StorSimple Virtual Array – File Server or iSCSI Server?

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StorSimple Virtual Array (SVA) can be configured as a File Server or as an iSCSI Server. Configured as a File Server, StorSimple Virtual Array provides the native shares which can be accessed by users to store their data. StorSimple Virtual Array configured as an iSCSI server provides volumes (LUNs), which can be mounted on an iSCSI initiator (typically a Windows Server). This blog post looks at the various requirements that should be considered when choosing a configuration of the StorSimple Virtual Array for a remote or branch office.








StorSimple Virtual Array File Server

StorSimple Virtual Array iSCSI Server

Number of Shares

SVA file server supports a maximum of 16 shares

If the number of shares in the remote or branch office is larger than 16, we recommend using SVA iSCSI server

User self-restore

SVA file server allows the users to restore their data from previous five backups from .backups folder available in the share

An administrator must restore the cloud snapshot as a new volume and then restore data from the restored volume

Number of files in a share

SVA file server supports up to a maximum of 1 million files per share (maximum of 4 million files in total on the file server)

SVA iSCSI server works on the block level and does not have a limitation in terms of number of files

Maximum size of data

SVA file server supports a maximum share size of 2 TB for locally pinned shares and a maximum of 20 TB for tiered shares

SVA iSCSI server supports a maximum volume size of 500 GB for locally pinned shares and a maximum of 5 TB for tiered volumes

Failover time

SVA file server failover time is dependent on number of files in a share. During the failover, the directory structure is recreated and this may take additional time depending on the number of files in the share. To estimate the failover time, you can approximate the time as 20 minutes per 100,000 files. Hot data is downloaded in the background based on heat map

SVA iSCSI server provides instant failover (minutes to make the volume available). Only the metadata is downloaded during the failover and volume made available for use after the failover. Hot data is downloaded in the background based on the heat map

Active directory domains

SVA file server must be joined to an AD domain

SVA iSCSI server can be optionally joined to an AD domain, but it is not required. The iSCSI initiator may be joined to the domain or can be a part of the work group in non-active directory domain environments

File Server Resource Manager (FSRM) features (Quota, File blocking etc.)

SVA file Server does not support FSRM features

FSRM features can be enabled on the Windows server iSCSI initiator connected to a SVA iSCSI server


Useful Links:

StorSimple Virtual Array Overview

StorSimple Virtual Array Deployment Videos

StorSimple Virtual Array Best practices