meistermn
Expert
Expert

Intel Modular Server for Branch Offices ?

At the moment I am trying to find a modern Server + Storage Combo for a Vmware Plattform in Branch Office. The solutions should be expandable.

First Though was a HP Dl 385 G5p with one AMD 2.4 Gigaherz CPU and 8 GB RAM + ESX Foundation + Netapp 2020 with 6 TB (6 x 1 TB SATA) Storage . The whole Solution all for 15.000 Euro.

If need need more CPU than we buy an other.

Then the solution of Intel modular server from Intel IDF came back in my mind.

So now the intel modular server is on the hcl of vmware why shoulded this be a good solution for branch offices.

On page 19 is a 750 GB SATA device list.

Internal SAS networked storage controllers - This release adds experimental support for Intel Modular Server MFSYS25 SAS Storage Control Modules (SCMs). For known issues with this platforms and workaround see SAS Link and Port Failovers with the Intel Modular Server Running Update 3 and Later Versions of ESX... (KB 1007394).

Branch Office

Server Vendor

Storage

Storage Space

Storage Specification

Solution 1

Intel Modular Server

Integrated Storage

8 x 750 GB SATA

Solution 2

HP DL 385 G5p

Netapp 2020

6 x 1 TB SATA

Solution 3

?

One Step further:

Intel Modular Server with Intel Nehalem CPU + all thei Virtualization features VT-X, VT-D , VT-C .

High IOPS from Intel SSD. Look the following Window.

Combinding SSD with 1 TB SATA Drives.

So when combinding the solution from Veriari in the Intel Modular Server , say 10 x 1 TB SATA Drives and 4 x Intel SSD Sata should be good weight between performance and much space for storage.

Plus the Cisco Nexus 1000 virtual switch

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10 Replies
mcowger
Immortal
Immortal

Unless you are running high IOPs DBs on this, SSDs make little sense...






--Matt

--Matt VCDX #52 blog.cowger.us
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meistermn
Expert
Expert

Not enough ?

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mcowger
Immortal
Immortal

Well, yes, of course the SSD can suppot way more IOPs.

The question is do you actually need them. if your app is only pushing 100IOPs, then its a huge waste of money.






--Matt

--Matt VCDX #52 blog.cowger.us
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meistermn
Expert
Expert

<span class="mw-headline">Advantages for SSD not only higher IOPS

  • Faster start-up, as no spin-up is required (RAM & Flash).

  • Typically, fast random access for reading, as there is no read/write head to move (RAM & Flash).[[13]|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_drive#cite_note-12]

  • Extremely low read latency times, as SSD seek-times are orders of magnitude lower than the best hard disk drives, as of 2008.[[14]|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_drive#cite_note-13]
    (RAM) In applications where hard disk seeks are the limiting factor,
    this results in faster boot and application launch times (see Amdahl's law)[[15]|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_drive#cite_note-xbitSSDvsHD-14] (RAM & Flash).

  • Extremely fast read (RAM, nearly the same for best modern flash).

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meistermn
Expert
Expert

Matt here is an example from SUN for a hybrid storage based on SSD and HDD'S.

5032_5032.gif

A hybrid Storage is cheaper than an storage only based on SAS or SATA hard disks.

5033_5033.gif

More info's here : http://www.sun.com/x64/intel/zfs_solution_brief.pdf

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mreferre
Champion
Champion

Meistermn,

similar to the Intel Modular Server is the IBM BC-S if you want to take a look: http://it20.info/blogs/main/archive/2008/11/14/162.aspx

Massimo.

Massimo Re Ferre' VMware vCloud Architect twitter.com/mreferre www.it20.info
meistermn
Expert
Expert

Thanks Massimo.

Found this comparision sheet.

After reading this documentation, it is possible to configure 6 x 2 socket blades and 12 Sata Disks a 750 GB at the same time ? Is this correct ?

Up to six blade server bays

Up to 12 SAS (3.6 TB1) or 12 SATA (9 TB) or an intermix of the two disks

Is following combination possible:

2 x Solid State Disk + 10 x 750 Sata Disks ?

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mreferre
Champion
Champion

I didn't want to turn this into a BC-S Vs competition discussion. Smiley Happy

I mentioned it just because you were looking something that I thought BC-S could have been a good fit for.

To your points:

Yes it is possible to configure 6 blades as well as 12 hot swap HDDs. An important thing to know is that the chassis is "fixed" in the sense that it could host up to 6 (2-sockets) blades and up to 12 Disks. If you choose to install less blades it doesn't mean you can configure more disks and viceversa configuring less disks doesn't mean you can have more disks. It's "fixed" in that sense.

All latest generation blades do support internal SSD (either single or dual layer - excellent choice for "standard ESX" or "ESXi installable" deployments for example) but, as far as I know, only SAS/SATA drives can go into the BC-S storage bays at the moment.

Massimo.

Massimo Re Ferre' VMware vCloud Architect twitter.com/mreferre www.it20.info
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Nick_F
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I don't think anyone's arguing SSDs offer great performance (although writes can suffer on some models), just that they're hideously expensive at the moment and a complete waste of money unless you need that performance. The Sun reference is more than a tad extreme 350GB working set with 30000 IOP requirement? lol. Heck there's a lot of SANs that won't even get close to handling 30k IOPS let alone what disks they're running.

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iMbEst
Contributor
Contributor

I hope you haven't bought anything yet.

I got an IMS and 6 X25-E (the so called "Server Class" SSD) from Intel to try out.

To be frank, this combi will not be supported officially by Intel, as Intel SSD (or whatever SSD) is not yet validated & tested with Intel Modular Server!!!!

Look at the reply from the technical support team:

"We can tell you that the validated hard drives are going to work fine, but since the SSD hard drives are not tested yet the behavior is unknown, as they might work fine they might give you problems.

Again, the best recommendation is to use the validated components bear in mind that, if there are problems, part of the troubleshooting will require to use components that fill the specifications."

My initial experiment with X25-E is, RAID0 with many drives will give you worse performance than single drives. RAID5 will give you better performance. I am still testing with RAID6.

That brought my attention about using X25-M instead. Cheaper price range, at least double the capacity.

Intel did mentioned about writing 20GB/day would use up 550 erase/write cycle in 5 years. So I am wondering if you would ever hit this number in the near future.

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