about getting information to compare. I likely won't be able to get information any other way.

    Umm, well you can get the information, free or paid. The vendor will always be biased so you need neutral

    @JasonNM said:

    Also I think it's funny that the last one which is 24x 1TB Drives in a RAID 50 which was configured by dell and the partner. But, that has been against dell's best practice guide of RAID since 2009. They only recommend Raid 6, 60, or 10.

    So your reseller is years out of date with best practice? :) Why are you using them again?


  • Banned

    @Breffni-Potter said:.

    So your reseller is years out of date with best practice? :) Why are you using them again?

    You missed the fact that the Dell Engineers did so as well, meaning they don't use their own best practices in deployments.


  • Banned

    @Breffni-Potter said:

    @JasonNM said:

    I agree.. But, It's just about getting information to compare. I likely won't be able to get information any other way.

    Umm, well you can get the information, free or paid. The vendor will always be biased so you need neutral

    I'm very aware of this. I have been a big proponent of getting neutral information in the past on here as well as Spice works (when I had another username)


  • Service Provider

    @Dashrender said:

    This is Dell - perhaps you don't want to run away from them because you know their hardware is good or even great - but these 'people' who are trying to sell you their solution just need to be fired and a new team who will sell you what you tell them you want can be sub'ed in.

    Dell specifically has a process for getting neutral (non-reseller) advice on Dells from a Dell partner with access to Dell resources. Dell has actually come out as pretty passionate about making neutral advice available for their products.


  • Service Provider

    @JasonNM said:

    It's not dell, It's a re-seller that sells from most manufacturers not just dell. They account executive's (two of them) are the one's making the recommendations.

    At a reseller, realistically, all decision making is from sales people (account execs or whatever they call sales people.) Some places call their sales people engineers in the hopes of hiding this, but in this case it sounds like they are completely open that they aren't giving you any advice at all and just trying to sell stuff. At least they are up front that you shouldn't be listening to them :)


  • Service Provider

    @Breffni-Potter said:

    @JasonNM - If you don't go with NTG, if you engage another consultant, have them sign an agreement which prohibits them from reseller agreements or sales on your behalf, you'll need the right legal phrasing but for any prospective consultant, lay that out up front.

    Even then, make sure they aren't a reseller. The problem with a reseller, even when paid directly and engaged as engineers, is that they generally (not always, but have some empathy to try to see it from their side) if they make any recommendation based on needs rather than on reseller margin they are basically announcing that they are screwing all of their other customers by giving bad advice (opposite advice, in fact.) Even if they do it subconsciously, they are likely to favour solutions that they wouldn't be scared if their other customers found out about.

    Ask yourself this, If the reseller's other customers found out that they had given you good advice that was completely the opposite of what they sell to others.... would they be upset? If so, likely they won't want to give you good advice even if you are paying for it.


  • Service Provider

    Plus going to a company whose business is not to give good advice but to sell product for advice is fundamentally flawed. There is no reason to assume that they have any expertise around architecture.


  • Service Provider

    @JaredBusch said:

    @Breffni-Potter said:

    @JasonNM - If you don't go with NTG, if you engage another consultant, have them sign an agreement which prohibits them from reseller agreements or sales on your behalf, you'll need the right legal phrasing but for any prospective consultant, lay that out up front.

    While I do completely agree with this in general, as it is how we run our company, just because someone is a reseller, should not rule them out. It should reduce they value of their input, but if you are getting competing information, they can still be a value.

    Resellers, IMHO, have tons of value. But at different stages of the process. You shouldn't get the broad guidance, like system design, from the resellers. Not where they are in a process to influence design. But once you are down to system specifics or needing to compare two products of similar types getting resellers involved (as long as their is oversight to keep their sales people from bring misleading and causing problems) is very good. Resellers need to be part of a good IT supply chain, but not a replacement for the IT skills themselves.


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