The Dell TechCenter experts and a special Dell network attached storage (NAS) expert discuss the new Dell™ PowerVault™ NX3000 and PowerVault NX300 NAS storage solutions.

Technical Community - Background Reading

Dell PowerVault NX3000 and PowerVault NX300 Overview

Dell network attached storage (NAS) systems run the Microsoft® Windows® Storage Server 2008 OS, which provides a user interface for:

  • Initial system configuration
  • Unified storage appliance management
  • Simplified setup
  • Management of storage and shared folders
  • Optional support for Microsoft Internet SCSI (iSCSI) Software Target

Windows Storage Server 2008 is specially tuned to provide optimal performance for network attached storage. It provides enhancements in share and storage management scenarios, as well as integration of storage appliance management components and functionality.

Features in This Release

Microsoft Windows Storage Server 2008 provides efficient and unified file management by extending and consolidating the management interface. This enhanced interface includes:

  • File Server Resource Manager (FSRM) provides support for performing additional administration tasks.
  • Share and Storage Management is a snap-in application that allows for provisioning shares.
  • (Optional) Microsoft iSCSI Software Target, including the iSCSI Software Target snap-in application and wizards, can be used for creating and managing iSCSI targets, virtual disks, and snapshots.
  • Services for Network File System (NFS) enables NFS systems to access files on the NAS system.
  • Remote Desktop for Administration provides a Windows Server Remote Administration applet that enables browser-based remote access to the management console from non-Microsoft clients.
  • Single Instance Storage (SIS) enhancements include remote management, up to 20 volumes per server, and support for un-SIS or removal of SIS from a volume.

Chat Transcript

Dell-JeffS Okay, my clock shows 5 after
VeeamMark Let's get ready to rumble
Dell-JeffS Let’s kick this thing off. A few housekeeping items, and then we'll jump in. This is an open dialogue; feel free to jump in with your questions at any time. No need to take notes; a transcript will be published within a couple of days. When you click any links provided, try using a right-click as the interface can sometimes bump you out
Dell-ScottH Link to the transcript page:
Dell-JeffS Okay, so, let’s go. Today's topic is Dell PowerVault NAS solutions, namely a couple of new solutions we've put out recently: Dell PowerVault NX3000 and PowerVault NX300
Dell-JeffS We have a guest expert today, Karthik, the Storage Product Marketing Manager for the NAS line. Did I get that right, Karthik?
Karthik_-_NAS_PM I am here…and you are right. I go by Karthik
Dell-ScottH FYI, for anyone that joins a chat late, you can use Action, Recent Room History to catch up
Karthik_-_NAS_PM Or K-man, as my peers call it :)
grealish Cool!, so I've got a question regarding the backward compatibility with other PowerVault and SAN systems from Dell; this is related to central management
Dell-ScottH Nice Super K-Man!
Karthik_-_NAS_PM :)
Karthik_-_NAS_PM Hello all!
VeeamMark Could you also let us know which file protocols each support? For cross Unix/Windows support environments?
Martin_H Hi
Karthik_-_NAS_PM On management, do you use OpenManage?
Karthik_-_NAS_PM Mark, both products support CIFS/NFS
Karthik_-_NAS_PM NFS for non-Windows
VeeamMark Excellent
grealish No NAS management yet, but we will be investing in a SAN infrastructure and the PowerVault NX3000 could act as a NAS node to the SAN volumes
Dell-JeffS FYI, a link to the Dell TechCenter page on the PowerVault NX3000, with a cheesy demo I recorded (which I plan to redo when time permits):
VeeamMark Could this be used as a direct to target location for a backup software provider?
grealish As the EqualLogic SAN has integrated management, how does this interface to the NAS
Karthik_-_NAS_PM Grealish, Dell OpenManage can manage both previous generation and current generation NAS products
Karthik_-_NAS_PM An EqualLogic SAN does not manage PowerVault NAS; PowerVault NAS is managed by OpenManage for both 1:1 and 1:many
grealish Does OpenManage run on the NAS hardware, or is it an external component (sorry if it's a silly question)
VeeamMark At first glance, looking at the box online, it appears to be built on a PowerEdge chassis. Does this mean it supports CIM/Smash hardware alerting?
ceri Evening. Sorry I'm late. Did something to my knee on this evening's run and had to hobble home ::unsure
erson Both are running Microsoft Windows Storage Server 2008, right?
Karthik_-_NAS_PM When you connect an EqualLogic back end to the PowerVault NX3000, you provison the storage through the EqualLogic SAN but can do your monitoring through OpenManage with the rest of your servers
Dell-JeffS @erson, correct
Karthik_-_NAS_PM It is built on PowerEdge servers, and yes it is running Windows Storage Server 2008
grealish Okay, thanks Kart ;)
HoosierCAB The PowerVault NX3000 looks a lot like a PowerEdge R710; does it use the same spares for drives?
erson Doh, nothing on learndell about either of the two
Karthik_-_NAS_PM OpenManage supports CIM; I am not too sure about Smash. I believe it will if not already does support it
Dell-JeffS The PowerVault NX300 was just released last week; the page for it is here:
Karthik_-_NAS_PM You bet, Grealish
grealish But OpenManage can't act as the central management of the EqualLogic and PowerVault NX?
Karthik_-_NAS_PM Correct, same as PowerEdge R710
durkinr Will there be a Windows Server 2008 Release 2 (R2) version of storage server that support classifications?
erson Any idea when the manuals will show up for the PowerVault NX300? Presumably here:
Karthik_-_NAS_PM Dell Management Console can be your centralized one-to-many management tool, but because of general SAN complexity, EqualLogic SAN management tool makes more sense for SAN management
Karthik_-_NAS_PM No plans for Storage Server version yet
erson Durkinr, Windows 2008 Storage Server was released just a couple of months ago, so if an R2 version is released it's probably far off
grealish Will there be demo kits available, or did any of you guys see these units in VMworld?
Karthik_-_NAS_PM At RTS on 10/12, we will post all support documents
VeeamMark Does the Dell TechCenter have any of these boxes installed in their environment yet?
grealish @kart, yes the EqualLogic SAN tool is sweet; I like it a lot :)
Karthik_-_NAS_PM They soon will, that is if they are nice to me of course :)
Dell-JeffS I have the PowerVault NX3000 up and running
Karthik_-_NAS_PM Glad you like it. I will pass it on to my EqualLogic peers
Dell-JeffS Similar interface as the PowerVault NX300 (same OS, Wizard)
grealish btw.. i miss it, been working on a Fsc Fibercat .... uuuuhhh
Karthik_-_NAS_PM Yep
VeeamMark I would love to see the performance of a backup using the vStorage API to a PowerVault NX3000 and see performance between that and VCB—in a virtual environment, that is
Dell-JeffS come on over :) I'll record you and Kong and take all the credit for the demo
erson How does it work to connect multiple PowerVault NX300 systems?
Karthik_-_NAS_PM Lol
Dell-JeffS They can all play in the same namespace
Karthik_-_NAS_PM Under DFS single-root namespace
grealish Namespace, and a separate management VLAN possibly?
Dell-ScottH There's the Jeff we know and love; and if it stinks, you'll get the credit :-)
HoosierCAB Do both PowerVault NX3 boxes support iSCSI?
erson Is it a PERC 6/i in the PowerVault NX300?
Karthik_-_NAS_PM Only PowerVault NX3000 supports an iSCSI target
Karthik_-_NAS_PM Yes, it has PERC 6/i
Dell-JeffS Seriously though, Mark, next time you are in town, swing on by—the PowerVault NX3000 is very underutilized as it is. :)
VeeamMark I will be there next week
Karthik_-_NAS_PM VLAN...hmmm, namespace is managed within the Windows Storage Server GUI, but you will need to manage your VLAN outside. Not sure if I answered your question
VeeamMark I could do it now if VKY has set up the vendor permissions :)
Dell-JeffS Still working on that; redoing the lab this week. Will have vendor gateway before too long
ceri What discovery methods does the PowerVault NX3000 support for iSCSI?
grealish If it's Windows 2003 Standard installed, it could be done with some configuration work
durkinr Okay, is there a benefit to buying a PowerVault NX3000 over just buying a PowerEdge R710 and putting on Server R2 and setting it up as a file server?
Dell-JeffS Funny, I wrote a blog on that
VeeamMark Great question, Durkin; I was literally typing that
Dell-JeffS Is that a set-up question?
grealish @durkinr, yes I'd be interested in knowing the differences
erson Almost looks like the PowerVault NX300 has one PCIe slot and bracket on the back?
Dell-JeffS :) Getting link
Karthik_-_NAS_PM Couple of important benefits besides the appliance out-of-box experience in setting up, etc. 1) Windows Storage Server is basically optimized for file serving 2) No Cals needed for clients
Dell-JeffS What he said in way too many words:
durkinr @veeammark, me too. Disk space on our BE media servers with VCB is just not enough to run the simultaneous backups we need with VCB
Karthik_-_NAS_PM PowerVault NX300 does not have any additional PCIe slot
Dell-JeffS Ease of setup too. It’s done. When you turn it on, it already has the volumes/shares configured and ready to go
Karthik_-_NAS_PM Right
erson I'm expecting the PowerVault NX300 to be dirt cheap
Karthik_-_NAS_PM Wondering how much you expect it to be; just curious
Karthik_-_NAS_PM With 4x 160 GB drives for example...
VeeamMark In comparison to quality for money received, everything from Dell is "dirt cheap"
erson Who would buy that?
Karthik_-_NAS_PM Just so you know, I don't want to mislead you on pricing as the pricing team is still working on that, but I am just curious
erson The only sane option is 4x 1 TB nearline SAS, IMHO
VeeamMark Erson, never underestimate the SMB market :)
Karthik_-_NAS_PM Very true
JeffHengesbach SMBs that want simple, consolidated stuff—yeah, what Veeammark said
VeeamMark Looking at this from a virtualization perspective, this box looks to be a solid entry into the shared storage needed for VMware
erson I guess you’re right. I'm not very representative of the SMB market I guess with my PowerEdge M1000e, PowerEdge R710 and EqualLogic PS6000e
grealish SMBs, less is more ;)
erson Grealish, that also goes for disk space :)
VeeamMark @erson, you are just more M than A—S that is
grealish Someone put it to me once like this, "Fight the wife, and yeah sleep on your own" ;)
Karthik_-_NAS_PM Thanks for your input, Erson. That option is definitely there. We just made the capacity and drive type flexible so it fits all customers
erson Veeammark, right again. So, what about 2 TB drives? Two manufacturers have released 7200 rpm drives
Karthik_-_NAS_PM Very soon after RTS
Dell-KongY So how many here consider themselves SMB? MB? Large enterprise? Just curious
Dell-JeffS RTS=release to shipping
Karthik_-_NAS_PM RTS of those drives from Dell, I meant
Karthik_-_NAS_PM Ooops…thanks, Jeff
durkinr We are SME ~250 users
grealish @kongy, MB to large enterprise
VeeamMark @dell-kongy, as a company, S... very S. As a consultant to customers, LEBU and FED
Dell-JeffS I'm still new to Dell. Haven't been assimilated into acronyms yet
erson We're a small company of 40 employees, but very high. IT demands being an ISV, thus the pretty hefty hardware
HoosierCAB Dell-kongy, Um, I'm medium enterprise at the day job, SMB (or smaller) at the consulting gigs
JeffHengesbach SME: ~200
Dell-KongY Thanks for sharing
ceri @dell-kongy, I am ex-large enterprise; now I am just education. We aim to buy enterprise-class where appropriate, however
erson So we're probably going in the medium business section when it comes to IT hardware purchases
Dell-JeffS Kong, I'm LE ;)
durkinr Is the SIS capability of the PowerVault NX3000 special or just built-in to Windows Storage Server?
grealish We’re about 2500 globally, but also our customer solutions would be the real use
Dell-JeffS It’s part of Windows Storage Server 2008 done at the volume level
erson ETA on RTS of 2 TB?
erson Durkinr, built-in
erson Windows 2003 Storage Server also had SIS
erson Doh, Jeff’s already answered
Dell-JeffS In that demo I linked to earlier about halfway through, I turn on SIS on one of the volumes
durkinr Yeah we use Windows Storage Server 2003—should have known the answer to my own question
Karthik_-_NAS_PM Tes, SIS is part of Windows Storge Server 2008
durkinr Um, I was just testing you ::blush
erson Regarding small, medium, large companies, I often get to help our customers to size the hardware they need to run our software. And those companies are from about 5–20,000 people. BTW, for those with Technet (or MSDN I presume) you can get a Windows Storage Server 2008 for evaluation there. That's one thing they didn't offer with Windows Storage Server 2003.
Karthik_-_NAS_PM How's SIS working out for you, Durkinr?
Dell-JeffS Admin guide, other manuals for the PowerVault NX3000, FYI:
durkinr We don't use it now, but I'm looking into it for the future. We are using Enterprise Vault on our PowerVaults right now
Karthik_-_NAS_PM Got it. Microsoft made some good improvements to SIS in Windows Storage Server 2008. You would like it
erson /me is pondering about building a dirt-cheap SCSI target with Windows Storage Server 2008 on the lab network
Dell-JeffS Also, File Server performance comparison of three Dell PowerVault NX3000 configurations paper:
Karthik_-_NAS_PM Good link, Jeff. Thanks. We hope to deliver some more along the same lines with internal storage and PowerVault MD1000 soon
durkinr Thanks, that's useful Jeff
grealish Nice paper, Jeff, thanks
erson "Snapshots Built-in VSS snapshots for CIFS/NFS. Additional snapshots capability may exist depending on external storage array."
erson That’s from the PowerVault NX300 spec
erson External storage array on the PowerVault NX300?
Karthik_-_NAS_PM Yep, using VSS
durkinr We have EqualLogic PS5000 and EqualLogic PS6000. I need to look at an EqualLogic PS4000 for some cheap bulk file storage
Karthik_-_NAS_PM Sorry
Karthik_-_NAS_PM That should be corrected. It is taken from PowerVault NX3000. It should just say built-in snapshot support. Good catch, thanks
Dell-JeffS Just got my EqualLogic PS4000XV in today, along with an EqualLogic PS6000XV in the process of re-doing our whole lab
durkinr If I come and help, can I have an EqualLogic PS4000XV too?
Dell-JeffS We're going to have 8 total EqualLogic arrays in our group. I wish we could give out storage arrays to help with all this fun
VeeamMark I would be willing to host an array here in Dallas
Dell-JeffS Lol
VeeamMark You could prove out replication strategies over the WAN to remote locations. I even have a Dell PowerEdge 2200 that can act as a gateway
VeeamMark for those wanting to run Nt and Netware 4.5
Dell-JeffS We will consider your generous offer
durkinr I'll host one here in Oregon, and we can set up WAN replication testing
Dell-JeffS We will consider your generous offer as well. :)
grealish Nice idea, guys
Dell-JeffS It was fun enough trying to get the hardware for the lab. I'm sure management would just love that request
Dell-JeffS Any more NAS questions?
VeeamMark I will produce white papers though
Dell-JeffS Any NAS-specific demos I can record for you?
Dell-JeffS Or rather, when Mark is here next week, that he can record for you
VeeamMark Nice
Karthik_-_NAS_PM Jeff, I haven't checked out your demos.. did you send out the link here before?
Dell-JeffS And I can take credit for?
VeeamMark Yep
durkinr Yes, record a demo setting up a PowerVault NX3000 as an NFS target for VMware backup using vSphere and the new DR appliance
Dell-JeffS Just one cheesy one so far...Going to re-record and spend more time on the SIS/hadow copy:
Karthik_-_NAS_PM Okay, thanks!
Dell-JeffS I recorded the demo from the iDRAC console expecting more stuff on the initial setup
VeeamMark @dell-jeffs, can you have a VM with access to a VC with VMS and network access to the PowerVault NX3000 ready for Wednesday? I'll do the rest
Karthik_-_NAS_PM Nice
Dell-JeffS But the wizard just asked for a password change and language and bam—done!
Dell-JeffS Sure. Kong,. that's possible right?
Dell-KongY @veeammark, yes barring any major setback to the core infrastructure bring-up
Dell-JeffS Alright, folks... Thanks for all the great questions!
Karthik_-_NAS_PM So, no more questions on NAS right?
Karthik_-_NAS_PM Yes, thank you all!
VeeamMark Thanks @karthik!
Dell-JeffS And thanks for joining us today. Next week we are going in-depth on EqualLogic Networking—two storage topics in a row!
Karthik_-_NAS_PM You are welcome, Mark!
durkinr Great, I'm always interested in new EqualLogic information
grealish @jeff, cool! Will be interesting for sure
erson Jeffs, remember to link the article about that in the latest Power Solutions magazine on the chat start page
VeeamMark Is EqualLogic provisioning your storage any easier?
grealish Network example with the PowerVault NX and EqualLogic would be interesting
VeeamMark It only takes a rocket scientist to provision other storage solutions
Dell-JeffS @erson, Good idea. Will do
erson Page 94 :)
Dell-JeffS @grealish, true, that's something we can do as well
durkinr Provisioning is easy, doing it correctly for the specific situation is the hard part
Dell-JeffS Okay, folks, have a good day (and a good evening Erson!)
durkinr left.
grealish Thanks, guys
grealish It's good night from here ;)
Dell-KongY Thank you, everyone
Ceri Night then folks.
erson Tune in next week, same bat time, same bat channel. Adam West obviously rules