Martian_333
Contributor
Contributor

Shared storage recommendations for 3xESXi 5.1 host cluster

Hey all

I was hoping for some opinions on the various shared storage options using real world (you guys) performance experience.

I have a 3 x ESXi cluster (VMware Standard) and a storage requirement of around 1.6TB (currently), this will likely grow to double that amount and perhaps an additional ESXi physical host will be added later.

There are 10 VMs (CPU intensive) running across 3 high spec ESXi hosts, RAM utilisation is only around 40GB and around 2-4k IOPS (burst, not sustained)..

I want to consolidate this onto shared storage so I can utilise HA, vMotion, a single shelf to begin with (budget is quite small) but with scalability - add further shelves.

My question is for no more than $20k / £13k, what do you guys recommend? I need low latency and able to handle the above IOPs burst.

I was looking at the following options:

Dell EqualLogic  PS4100X (but when I google that all I seem to come across is performance problems)

NetApp FAS2200

EMC VNXe3100

The storage needs to be accessible by 3 hosts and eventually 4. Switches are no problem for iSCSI but un-fortunately not 10Gbe, only 1GE.

Appreciate your comments

Thanks

6 Replies
vPatrickS
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Hi

Basically a HP P2000 MSA G3 or a Dell PowerVault MD3xxx would be sufficient. We got a lot of customer who are happy with their entry SAN solution. Both can be extended via additional SAS shelf and both can handle SATA/SAS/SSDs. For some more high availability you could also check out HPs StoreVirtual platform (former LeftHand) or a small DataCore SANSymphony-V setup (like two std. servers with local storage). Maybe a Nimble array would also fit for your needs.

HP could be cool if you consider combining it with Veeam for “snapshot based” backups. NetApp’s solutions like SMVI also offers some cool features. So you probably want to take a backup & restore / DR concept into account before choosing a storage array. 

1 Gbe will be sufficient for the mentioned workload.

Regards

Patrick

Martian_333
Contributor
Contributor

Hi there

Thanks for your response, I had not looked into the HP P2000 G3's - I see they do a iSCSI / FC model (HP P2000 G3 FC/iSCSI MSA DC) which looks perfect for our needs, do you have any idea of ball park figure for either:

HP P2000 G3 FC/iSCSI MSA DC

or

HP P2000 G3 iSCSI MSA Dual Controller LFF Array System (BK830B) (1GbE not 10GbE)

With 1TB - 2TB (RAID 1+ 0) spread across multiple spindles (maximise spindles) and leaving enough room in the shelf for expansion?

Also do you know if the dual controllers are active / active and you can use all 4-6 x GbE ports for iSCSI?

Cheers

0 Kudos
vPatrickS
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Hi

Both models should be within your budget, just contact some re-sellers to get some quotes.

Personally I would recommend the SFF model with SAS drives. You don’t want end up with lots of TBs of storage, but low IO performance.

You could go with 600GB 10k SAS drives and some RAID10 sets. This should be fine for the start. The array can be extended via additional D2700 SAS shelves.

The controllers are active/active yes, but a vDisk is always "owned" by a single controller. Each controller got 4 iSCSI ports what results in 8 ports in total. You can spread the vDisks across both controllers, so that each controller owns 50% of your vDisks. This enables you to leverage all 8 ports but always 4 per vDisks.

Regards

Patrick

Martian_333
Contributor
Contributor

Hi Patrick

Apologies for the delay in responding, I have been on holiday Smiley Happy

Thanks for the tips! Useful to know the RAID group / vDisk arrangement in terms of controller ownership.

You were right about the costs.

SFF / 2.5" is definately our preferred option, we have narrowed it down to one of 2 disk arrays (EMC came in at a really good price which was a surprise!):

EMC VNXe3150 2.5" dual controllers with 12 x 600GB 15k 6GB SAS drives)

or

HP P2000 G3 MSA FC/iSCSI DC SFF Array (12 x 900GB SAS 10k 2.5" DP ENT)

The P2000 G3 Is slightly more expensive I believe, but its just coming down to performance now (there probably is not a lot in that since we are going with 1GbE iSCSI anyway, apart from the obvious spindle speeds) and scalability / future proofing (the FC port on the P2000 is a big winner here).

Do you have any experience with the VNXe device?

Thanks for all your input

0 Kudos
vPatrickS
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Hi

No unfortunately i have no experiences with the VNXe series.

Here you can find the official performance figures from HP:

http://h18000.www1.hp.com/products/quickspecs/13551_div/13551_div.html

I bet there is something similar for the VNXe somewhere on the EMC website Smiley Happy

Regards

vPatrickS
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Hi

Just saw that there is a successor of the P2000, the MSA 2040

http://h18006.www1.hp.com/storage/pdfs/4AA4-6608ENW.pdf