stewdapew
1 Copper

Re: VMWare: NFS & Dedupe

Disclaimer: NetApp Employee

I attempted to reach Justin, and unfortunately he has not responded.  I've reviewed the data and would offer the data with the following observations:

1. The NetApp system is being deployed manually without following best practices and a such returns such poor usable capacity numbers. By simply using the NetApp VSC plug-in for vSphere the customer would be up and running with optimal storage designs in literally one minute.

I believe attempting to configure any technology while not following published best practices leads to less than steller results.

2. NetApp block level dedupe (both disk and cache) is much more advanced than any offerings from EMC on any of their platforms, both in terms of storage savings and performance.

It is unfortunate to learn that I this customer didn't have a world class experience. I'll take the blame for that; however, I'd challenge the assumption of the numbers being shared as what one should expect to see with their deployment.

I would add, both of the point I made above (1 & 2) have been validated by VMware performance engineering in TR-3856, which can be downloaded here:

http://www.netapp.com/us/library/technical-reports/tr-3856.html

Cheers,

Vaughn Stewart

NetApp

Director & Evangelist for Virtualization and Cloud Soluitons

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jmarshall1
1 Nickel

Re: VMWare: NFS & Dedupe

Sorry for the late response! Thank you for the report, I'll review it.

I can tell you we did use the plug-in just as we did with EMC. We also used the same snap reserve on both sides. Plug-in's arent very helpful when it comes to exisiting datastores. I also would like to point out one point I did not mention and that is that Netapp does dedupe fiber channel LUN's due to block level dedupe. Taking this into account you do get some more space. We did get a document from our SE stating the 5 9's as well.

Great information from both sides, thanks for your assistance in our testing.

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Highlighted
sakacc
1 Nickel

Re: VMWare: NFS & Dedupe

Jeff, Vaughn - thank you.  Vaughn - please, let's not use this post to post our own trumpet blowing.  The customer had a question, they had both our stuff, they used our plugins.

No one disputes that the filesystem->consumed space with NetApp block-level dedupe was more efficient than our current EMC compression and file-level dedupe with VMDK-centric datasets.

The customer's findings were that the end-to-end (raw to used) utilization was close, when using the existing GA capabilities of each which he had on site and was working with himself (using the vCenter plugins from each). 

Of course each of us could have brought more to bear (FAST Cache/FAST for EMC, FlashCache for NetApp as just one example of many).   It also doesn't dive into the pre-post VAAI testing findings.

I'll also note that the document you link to is a NetApp TR - authored by you Vaughn and other NetApp folks, which of course will have a certain message/bias, no? 

It is not a VMware document, and I would suggest it's not a good idea to represent it as such.   It's like the constant refrain which I hear over and over - of "VMware uses Netapp for _____ IT workload" (which they don't), or "NetApp is the NFS/iSCSI reference for VMware" (which it's not).  VMware supports us all - and we each have things to do which are great and help customers.

Of course, there's much, much more that EMC could do to help the customer, above and beyond what Jeff menioned.

But - same core comment as my earlier comment to the earlier NetApp posters.   The focus of this post is not to be a NetApp vs. EMC commercial, but rather help the customer get the most out of what they have, which we have done.

Again, thank you Jeff, and thanks again for posting your findings.

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stewdapew
1 Copper

Re: VMWare: NFS & Dedupe

First an apology, I stated Justin when I meant Jeff.  Please forgive me.

The findings here are still unrealistic, as Jeff noted he had manually configured the testbed prior to using the NetApp plug-in.  I've stated this many times in the past, if Chad would like to compare technologies in an open format (we've discussed VDI, but it could be any cloud based solution), I'd be happy to sign off on NetApp's participation.

As for the TR-3856... as Chad knows, technology partners cannot publish performance results obtained with vSphere without the consent of VMware.  Legally I cannot share the make and model of the array we compared the NetApp to in the test (as the declined to aprove the results), I can assure you VMware performance engineering reviewed all results and approved the results published in the report.

As I stated in my previous message, I am truly sorry that Jeff did not have a world class experience during his evaluation of NetApp technology.  Jeff if you'd be so kind as to share your experience, I'd be in your debt. Feel free to contact me anytime via email at v@netapp.com.

Chad I expect more from you than to promote claims of poor usable storage as 'par for the course with NetApp' - you know very well the details of our usable capacity.  I guess that's why it's called competition.  take good care of Jeff (or I'lll earn his business)!

Cheers,

Vaughn Stewart

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