About a year ago, a client needed a NetApp (NFS server), but the IPO wasn’t there yet, and the startup’s balance sheet was still in the Red. Needless to say after a few trials, we ended up with Open-E DSS because of budget constraints.
Oh what a roller-coaster it has been…
Open-E is NOT a viable NFS solution as they claim. Based on our initial performance tests and configurations, everything went well, but the more we tried to use the system as a production NFS server, the more bugs we found and the more frustrated we became. After my experiences, I think Open-E may have a life as an iSCSI or basic Samba server, but if you’re looking for reliable, production level NFS storage, you’d be better off installing something like CentOS/Solaris and rolling your own. Open-E has it’s market, but their target market is obviously much too broad.
Some of the serious issues with Open-E as of about 2 months ago:
- Support – Their US support staff doesn’t know much about UNIX or NFS
- UPS connection – If configured with apcupsd, a UPS self-test causes the system to shutdown
- NFS locking – After going through two releases claiming to have NFS locking patched, it wasn’t and required a separate patch from Germany. I reported it to Open-E Jan 08 and one year later, people are still complaining its not fixed (because its not).
- Backup – If you want to backup this unit, you’re best bet is NFS mounting it and not using the included agents
- NFS root squash options – They don’t work with certain path configurations
- YP/NIS – No useful support. Forget it
- Quotas – It supports quotas, but they have to be modified by using the web UI
- Web UI – For a few production software releases, the web UI was unusable
- Monitoring – No SNMP or monitoring is possible
- Active Directory Integration – Partial integration. Does not work with services for UNIX
Based on the above, I don’t think anything needs to be said other than: Do you think their users are the QA team?
The current status of the Open-E box is “don’t touch”. We’re looking to dump the Open-E software as soon a feasible. Its an unfortunate lesson, but luckily Sun has a solution. Since the Open-E debacle, ZFS has been given a similar run through and has passed with mostly ooo’s and aww’s. Migrating 5 TB server to a new filesystem and operating system is not a quick-and-dirty project.
Sometime in the near future you’ll see an Open-E DSS module on ebay. $1 is all I ask 🙂