LiamCurtis
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An affordable SAN that is on the VSPhere HCL that can use off the shelf drives?

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Hi All,

I get quite discouraged when I see the price of business class storage when there are so many DIY high performance options out there. I was wondering if anyone knew of an affordable solution for this. I am getting insane performance out of my built in DL380 G6 HP sas local drives, andI'd love to do something like an Xtravirt or openfiler SAN, but of course, no HCL support.

I looked at SAN Melody, but for some reason it seems that only a specific hardware configuration is on the HCL? Unless I am reading it wrong.

Thanks

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jrenton
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Liam

If you have not found it already check out this link from HP:

View solution in original post

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jrenton
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Hot Shot

If you are looking for check shared storage for a VMWare cluster have you though about direct attached storage. The HP MSA2000sa has 4 SAS ports so you can have 2 dual attached hosts or 4 single attached hosts. Have used this solution with 3 hosts and it works extremely well without breaking the bank. You have to use HP drives in the shelf which holds 12 drives with the option of attaching another 3 shelves to the controller. In all with 12 drives you are looking at about £9K which is miles cheaper than Fibre or iSCSI equivalents and runs at 3G which is faster than iSCSI.

There is a G2 model out which has 8 SAS connections but this is not on the vSphere HCL yet, but soon will be.

John

asp24
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Depends on what you think is "affordable". I'm using an Infortrend s16e-g1130, and this costs $4-5000. 4x 1Gb ports and 16 SAS or SATA drives.

jrenton
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Obviously the credit crunch not effecting us as bad in the UK as in the US Smiley Happy

I personnally would go for HP kit as a personal choice as I have worked with their kit for years and trust the quality and testing they have put into their products. But I use other peoples money to purchase this kit. If you are using your own money then the choice will be more budget related.

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LiamCurtis
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Thanks all.

I apologize. I should have put more qualifiers. I reckon in the $5-$15,000 USD range, although I am trying to find a solution where I can grab off the shelf stuff to expand. Sounds kind of silly, I know, but I feel that while 'enterprise' stuff like EMC (we have a CX500) is great, I feel it is way overpriced and one is forced to simply forklift the technology out in a few years. EMC tends to force you into a forklift every few years 'or else', so we said no thanks.

I like knowing I can call up a CDW or insight and say 'hey, send a few more 300gb drives' for when unforeseen projects pop up, so I'm trying to find a solution that would somehow offer flexibility in buying more cheap drives as needed....

I have seen the infortrend stuff--very cool indeed. I have to say I am still leary of iSCSI even though many are using it successfully. Still seems like 4gb FC has an edge, and 10gbe is still too costly...Seems like you need tons of spindles for screaming iSCSI performance.

Dunno...I am not a storage scientist but know enuff to run the stuff....hoping to spark a creative discussion centered around HCL SAN + ESX4, coz VMWare communities draw the brightest and best individuals around the globe Smiley Wink

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LiamCurtis
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The MSA2000 looks sweet!..>Will have to check more into that!

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jrenton
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Liam

If you have not found it already check out this link from HP:

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LiamCurtis
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Thanks much. Looks very promising and can get in sa,fc, or iSCSI flavors to boot...AND can call up your local hp reseller and grab more drives as needed.

Would love to hear about more options people are looking into!

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mcowger
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Use any old sun box and ZFS






--Matt

VCP, vExpert, Unix Geek

--Matt VCDX #52 blog.cowger.us
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LiamCurtis
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Wow..Had not even seen ZFS up til your post...another promising option

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jayctd
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SUN also makes a line of dedicated ISCSI storage devices using this ZFS filesystem underneath, it is in your price range may be worth checking out (I will note that it is SATA only)

http://www.sun.com/storage/disk_systems/unified_storage/7110/

(anything in the 7000 series would do I just picked one)

Also equallogic (thats what we use) while its list price is higher than your stated figured I would note that in most cases you can get a "Demo" Array to start with which is so heavily discounted that it is in your price range. While we use the PS5000 and 6000 lines i will note that i do NOT know the prices for the new 4000 line ... it should do what you want for closer to your price range.

I would check them out






Jered Rassier

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LiamCurtis
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Yeppers,

I like the Equallogics a good deal. One thing it seems, however, is that you really need to have a few trays to get decent throughput...I forget which model I was looking at, but I think total iops was 60,000, and only after adding the second tray could you bring it to 120,000 total iops.

We do have a cx-500 already, which is end of life and not on the hcl, but I think in real-life day to day ops that is sometimes meaningless when you are in a jam at 2am in the morning....My belief is that whenever you mix hardware vendors, they will ALWAYS point the finger at the other when something goes wrong. We originally bought the EMC for use with HP-UX hosts, and there were more times than I can remember being caught in the middle of 'this is an EMC problem, call them' and vice-versa....

For this go-round, I ended up buying refurb drives for the CX-500 and after some initial scares with performance, I have gotten excellent results when running across 15 spindles. For this reason, I have become disillusioned with the bigger 'enterprise' players and am very keen on finding reasonably priced solutions going forward...

blah blah bla...I'm kind of just thinking out loud...

So...just wondering with the eqallogics and high spindle counts..what happens to performance if you lose a drive and the array needs to rebuild...?

thnx!

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jayctd
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We are currently running about 192 raw TB in equallogics (total of 2 groups 13 production arrays)

They are a combination of the older PS100's 300's 5000's (as well as the PS5000XV's for teir1 data and ESX system drives)

A few thoughts

1) We have seen the growth in performance as you further add arrays that is true. The performance on a single array though is significant on its own but more is better (specially in the MPIO world and how it handles load balancing)

2) We for performance reasons HAVE had to use a tiered data structure specially for system drives for ESX, using the 5000XV's (15k SAS disks) but we primarily operate on 500GB SATA disk (RAID50) for the bulk of our data (The system disks needed it when we broke the 200 virtual mark and boot storms from updates)

3) The RAID container is contained to the array, the addition of arrays does not add more spindles to the RAID container, the volume is just striped across several RAID containers (Up to 3 separate arrays). This means that the rebuild time does not grow for a disk failure as you add more disk and the impact is limited. We have had disk failures before and to be honest have not seen an impact in performance (as being tested by SQLIO and graphed and trended)

Hope that gives some insight ...






Jered Rassier

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LiamCurtis
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Thanks Jered,

Great info...means much more coming from a person actually using the stuff!

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jayctd
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No problem, I will also mentioned because of our scale we have worked very closely with their support architecture over the last 5 years (thats how long we have been using them, for years before they joined up with dell) It is pretty top notch, we always get someone competent as well

Support is hard to quantify and often overlooked but having a good support structure even as a "small fish" looking for a lower end SAN is important, sometimes more so to be able to get answers.

Also I dont think they have ever EOL anything, we have re warrantied 5 year old SAN's without a problem. (We ARE going to retire them this year but it is nice to know they wont close the line down on you)

Some of the less tangable benifits






Jered Rassier

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