5 Replies Latest reply on Jun 16, 2006 10:02 PM by letoatrads

    Performance of NAS or iSCSI on ESX 3

    taylorb Expert

      Lots of people seem to be excited about the fact that ESX 3 can run NAS or iSCSI storage.  This seems like a bad idea.   Could either of these technologies really be fast enough to support a reasonable number of VMs?

        • 1. Re: Performance of NAS or iSCSI on ESX 3
          Osm3um Hot Shot

          I was just at a VMWare user group in Seattle and they were showing an ISCSI solution by Equallogic.  Equallogic makes REALLY nice ISCSI SANs.

           

          The end user giving the presentation said ISCSI (with and without an HBA) works great and with no problems whatsoever.  During the Demo they had 10 or more VMs running on two servers, somthing like that.

           

          As for the pure number of VMs...not sure...but they were talking of binding multiple NICs as well.

           

          Here is a coming Webinar that might be useful: http://www.eseminarslive.com/article2/0,2144,1969220,00.asp?partnerref=eqlpage_Home

           

          Hope that helps,

          Bob

           

          PS I am not with EqualLogic.  I don't even own any of their hardware.

          • 2. Re: Performance of NAS or iSCSI on ESX 3
            kix1979 Champion

            iSCSI is definately able to run lots of VMs.  The biggest limiting factor right now is that iSCSI support is only software based at this time.  Once VMWare certifies some of the hardware iSCSI HBAs there should be no issues overall running this.  I still prefer SAN based fibre HBAs, but as iSCSI matures it should definately continue to improve performance.

            • 3. Re: Performance of NAS or iSCSI on ESX 3
              tawojcik Lurker

              Another iSCSI company to look at is LeftHand Networks. They offer a San solution that  clusters units to increase spindle count, performance and scalabilityy. They are availble as LeftHAnd Appliances and also are supported by HP offering a DL380 version. We have purchased several units for storage use, but are just getting in to vmware.

              • 4. Re: Performance of NAS or iSCSI on ESX 3
                vreihen Expert

                Another iSCSI company to look at is LeftHand

                Networks. They offer a San solution that  clusters

                units to increase spindle count, performance and

                scalabilityy.

                 

                The Equallogic units do the same thing, and Equallogic is a VMware partner or something according to their web site.

                 

                One of the selling features of both solutions is that they "stack" individual iSCSI chassis into huge arrays, and each chassis added to the group brings another 3 gigabit ethernet ports with it.  As you increase spindles by adding more units, you're also scaling your connectivity throughput up!  No bottlenecks at the network interfaces as you grow...

                • 5. Re: Performance of NAS or iSCSI on ESX 3
                  letoatrads Expert

                  Demo'ed both boxes, ended up buying an Equallogic PS300e. No performance worries, we were running 7 or 8 test VM's with our primary Sybase DB on RH....better performance than our production NetApp.

                   

                  I liked alot of what LeftHand had to offer, but the downside ended up being that it was built on a PC chassis, and relied on a single MB and Proc per SAN node. They offer their 'Network Raid' so you don't have a single point of failure due to the single MB and Proc issue...but in order to get the same TB we would have had to get 3 boxes....just ended up being too complicated.

                   

                   

                  Overall performance on both our NetApp using and ISCSI lun and the EQL were more than adequate. Our ESX hosts were Sun Fire x4200's with 2 GB Nics dedicated to the ISCSI connections.