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Evaluating hardware: Price, capacity, port count and more

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We are currently looking at the following options to replace an IBM 2105-F20 scheduled to go off lease early next year. Your feedback would be appreciated on the options below.

Half the usage will support various applications on HP-UX and AIX servers accessing Oracle databases; the other half probably toward a DB2 warehouse application.

Option 1 looks good based on cost ... what a deal. The thought is, nobody is complaining today, so why spend on better stuff! Option 2 looks good based on cost in relation to "newer" stuff. Option 3 looks good based on the cost being close to HDS ... which we thought was rare for EMC. Option 4 looks good primarily because we have been an IBM shop for years, thus the close relationship and all that stuff.

1. IBM 2105 Turbo (new):

32 GB cache
8 2-GB FC
10 TB capacity
72 GB 15k rpm drive
$5,400 monthly 3 year lease

2. HDS Lightning 9980V:

12 GB cache
8 2-GB FC
10 TB capacity
72 GB 15k rpm drive
$12,366 monthly 3 year lease

3. EMC DMX2000:

16 GB cache
16 2-GB FC
10 TB capacity
72 GB 15k rpm drive
$13,722 monthly 3 year lease

4. IBM DS8300:

32 GB cache
8 2-GB FC
10 TB capacity
72 GB 15k rpm drive
$16,350 monthly 3 year lease

When evaluating storage technology options, for example hardware, there are some other factors to consider besides price, amount of cache, number of ports, capacity, disk drive speed and monthly lease payments. What will the maintenance costs be? How much will the hardware and software licenses cost? Speaking of software licenses, which features are standard and which are optional and for how much? Features could include point-in-time (PIT) copy snapshot, remote mirroring, and management software. You can learn more about various storage evaluation criteria at www.evaluatorgroup.com/workbooks.

Now, regarding your options, all are good solutions providing scalable performance, capacity and resiliency. Option 1 may be attractive, because it costs you nothing but the maintenance on the existing IBM 2105-F20. If you are not attaching S/390 IBM mainframes using FICON or ESCON, then you have some other options to consider, including IBM DS4000 (formerly FAStT) or DS6000, HDS 9500V, HP EVA or XP, STK FlexLine, EMC Clariion CX, or Sun 6920 or 9900 (Hitachi) among others.

This was first published in February 2005

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