Six iSCSI SANs unleashed
Adaptec, Celeros, EqualLogic, Intransa, NetApp, and Rasilient move our megabytesFollow @pvenezia
Given the cost of big SCSI SAN storage today, and the fact that most infrastructures simply don't require the speed and throughput of a Fibre Channel SAN, making the case for iSCSI storage is simple. SATA drives are more than adequate for most e-mail, database, and file storage applications, and so is the 1Gbps iSCSI transport. The low cost of entry, combined with the ease of integration, make the SATA-iSCSI combination a no-brainer when compared with even a stand-alone file server. A rack-mount server with six 147GB SCSI disks will generally cost you more than a low-end iSCSI storage array, and it's a less effective way to provide storage to multiple applications.
All of the arrays I tested are capable of providing large storage at the center of an infrastructure, but their performance and resilience will differ wildly, depending on the application. For a general-purpose storage array in a midsize infrastructure, the EqualLogic and NetApp products are excellent choices. Both products are feature-packed and polished. The Intransa solution takes the bronze here, although its capacity, resiliency, and throughput are likewise capable of supporting most applications.
The Adaptec, Celeros, and Rasilient solutions match up well for smaller infrastructures where the dollar needs to go farther. The Snap Server 18000 in particular would function well as a small-office or branch-office storage unit, providing NFS and CIFS file sharing in addition to iSCSI disk-to-disk backups. The EzSAN XR23 and Rastor 4000 provide more native capacity than the Snap Server does, and they're better tuned to provide big volumes to smaller networks. The redundancy in the Rastor 4000 gives it an edge over the EzSAN, albeit at twice the price.