Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Is local storage a viable option with VMware?

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At this point, I have concluded the following: 1) Good shared storage is very expensive compared to good local storage. 2) Good shared storage is much more prone to complex failures than local storage. Because live storage migration exists, I am thinking that I am going to dump shared storage in order to decrease complexity, increase uptime and *performance*.  I added emphasis to that last one because my anecdotal experimentation hasn't been good to this end: my MegaRAID cards that perform very well under regular linux perform like absolute garbage under ESXi 5.x. Can someone help me here?  Is there a good RAID card that can enable local datastore performance within ESXi?  Are the LSI cards cursed?  Do I need to sacrifice a goat or do some sort of song and dance for the EMC gods? Because of the HUGE pricing overhead on shared storage, I plan on running all SSD (the new Samsung 850s will do 150TBW, which is great for my purposes) for the local datastore. Any guidance would be appreciated.

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Enthusiast
Enthusiast

For posterity, the solution was to build a SAN with Windows Server 2012 and export "Storage Spaces" over iSCSI.  This is a very affordable way to serve high-performance shared storage because they do SSD caching. At this point, we're probably going to move whole-hog to Hyper-V, since VMware does not offer compelling storage solutions (I get it - EMC is the majority holder - no need to explain).

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Leadership
Leadership

If you are going to use local storage, make sure you use a RAID controller with write-cache. ESXi doesn't do caching on the OS level, so it is required to have write-back mode (usually with flash/battery backed cache) enabled on the RAID controller. Without this RAID controllers operate in write-trough mode which is what's most likely happening in your case.


André

Expert
Expert

You might want to consider hyper-converged solutions like Nutanix.

--- If you found this or any other answer helpful, please consider the use of the Helpful or Correct buttons to award points. vfk Systems Manager / Technical Architect VCP5-DCV, VCAP5-DCA, vExpert, ITILv3, CCNA, MCP
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Enthusiast
Enthusiast

For posterity, the solution was to build a SAN with Windows Server 2012 and export "Storage Spaces" over iSCSI.  This is a very affordable way to serve high-performance shared storage because they do SSD caching. At this point, we're probably going to move whole-hog to Hyper-V, since VMware does not offer compelling storage solutions (I get it - EMC is the majority holder - no need to explain).

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Leadership
Leadership

Oh, you must have missed VSAN then, its a very affordable storage solution using local disk.

Storage Spaces is a joke compared to VSAN.

// Linjo

Best regards, Linjo Please follow me on twitter: @viewgeek If you find this information useful, please award points for "correct" or "helpful".
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Enthusiast
Enthusiast

How so? For less than $3000 in hardware and a Microsoft Server 2012 Standard license, I was able to get 9 terabytes of 10GbE iSCSI that I'm peaking at 45,000 write iops and 21,000 read iops. Please show me your recipe to do that with VMware vSAN. HINT: the first $2500 is spent on a vSAN license.  EDIT: Make that $5000 for the vSAN license since I am serving two ESXi hosts with my Windows SAN.

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