Berniebgf
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

DataCore SANMelody

Hi all

I have just started a Blog about my experiences with SANMelody with and without VMware servers, I have seen a few posts about regarding DataCore and VMware so I though I would add a post so people can find it.

Hope it is of use to some of you out there....Constantly adding info, happy to hear from people.

best regards

Bernie.

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11 Replies
azn2kew
Champion
Champion

I'll check out your blogs hopefully there are goodies to read as I'm looking to learn more with storage solutions both physical and virtual storage. So, wha it's your take on virtual vs. physical SAN especially in ESX world? Where do you think Datacore will be heading in the future and comparing to performance, highly availability and scalability? It would be nice to hear your thought and I'll check your blog now. Thanks!

If you found this information useful, please consider awarding points for "Correct" or "Helpful". Thanks!!!

Regards,

Stefan Nguyen

iGeek Systems Inc.

VMware, Citrix, Microsoft Consultant

If you found this information useful, please consider awarding points for "Correct" or "Helpful". Thanks!!! Regards, Stefan Nguyen VMware vExpert 2009 iGeek Systems Inc. VMware vExpert, VCP 3 & 4, VSP, VTSP, CCA, CCEA, CCNA, MCSA, EMCSE, EMCISA
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Berniebgf
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Hi Azn2kew

Regarding the "Virtual V's Physical" SAN question, I think for allot of clients and Vendors now it is not a question of "Virtual V's Physical" it "features V's No features".

More and more we are hearing about Virtualized Storage and new storage features from different vendors...

Where I believe SANMelody has the advantage (and my view IS a little one sided) is in its low cost for high performance and features through the use of Commodity intel hardware.

HOWEVER!!

As far as HARDWARE goes, you get what you pay for.... so it you put a SANmelody solution on unstable hardware platform then the results will not be good, however if you spend the time planning the implementation correctly you end up with a VERY capable storage solution with good performance.

What initially lead me to looking into DataCore was the following...

1. IBM's weak iSCSI storage offering's (more in the SMB space...Sub $100,000 solutions).

2. Overprice solution involving ANYTHING to do with remote replication (licenses are a rip off!!)

3. Vendor "LOCKIN" once you pay the $$ for the storage, your locked into its options and licenses.

It is not for everyone and I do still look at traditional storage solutions (basic fibre / SAS arrays) for some clients for its quick and simple deployment, however the more feature requirements the more I look to the SANmelody solution.

Anyway, thats my take on things.

Let the comments begin!

best regards

Bernie.

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Berniebgf
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Regarding "Performance, High availability, scalability"

1. Performance: My experience is that on a disk for disk configuration between the IBM FastT600, DS3400, DS4700 (72), FastT900 and a SANMelody server (or HA pair) ( 1 x Quad core server with 4GB memory (cache)) The SANmelody solution by far performs better both on throughput and response.

2. High availability: With a PAIR of HA mirrored SANmelody servers (Mirror volumes between servers) you have total redundancy including physical disks, you can even bring a box down to do maintenance like disk firmware updates! try doing that on a DS4700.. you'll need to upgrade the the DS6xxx series. An even though you have to double your disks for all volumes mirrored, the configurations still work out at almost half the price of a DS4700 config.

3. Scalability: Example: IBM x3650 Server running SANmelody --> 2 x IBMMegaRAID controllers = 8 x EXP3000's (12 disks each) = 96 Disks. if you want to go bigger you just need the PCI slots for the Cards. (E.G. x3850 M2)

One thing I will say is that when choosing a SANmelody server candidate make sure you choose a machine with PCIe slots as you will struggle to get any external DAS options unless you are running the new PCIe based RAID controllers ...I am talking about vendor based config's here... HP, DELL, IBM......

Thanks

Bernie.

P.S. No. I do not work for DataCore, I have just been using and implementing the product for a while and am seeing great results.

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Berniebgf
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Regarding: Virtualised Storage in the VMware space..

I Wrote something up on the Blog regarding "Thin Provisioned" volumes and how they should be managed to be more effective....

With regards to VMware "Thin Provisioning" is a little bit more involved.

If you create a 20GB VMDK file (blank) on a VMFS volume that is "thin provisioned", it will take up only a couple of SAU's (Storage allocation units) as there is not data on it...

Make a Clone or Deploy a Template may be a different story....... From memory I believe VMware does NOT write out "zero's" for the remaining "white space" in a "Virtual disk" so it should not write out the full 20GB from the "Disk Pool"

However from memory you can set the disk to "zeroout" with VMKFSTOOLS...so this type of activity will request SAU's for the whole 20GB.......Also, running commands like PHCAT will also request SAU's....

So treating thin provisioned volumes to maximize your physical space may take a little getting used to.

hope this helps.

Bernie

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azn2kew
Champion
Champion

I've heard a lot of colleages and large organizations utilize SANMelody as well so no doubt the product has great potential and it is the way its marketing and expanding via training and partnership program. After reading your blogs its limited to 7 threads but those are interesting facts I did not have the luxury to play with myself and looking forward to certify in DCIE and at least get much familiar with their products. We're thinking about moving all our development servers to SANMelody and its a great choice as I'll be proposing to the manager. I think SANMelody is a great choice for test/dev environments with bunch of SAS/SATA drives utilize existing PE2850s are good chances doing fine for test/dev.

If we're like the performance and flexibility of volumes management and thin provisioning than we'll thinking for production as well since we just got 6 xIBM 3650 servers that would utilize it nicely like you've mentioned. I'll have to read more technical designs and implementation procedures to determine if it feasible to deploy. It seems like their installation guide is very short 9 pages is not much technical at all hopefully their have good technical writters or informative for techies out there.

Again, looking forward for more comments on this is great and also if you can specify which vendors are more competitive to SANMelody and we can distinguish which one is most suitable for production environment. I know the fact its super cheap comparing to traditional hardware SAN especially licensing piece.

Are there any limitations to SANMelody that you know of besides those ESX 3.5 bullets mentioned on "Most Recent Used" etc..

If you found this information useful, please consider awarding points for "Correct" or "Helpful". Thanks!!!

Regards,

Stefan Nguyen

iGeek Systems Inc.

VMware, Citrix, Microsoft Consultant

If you found this information useful, please consider awarding points for "Correct" or "Helpful". Thanks!!! Regards, Stefan Nguyen VMware vExpert 2009 iGeek Systems Inc. VMware vExpert, VCP 3 & 4, VSP, VTSP, CCA, CCEA, CCNA, MCSA, EMCSE, EMCISA
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Berniebgf
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Regarding -> "Where do you think Datacore will be heading in the future"

The only thing I have heard in the grape vine is NFS shares from the DataCore Server, which you can do now anyway as it is run on Windows 2000/2003 however I believe it will be more tightly integrated into the SANmelody MMC Snap-in.

So that will mean iSCSI Target, FC Target, NFS Target (All with thin provisioning capability).

This is not gospel, only what I have been told.

regards

Bernie.

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Berniebgf
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

7 Threads and working on it!! it's new so stay posted Smiley Wink

Regarding your quest for information, I suffered the same frustration for technical answer however once you work through the DCIE Cert you will see where the information is.

Anyway, proceed as follows.

1. The new 2.0.2 DataCore SANMelody Manual (3 documents) is allot better than the old one, so make sure you download it and read page to page. (WOW!!! LONG LINK!!!)

http://sanmelody.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/sanmelody.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=939&p_created=11...

cF9zcmNoPTEmcF9zb3J0X2J5PSZwX2dyaWRzb3J0PSZwX3Jvd19jbnQ9OSw5JnBfcHJvZHM9JnBfY2F0cz02NiZwX3B2PSZwX2N2PTEuNjYmcF9zZWFyY2hfdHlwZT1hbnN3ZXJzLnNlYX

JjaF9ubCZwX3BhZ2U9MQ**&p_li=&p_topview=1

2. Get a login for the DataCore SANmelody Support site and read every technical post and advice, there is GREAT information there.

http://www.datacore.com/index_frame.asp?frame_subnav_content=7

3. Hit the Web and search for info, its hard to find, but then you stumble on info like below.

http://www.las-solanas.com/storage_virtualization/asynchronous_replication.php

Hope this helps

Bernie

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meistermn
Expert
Expert

What is your GB per dollar per month Price for the datacore solution?

I am interestet in a SUN X4500 (24 GB) Solution in one location with DataCore SANMelody and replicating in the other location

with SUN X4500 (24 GB) and Datacore SANMelody.

URL to SUN X4500

http://www.sun.com/servers/x64/x4500/

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Berniebgf
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Hi meistermn

I do not have this information, but I will see what I can find out....

I would think it would be difficult to use this kind of information as a comparison as the results would highly depend on which type and disk size you are using.

E.G: 146GB FC V's 1TB SATA?

regards

Bernie

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Berniebgf
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

meistermn..

Here is some information I found in one of the DataCore ppt's.

DataCore SANmelody Disk server = $4.06 / SPC-1 IOPS

regards

Bernie.

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ConstantinV
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

s

VCP 4/5, VCAP-DCD 5, VCAP-DCA 5, VCAP-CIA 5, vExpert 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
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