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vmtekken
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Worth getting VMWare ESX when there' s no SAN?

Is it worth getting the VMWare ESX when there's no SAN in the environment vs using the VMware Server which is free?

We're looking into:

VI-ENT-A – Vmware VI3 Enterprise License for 2 processors Includes ESX Server 3.5 or 3i, VirtualCenter Agent, Virtual SMP, VMFS, VMotion, Storage VMotion, HA, DRS, DPM, Update Manager, Consolidated Backup

Thanks!

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williambishop
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A step further. A good reason for esx, would be that you will be prepared for the time when you DO expand. ESX is a light year better than server, in performance and value. I'm not saying server isn't good, because it is. But I never breathed so easy as the day we moved our last vm from server to esx. You can also think about nfs, which provides much of what you are looking for in a san, and gives you the HA options as well. Netapp runs on this, and it provides thin provisioning. I've gotten good performance from nfs shares running on a linux box with a decent raid array.

--"Non Temetis Messor."

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Dave_Mishchenko
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Your post has been moved to the Strategy and Planning forum

Dave Mishchenko

VMware Communities User Moderator

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TomHowarth
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the quick answer to that is Yes,

the longer answer is Yes because you will still start to reap the benefits of increased utilisation, lower power consumption etc, however there is no necessity to purchase the Enterprise version you could as easily go for Foundation or Standard edition. alternatively you could get enterprise and fill you servers with local storage and purchase a couple of Lefthand VSA's this will give you the ability to create a iSCSI target on local storage that could be replicated to another host and used a shared storage between hosts. see lefthands site for further infomation

Tom Howarth

VMware Communities User Moderator

Tom Howarth VCP / VCAP / vExpert
VMware Communities User Moderator
Blog: http://www.planetvm.net
Contributing author on VMware vSphere and Virtual Infrastructure Security: Securing ESX and the Virtual Environment
Contributing author on VCP VMware Certified Professional on VSphere 4 Study Guide: Exam VCP-410
williambishop
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A step further. A good reason for esx, would be that you will be prepared for the time when you DO expand. ESX is a light year better than server, in performance and value. I'm not saying server isn't good, because it is. But I never breathed so easy as the day we moved our last vm from server to esx. You can also think about nfs, which provides much of what you are looking for in a san, and gives you the HA options as well. Netapp runs on this, and it provides thin provisioning. I've gotten good performance from nfs shares running on a linux box with a decent raid array.

--"Non Temetis Messor."
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powers
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I've been using ESX with local storage as a proof of concept... We are now about to buy a SAN, but already have 2 VMs running in a production environment.

vmtekken
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Thanks for your inputs guys.

Does using nfs allow using VMmotion and other features as well in addition to the HA option?

Using Linux nfs sounds like a good option at a descent price.

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williambishop
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Yep!

--"Non Temetis Messor."
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admin
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You can setup NFS on a Windows server also, as it's built into Windows Server 2003. I have done that in a testing environment and it works good, including VMotion. No need to use Linux if you've got spare Windows servers lying around..

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williambishop
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While I don't often argue, windows implementation of NFS is not the best. Generally, I won't push someone towards linux if they're a windows shop, simply because configuring linux can be a pain in the ass sometimes, but in this instance, it's faster, more efficient, and super easy to setup, so I'd encourage anyone to stick with linux for NFS.

--"Non Temetis Messor."
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Dave_Mishchenko
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Just to add, there are some performance concerns with NFS on Windows - http://communities.vmware.com/thread/146046?tstart=15.

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admin
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I think using Windows based NFS is just fine for development and testing. Regardless of performance problems, I think the biggest drawback to using it in production is the frequency with which you have to patch the underlying Windows OS. That alone would make me avoid it in production unless I had no alternative.

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Dave_Mishchenko
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Should you go with some sort of shared storage (NFS / FC / iSCSI) it's best to stick with a device that is supported. See the list here - http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vi35_san_guide.pdf.

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Dave_Mishchenko
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I use it in the home lab myself Smiley Happy

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azn2kew
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As you might aware, there are freebies out there like OpenFiler, FreeNAS, WinTarget, IET target from Fedora Core as well. You can have junk PC and play tons of good SATA drives and load the OpenFiler to act as your iSCSI and it runs fine for small environment. If you want to virtualize your existing Intel/AMD server storage, than try SANmelody for trial version which is great by the way.






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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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heybuzzz
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We started with local storage to basically learn how to use VMware and then attached our current SAN. Def a good way to learn and figure out if it's something your company wants to spend $$$ on.

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