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Hardware Thread, iSCSI SAN in Technical; Hi, I'm in need of replacing our iSCSI SAN for Hyper-V, I've asked various suppliers for recommendations and so far ...
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    iSCSI SAN

    Hi,

    I'm in need of replacing our iSCSI SAN for Hyper-V, I've asked various suppliers for recommendations and so far I've received the following:

    1. HP P2000 with 12x 3tb SAS, Dual Controllers, iSCSI 10Gbe
    2. Dell Equallogic PS4100X with 24x 900Gb 10k SAS, Dual Controllers, iSCSI 1Gbe
    3. Dell PowerVault MD3620i with 24x 600Gb 15k SAS, 4Gb Dual Controllers, iSCSI 1Gbe

    I'm just not that experienced with SANs and so I have no real idea which will provide the best IOPs and throughput for our environment. Whist initially we'd only be running 20-30 Hyper-V VMs, due to expansion I expect that number to grow to 60ish within the next 18-24months.

    Any insight into the best option would be gratefully received.

    Dan.

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    Marshall_IT's Avatar
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    One of the best tools I've seen for estimating IOPs etc is a dell DPACK. I'm sure a reseller will be able to facilitate the running of it.

    http://www.dell.com/learn/us/en/04/c...tion-kit-dpack

    It needs to run. Then be sent to dell for processing.

    This will give you an idea of how many disks/spindles and what speeds you'll need.

    I've used hp iscsi nas before, one of their early models, not great but it ran on windows storage server.
    I also have an MD3000i, an earlier model oft the power vault you are looking at, this has been quite good but a little fiddly to configure, might just be because it's hyper-v and not VMware like I was used to.

    As a more budget option I've used a San from Qsan. I used to have 2 of these with replication.

    Let me know if you'd like anymore details.
    Last edited by Marshall_IT; 12th November 2013 at 09:54 PM.

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    dan400007 (12th November 2013)

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    glennda's Avatar
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    Nimble Nimble Nimble Nimble @NimbleStorage

    I personal experience HP P2000 are usless (they are just Dot Hill with an HP badge). Dell Equallogic are ok but expensive to expand (you have to buy a new SAN not just storage shelf), Powervault - well similar to the P2000 is pretty usless!

    With the Nimble unit you get built in compression (my clients currently have 35%, 32% compression on units) plus its super cool and quick

    With the P2000 above that would be 7.2k SAS so would probably be pretty slow

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    dan400007 (12th November 2013)

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    mrbios's Avatar
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    Paying through the nose for all those SAS drives, personally i'd recommend investigating tiered storage. Save yourself a bundle.

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    dan400007 (12th November 2013)

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    Marshall_IT's Avatar
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    What sort of cost are you looking at with nimble? More than the eqilogic?

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    @Marshall_IT - yep we ran the DPack on our existing systems which led Dell to suggest the PS4100x
    @glennda - I kind of guessed that the HP wouldn't cut it, we've got an oldish MSA unit which is just a pain to me. To get a quote for Nimble - do they direct or have approved resellers?
    @mrbios - I had considered tiered storage but was slightly concerned about its use in a Hyper-V cluster

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marshall_IT View Post
    What sort of cost are you looking at with nimble? More than the eqilogic?
    Similar ish I would say. It all depends on the usage as it is cache driven (you will need to lookup the CASL architecture to understand as the have rewritten the laws of it all). With Nimble you get the performance of SSD running from Sata/Nearline SAS
    @dan400007 - all through resellers

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    Quote Originally Posted by dan400007 View Post
    @mrbios - I had considered tiered storage but was slightly concerned about its use in a Hyper-V cluster
    What were your concerns?

    I'm running tiered storage in a VMware cluster with 30 VMs, 24 disks in 6 arrays (two separate 12 bay SANs), 2 arrays of slow sata, two arrays of SAS and two arrays of SSDs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbios View Post
    What were your concerns?

    I'm running tiered storage in a VMware cluster with 30 VMs, 24 disks in 6 arrays (two separate 12 bay SANs), 2 arrays of slow sata, two arrays of SAS and two arrays of SSDs.
    Core you really need Nimble That would shrink down to 1/2 arrays!

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    Go NL SATA, the SAS drives are really expensive, though better performing. If you get enough SATA spindles you will get the IOPs you want with more available storage than you could get with SAS

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamo View Post
    Go NL SATA, the SAS drives are really expensive, though better performing. If you get enough SATA spindles you will get the IOPs you want with more available storage than you could get with SAS
    For me the choice of sas over nlsas is based on the error rare more than the speed.

    I have always used a combination of sas, nlsas and sata.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbios View Post
    What were your concerns?

    I'm running tiered storage in a VMware cluster with 30 VMs, 24 disks in 6 arrays (two separate 12 bay SANs), 2 arrays of slow sata, two arrays of SAS and two arrays of SSDs.
    Main concern was about consistency of performance as the number of VMs grows and as a result the amount of storage being used and IOP usage increases.

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    Quote Originally Posted by glennda View Post
    Nimble Nimble Nimble Nimble @NimbleStorage

    I personal experience HP P2000 are usless (they are just Dot Hill with an HP badge). Dell Equallogic are ok but expensive to expand (you have to buy a new SAN not just storage shelf), Powervault - well similar to the P2000 is pretty usless!

    With the Nimble unit you get built in compression (my clients currently have 35%, 32% compression on units) plus its super cool and quick

    With the P2000 above that would be 7.2k SAS so would probably be pretty slow

    Thing to note with the Dell though, you are buying 2 new controllers per expansion shelf therefore increasing throughput as the Equallogic data volume is spanned between all the shelves meaning you get the more spindles the more shelves you add, but you also get more throughput due to the extra iSCSI paths which can be used.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marshall_IT View Post
    For me the choice of sas over nlsas is based on the error rare more than the speed.

    I have always used a combination of sas, nlsas and sata.

    If you have support though why worry? RAID6 + support will see you through

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    Quote Originally Posted by glennda View Post
    Core you really need Nimble That would shrink down to 1/2 arrays!
    You've sparked my interest!

    as a man who's chuffed to bits with what he has now, tell me something that'll make me want to switch the next time i hit my SAN replacement cycle?

    EDIT: In fact are nimble storage units primarily for virtualisation tasks? The reason i ask is that my storage unit for file storage is actually nearing its replacement time, i think it's 5 years old this year. I'd need something to improve on my current implementation which is a 16 bay iSCSI SAN with 14 disks in RAID10 (SATA - 2TB disks) split into two partitions (one array!)

    Quote Originally Posted by dan400007 View Post
    Main concern was about consistency of performance as the number of VMs grows and as a result the amount of storage being used and IOP usage increases.
    that's understandable i guess, it's difficult to plan tiered storage when you see an impending expansion on the scale of yours.
    Last edited by mrbios; 12th November 2013 at 10:44 PM.

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