COS
Expert
Expert

POLL: CIFS/NFS vs. iSCSI

I was wondering which technology many people are using.

Are you using iSCSI or NFS/CIFS? and what made you chose it?

Pro's? Cons?

Thanks

EDIT:

My Poll is on using the network as a the vSphere disk backend (CIFS/NFS or iSCSI) and/or "Datastore" for vSphere.

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7 Replies
mittim12
Immortal
Immortal

In our remote offices we use CIFS for file storage and iSCSI to backend our vSphere environment.   At the time this configuraiton was setup NFS wasn't a supported protocol for datastores (VI3 days) and we have never had a need to change.    

EdWilts
Expert
Expert

CIFS is not an option for a Datastore so the question is NFS vs iSCSI.

Pros and cons to both and what people use is going to largely depend on the storage hardware they have installed.

.../Ed (VCP4, VCP5)
wdroush1
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

My rule is typically this:

NFS for accessibility.

iSCSI for performance.

There are some circumstances where you'd choose NFS not just for accessibility, but that is typically because your architecture (SAN software for one, or current SAN/Storage implementation) dictates it.

Though with fun VMFS Java driver you could possibly access iSCSI devices:

http://code.google.com/p/vmfs/

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COS
Expert
Expert

My concern is always disk i/o performance because 80% of my VM's are SQL Servers.

I'm just trying to gather some info on if there are a lot of people using NFS for a "Datastore" disk backend for vSphere.

I'm looking for pros & cons. Like why they chose CIFS/NFS for file shares and iSCSI for disk backend instead of NFS for disk backend.

Thanks for your reply!

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COS
Expert
Expert

@EdWilts

As I understand it, NFS was supported as a datastore in 4.0 / 4.1?

Here's where i'll bare my ignorance, aren't CIFS & NFS both using some compataible derrivative of SMB? (NFS more than CIFS)

Correct me if i'm wrong please.

What are the pro's and con's of pulling diks performance metrics from the two disk backend types from the ESX server?

Thanks

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EdWilts
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COS wrote:

@EdWilts

As I understand it, NFS was supported as a datastore in 4.0 / 4.1?

Here's where i'll bare my ignorance, aren't CIFS & NFS both using some compataible derrivative of SMB? (NFS more than CIFS)

Correct me if i'm wrong please.

You're wrong Smiley Happy

CIFS and NFS are VERY different protocols.  CIFS is traditional Windows file sharing and NFS is traditional Unix file sharing.

CIFS can not be used as a datastore.  NFS can be used and is very,very common.

.../Ed (VCP4, VCP5)
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wdroush1
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

COS wrote:

@EdWilts

As I understand it, NFS was supported as a datastore in 4.0 / 4.1?

Here's where i'll bare my ignorance, aren't CIFS & NFS both using some compataible derrivative of SMB? (NFS more than CIFS)

Correct me if i'm wrong please.

What are the pro's and con's of pulling diks performance metrics from the two disk backend types from the ESX server?

Thanks

1400 VM setup whitepaper on NFS:

http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/customers/11Q1_University_of_British_Columbia_Case_Study.pdf

iSCSI just gets you more bang for your hardware, you can still scale NFS absurdly high too.

If you have no REASON to use NFS, I'd go with iSCSI.

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