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Hardware Thread, Virtualising Servers and Shared Storage in Technical; Hi all, I'm currently putting together a new network using 2 VMware hosts with shared storage. Our budget wont stretch ...
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    Virtualising Servers and Shared Storage

    Hi all, I'm currently putting together a new network using 2 VMware hosts with shared storage. Our budget wont stretch to a SAN but if we were to use something like a Synology RS2212+ (or even a bigger model with 4 GBe ports) would that work for storing 4 or 5 virtual machines (probably more in the future) plus all the users data etc? We have around 25 desktop machines but need quite a lot of storage capacity. The other alternative is to put a RAID 1 set in each of the hosts for the VM's and have all the user data stored on the NAS via iSCSI.

    I assume that having the OS storage locally on the hosts gives better performance but is more difficult to backup and more difficult to migrate should there be a fault with one of the hosts. (We will be using the free version of ESXi so wont have vMotion)

    Having everything stored on the NAS makes it easier to backup as all the data is in one place, but you end up with a single point of failure.

    Some advice would be very much appreciated!

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    You can back up the local storage to a NAS easily enough with GhettoVCB. This also works with the free version of ESXi.

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    You should get good enough performance with iSCSI and multiple connections. Keep the ESXi booting of a local raid 1 setup.

    Set up Multi-Pathing between the hosts and the NAS and keep the iSCSI traffic on its own network (different physical switches if possible)

    I saw a performance of 2GB transfered in 40 seconds to a SAN from my local machine via a file share on a VM connected to a ESXi host with 2 1GBe multi-path links. This also improves resilience as you can have multiple switches in case a plug gets pulled, accidents do happen. If you are intending to boot the VM's off the SAN I would treat this a priority.

    I didn't however have my VM's booting off the SAN but instead treated it as 2nd disks for VM's as we had limited space on the hosts.

    Has the SAN got multiple PSU's, Controllers etc?

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