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tom11011
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Shared Storage on a Shoe String

I was looking for information on cost effective shared storage. Outside of a SAN or NAS, what could one do to utilize shared storage on a budget? The goal being to be able to use vmotion.

I'm open to any and all ideas along with what equipment would be needed.

To start, I have 2 servers running 3.02 with the full license. Additionally, I was lucky enough to score some Qlogic 2gb fiber cards off of ebay for very cheap.

Thank you!

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oreeh
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Yes iSCSI uses Ethernet as the transport media and yes GBit Ethernet is fast enough.

The limiting factor with storages (regardless of iSCSI or FC) usually are the disks and not the transport.

Message was edited by: oreeh

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oreeh
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A Linux box with iSCSI Enterprise Target is a cheap solution.

If you want to use the fiber HBAs you need a FC SAN (expensive) as well.

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tom11011
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Thank you, I'm open to any and all suggestions.

What about NFS?

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oreeh
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What about NFS?

Sure, NFS will work as well.

Make sure the NFS server supports NFS v3 over TCP!

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tom11011
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Can you elaborate on the iSCSI a little more? What would I need to set that up?

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oreeh
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You need a system with enough disk space, a Linux distro (use the one you are familiar with) and the IET (available on sourceforge).

Then you need to build a kernel with IET support, create the storage LUNs, present them to ESX and configure ESX to use them.

I strongly recommend to download the latest IET source and to not use the one that comes with the distro.

A look at the IET developer mailing list archives is helpful as well.

If you are familiar with Linux you usually have this up and running in approximately 1 hour.

Don't forget to search the forum as well - there are a lot of threads dealing with iSCSI in general, IET and the possible pitfalls.

Message was edited by: oreeh

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tom11011
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great, thanks! Does this just use ethernet cards? Is gigabit even fast enough?

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oreeh
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Yes iSCSI uses Ethernet as the transport media and yes GBit Ethernet is fast enough.

The limiting factor with storages (regardless of iSCSI or FC) usually are the disks and not the transport.

Message was edited by: oreeh

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tom11011
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thanks again, one more question, mostly theoretical.

Does anyone use IET as a vm guest or would that corrupt the filesystem during a migration?

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oreeh
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IIRC there are virtual appliances available - so it should work. Though obviously only for testing.

tom11011
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thank you. One other question Smiley Happy

Is boot from san possible with IET for diskless servers?

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oreeh
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Not sure, I never tried it.

IIRC you need iSCSI HBAs to boot from SAN.