Storage Topics of Interest:

  • OpenFiler iSCSI / NAS appliance: The most mature fully open-source storage appliance which is production ready for quite a long while now. Offers both iSCSI and NAS from the same box; has support for hardware or software raid; nice web management interface that is very usable; supports scheduled or manual volume-level snapshots, plus tons of other features (port trunking, failover - you name it). If you need affordable iSCSI, this is a bit of a no-brainer. Or you can get your local resident expert to set it up for you :-) **warning shameless self promotion alert** :-)
  • ScaleComputing: Had a nice chat with these folks a few months ago about their product; if it can actually do what it claims - they will be pretty popular, pretty fast. More-or-less "Equallogic on a budget" but with aspirations to be significantly more feature rich and supposedly at a better price point. I would love to talk with anyone who actually has deployed this gear.
  • EqualLogic: Again, almost not worth mentioning, it is so obvious. They have amazing products, but they aren't cheap. But then again, neither is EMC, and that is who they aim to take client base from, more-or-less (well, maybe from other big names too, such as IBM SAN, etc?). Anyhow. iSCSI gear which is absurdly well built (from the software / management layer perspective). Absurdly easy to scale. Really.
  • Wasabi iSCSI appliances: If the idea of a DIY iSCSI solution like OpenFiler gives you the willies, but you aren't keen to shell out an extra $20k for the added bonuses an Equallogic brick will give you over a $10k / 10Tb brand-X-box-o-disks, then this may be the thing for you. I've deployed this solution and it works "way better than I expected" - nice clean web management interface; "it just works" - and has good iSCSI performance (can saturate a single gig-ether nic / 120mb/second transfers without any problem -- which is really 'not that bad I/O performance' when you think about it. Pricing is 'fair' (approx $1500 for the bootable flash card which goes into your box-o-disks storage server) but really the intended way to buy it is as a bundled appliance from a local reseller, who gives you the integrated solution (such as an intel 12-drive rackmount server box / with the wasabi already installed and ready to roll).
  • AC&NC JetStor: These folks have been selling bricks for many years, and I like their products (have deployed them a number of times). You can get good old-fashioned DAS(Direct-attached-storage, either SCSI or FCAL) with either SCSI/SAS/SATA disk bricks; or if you prefer the new-fangled-stuff, you can get a perfectly decent iSCSI brick. I'm not sure that their iSCSI brick is significantly more feature-rich or robust or affordable than the Dell Cheapo iSCSI product (MD3000i), but I could be wrong. Humm, just double checked the website; apparently the recent iSCSI product has 4 x GBE ports and supports trunking - so right away there, a big step up. Nice. Additionally has snapshot support out-of-box, vs. Dell listing snaps as optional. So there you go - some clear differentiation.