Chris Dagdigian dag at
Tue Apr 30 06:49:01 CDT 2002

Just my $.02 of course...

Twice I have found myself in a position of fending off super aggressive 
EMC salestypes. In both cases when we evaluated the IP4700 we found that 
it had massive fatal flaws in usability, hardware configuration and the 
management interface(s). INMHO it was a clunky attempt to build a 
"NetApp killer" from Clariion parts that has totally and utterly failed. 
The one person I know who bought one regrets his decision.

The 2nd time was in conjunction with Dell trying to win 100% of the 
hardware piece for my current project. When it became obvious that 
NetApp was the preferred choice they ended up taking ~60% off the list 
price and tried to go over my head to get the deal on the basis of
"our price is so cheap now that it would be irresponsible for you as a 
senior manager to select anything else!". On the plus side I take this 
as positive news that they are willing to play big pricing games when it 
comes to possibly losing a large NAS sale. You can probably get some 
deals by pitching the two companies against each other.

The only positive thing I can say about the IP4700 is that EMC has a 
very aggressive software roadmap for the product. They seem to release a 
totally new rev of the OS every quarter. A large number of the problems 
I had with the IP4700 a year ago were fixed quite promptly in the next 
OS rev. Sadly though not all of the problems can be fixed in software.

Dell made a mistake in getting into bed with EMC for high end NAS. I 
don't know enough about the Clariion line in general (have heard 
measured good comments about the overall product line) but they are 
shooting themselves in the foot by trying to claim that IP4700 is 
anything close to enterprise class or "best of breed" NAS.

The original notes I wrote up when eval'ing the IP4700 belong to a 
client so I can't share them. I think I have some notes from later work 
that I may be able to clean up and share. I'll send them along to you 


Ed Martin wrote:

> We are currently looking to purchase a high end NAS solution.  We would want to share vis NFS to a number of Dell/Linux servers, and we'd start with between 0.5 and 1 TB of disk.
> For us the two front runners are the Dell/EMC IP4700 or a NetApp Filer  (820 or 840 I think).  We are currently at the stage of talking to the two vendors and getting quotes etc.
> I know Dell also offer solutions like the PV755N, but it doesn't seem to be in the same league.  Also at a technology briefing a Dell guy admitted that they were tuned to CIFS and not NFS.
> I'd be interested to hear anyone's comments on either of these in a similar environment.  (Your comment below was very helpful Jeremy).  I have to say at the moment that we favour the NetApp solution, but Dell/EMC are due to see us again next week, so we'll see what they have to say.
> Also does anyone run a database using one of these devices?  Previously I had always thought that databases and NFS don't mix, but NetApp for one claim that they do.  They are Oracle certified and reckon that their filer can be faster than local disk!  I am hoping to try PostgreSQL to see how well it performs...  A PE2650 DB server running Linux and using a NAS filer sounds very attractive right now!
> Yours,
> Ed

Chris Dagdigian, <dag at>
Independent life science IT & research computing consulting
Office: 617-666-6454, Mobile: 617-877-5498, Fax: 425-699-0193
Work: PGP KeyID: 83D4310E  Yahoo IM: craffi

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