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So Long, EqualLogic. We'll Miss You In The Lab

We are losing our long-term EqualLogic iSCSI SAN due to Dell's $1.4 billion acquisition of EqualLogic. Good for them, bad for us. The EqualLogic folks are rounding up all their loaner equipment as part of due diligence.
We loved our loud, black, speedy 16-drive beast. We will miss it. I have been aggressively juggling the lab's XenSource and VMware environments over the last week, trying to find temporary homes for all hosts. It hasn't been easy; this experience has been a lesson in equipment-dependence. I had become comfortably reliant on the flexibility and performance of the EqualLogic box. Speedy centralized storage is a key design element of all our VM environments, and we're now in the market for a new storage device. I'm currently improvising with a few terabytes of external and internal storage jury-rigged to an SMB-class Linux box. Current performance is, well, not up to SAN-based levels.

This situation is a humbling exercise in business continuity planning and disaster recovery. While our NWC/InformationWeek labs do not support production workplace environments, they are still "real-world" in their performance and complexity. We have a decent backup toolset in place and hold dupe copies of all hosting and hosted environments in the virtualization test lab. We can fail over, rebuild, and retool with the best of 'em if need be, usually with nothing more than a publication deadline weighing over our heads. This nonproduction-ness can lead to greater emphasis on design-optimization and less emphasis on BCP/DCP efforts. Anyone out there care to raise your hands if you've perhaps had the same emphasis in your production environments? Hmm... yup, I thought I'd see more than a few tentative hands up. If you're feeling nervous, check out Don MacVittie's piece from last year to get your disaster recovery game on.

Bottom line -- I now have a better plan for recovery. Because I was made to. Don't let this happen to you.

Oh, and if any other enterprise storage vendor would like to loan us an FC or iSCSI array, please feel free to drop me a note!