We are considering replacing our tape library with an Appliance, 5230.
We have multiple IBM Power servers (P770, E870) with 100+ AIX clients. Each currently has a media server which is SAN attached to the tape library. The AIX clients on the same Power server connect to the media server via the internal hypervisor network.
One of the existing media servers is also the master server.
We're not clear on how the new configuration would work, and sales is struggling to clarify.
Do we keep the media servers and they would be SAN attached to the 5230?
Is the SAN client or Fiber Transport feature needed? Neither are in use now.
With appliances you don't attach media servers to it via the SAN. The appliance is the media server (and storage) so you'd connect the clients to it, via the LAN or SAN (FT Transport). If you're connecting via the LAN the clients would be standard clients and if you're connecting via the SAN, they would be SAN clients.
The challenge is that you could probably only use the SAN client on what was the media server previously, as it would have a "real" FC connection you can zone to the appliance (FT media server). If the clients also have FC connections, not some type of SCSI passthrough, then you could use it for them too.
What does the AIX configuration of the client look like?
Our concern is throughput.
The clients currently are LAN connected to the media servers, which reside on the same physical frame, so the LAN is internal to the PowerVM hypervisor and very fast. The media servers are fiber attached to the tape robots. Job running right now is showing 100,000+ KB/s to a pair of drives.
So concerns for either method are:
- LAN, backup traffic would share virtual network with existing ip traffic to the VIO servers, then via external switches to applicance. There are multiple 3Tb databases, currently stream to 4 LTO5 drives in a couple of hours.
- SAN, san client would be new install, and backup traffic would share virtual fiber network with existing disk I/O to the VIO servers.
Regarding your troughput concern, is the fiber adapters on your current media servers dedicated ?
A possibility could be to use your current media servers as load balancing servers for the appliance, talk to Veritas about the possibilty to control which clients is running through which media server and see if it makes sense in your case. Of course you have to consider the extra load on the VIO servers network.
Another is to run dedup locally on the media servers and duplicate/replicate to the appliance
Your configuration would lend itself better to a solution such as DataDomain. Its also a deduplication storage server but its decoupled from the media server, so you can hang many media servers of it. Of course there are other deivces like this in the market, I'm just giving you an example.
I'll now start to duck in case any veritas employees want to throw things at me :p
In that case I would talk with Veritas about to possibility to use the fiber for the load balancing load