Okay, Thanks to everyone whose helped my in my other thread (Cheap SAN). But I know seem to be confusing myself with acronyms and technologies!
For the time being I'm sticking with Infortrend as the basis of our proposed SAN. I like their website, project range and prices and feel the ultimate solution must be here somewhere!
I'm convinced SATA-II is the HDD tech to go for. A decent Baraccuda drive with 500Gb, 7200rpm, 8ms seek and 16mb cache costs as little as £130. RAID-5 five of these and we have a good 2Tb storage.
SAS/SCSI/FC-AL drives all seem to be only available in smaller sizes and more expensive prices - 76Gb for £200? A 1.5Tb or 2Tb array would cost a small fortune!
But what about the connection back to the servers? What am I looking for? I see iSCSI mentioned in VMWare manuals, Fibre connections, direct SCSI320. What's the best price/performance solution and what, if any, additional equipment would we need? NICs? SCSI Cards? Switchs/Hubs?
Thanks again for advice offered
iSCSI would be the simplest and cheapest if you are looking at VMotion and\or DRS, HA. The price is right and isn't as radical a shift from regular networking principals as fibre would be.
Direct attached SCSI works if you don't care about the above functions.
I am not a big fan of SATA myself but you have to evaluate if the price is worth the performance you give up as compared to the others. It is very dependant on your needs and the unique characteristics of your environment.
I'm keeping an eye on this forum whilest I am researching the net for answers. I just re-read the wikipedia page on iSCSI and pretty much came to the same conclusion.
I'm becoming more convinced that iSCSI and SATA would be the best combination for us. My only concern is compatibility. From what I'm ready it seems that VMWares HCL lists only items that they will provide support for, and that just because a SAN is not listed - doesn't mean it will not work, just means that VMWare themselves will not help you get it working.
The Infortrend part comes in at around £1750. How much more is an officially supported equivalently part? Also, is their any way of knowing prior to purchase if a part is likely to work or not?
The part I keep returning to is the EonStore A12E-G2121
I am not sure if anyone has already mentioned this yet. However, make sure you check and make sure that the equipment you are planning on using is on the Hardware Compatibility List from VMware, even if someone here mentions it.
That will same you time and hassle.
I just looked at Lefthand Networks, and I'm not convinced. It looks like a similar solution to SanMelody. The cost of the HP server, then 1.6TB of SCSI drives... I can't see it working.
There are no foreseeable circumstance where we would look at setting up a MS Cluster.
I'm certain that in this instance a SATA RAID connecting via iSCSI is the right answer. The question is which unit. The EonStore looks favorite on price but it's not on the HCL.
What about Equalogic? Whenever I have thought about looking at iSCSI that is the product I look at. I don't spend much time in the iSCSI space so I am not an expert but Equalogic looks solid and works very closely with VMware
The only price, searching the net, I could find for the PS50E - entry level iSCSI SATA RAID - was £15,500. If correct, thats a good 7/8 times our budget for this part! At those prices Equallogic are a non starter.