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Hardware Thread, Storage Box in Technical; So, I am now in the process of virtualising our network to XenServer. One of the things I want to ...
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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Storage Box

    So, I am now in the process of virtualising our network to XenServer. One of the things I want to do is to set up a nice box with lots of disks and lots of network ports, for the VMs to have their disks stored on. I plan to do this with FreeNAS or similar.

    Any tips on makes of equipment? I don't think we're going to be able to afford to go with brand named iSCSI arrays etc... So, I'm thinking more along the lines of a couple of cheap boxes to do it instead? (One to store the images, one to store backups of the images).

    Oh, and preferably I'd like them to be 1U rack units. But this isn't a necessity, as I can get some plugs installed near a shelf if needed.

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    @localzuk: Sun Storage 7110 - cheap as chips on matching grant.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ric_ View Post
    @localzuk: Sun Storage 7110 - cheap as chips on matching grant.
    No it isn't. It is £8600. Ok, you get 2 of them, but £8600!!

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    No it isn't. It is £8600. Ok, you get 2 of them, but £8600!!
    You'll have to give us an idea of what you consider to be cheap then! £4300 for 1.4TB of usable space is pretty cheap!

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ric_ View Post
    You'll have to give us an idea of what you consider to be cheap then! £4300 for 1.4TB of usable space is pretty cheap!
    Half that would be cheap. I don't need 1.4TB of space. I'd need maybe half that.

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    teejay's Avatar
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    If you are using FreeNAS then any standard server from the like of HP or Dell would be fine.
    Now I'm a great fan of open source products, but even though FreeNAS is a great product I would be wary using it as an iSCSI target for critical servers just purely down to the lack of guaranteed support.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teejay View Post
    If you are using FreeNAS then any standard server from the like of HP or Dell would be fine.
    Now I'm a great fan of open source products, but even though FreeNAS is a great product I would be wary using it as an iSCSI target for critical servers just purely down to the lack of guaranteed support.
    In what way do you mean guaranteed support? I'm using XenServer - which is free... So no support for that. And paid for != support. There are plenty of companies that provide paid for support if needed for O/S software...

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    Duke's Avatar
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    I was going to recommend the Sun stuff too, but if you're on that tight a budget then that's out of the question. Have you tried the Dell stuff? That's the lower-end hardware but at least there's a few options. We've got a lot of Dell hardware here and no complaints - solid boxes and good support.

    Cheers,
    Chris

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    Openfiler, DRBD & iSCSI target. Enjoy.

    just in the testing stage of our irtual infrastructure. Got DRBD working, just waiting for the 3.4TB of space to sync - oh joy.

    FYI we have gone with 2x Dell 2950s with 4.5TB. And 2x R200s with 8GB ram and x3360 xeons (iirc)


    http://www.the-mesh.org/tiki-index.p...Configure_DRBD

    http://wiki.hyber.dk/doku.php/openfi...-cluster_guide

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Ok, so I think I have my plan now. I have 2 Fujitsu-Siemens RX-220's that will soon be not in use due to being virtualised. They currently have 160GB hdd's which isn't really enough. So, my plan is to buy 4 1TB SATA disks - 2 for each box, and a quad port network card for each.

    So that will give me 1TB of space, backed up with a second machine. Running in at around £900.

    Now, *that's* what I call cheap. lol

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    Butuz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Now, *that's* what I call cheap. lol
    Yes - but will it provide fast reliable storage for your Xen boxes and all of your virtual servers for the next 5 years, lol.

    That is the BIG question.

    If your consolidating many servers and many different storage devices into few servers and one or two storage devices - it's wise not to skimp. Virtualisation is not something that should be done on the cheap - if your storage goes down - all your servers go down, if your storage is not fast enough, all your servers will underperform. Be a bit careful.

    If you can't afford the excellent Sun 7110 then look at HP 200i MSA. No where near as fast, reliable, or scalable as the SUN - but not as expensive either.

    Butuz

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    In what way do you mean guaranteed support? I'm using XenServer - which is free... So no support for that. And paid for != support. There are plenty of companies that provide paid for support if needed for O/S software...
    XenServer is supported by Citrix, just need to pay for support. From what I understand, FreeNAS isn't supported by any commercial support provider, all you have is their forums.

    How many servers are you looking at virtualising and how critical are they?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ric_ View Post
    You'll have to give us an idea of what you consider to be cheap then! £4300 for 1.4TB of usable space is pretty cheap!
    I did get 3TB usable on 15k rpm SAS drives for £7k with the HP 2012 (RAID6).

    Without matching grant the prices are somewhat high. Nice features though.

    Just about to order some Dell R710s to replace my old Xeon ESX blades. They are a bargain in comparison to non grant prices


    After using openfiler for a few weeks, I'd say it's OK, not great though. The more drives the better if you want to increase IOPS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Ok, so I think I have my plan now. I have 2 Fujitsu-Siemens RX-220's that will soon be not in use due to being virtualised. They currently have 160GB hdd's which isn't really enough. So, my plan is to buy 4 1TB SATA disks - 2 for each box, and a quad port network card for each.

    So that will give me 1TB of space, backed up with a second machine. Running in at around £900.

    Now, *that's* what I call cheap. lol
    You need more spindles if you want to host several VM images, I think you'll find a mirror to be too limiting when you have several running. I'd start looking at 6-8 disks or up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    I'm using XenServer - which is free... So no support for that. And paid for != support.
    BTW, to be a completist -- you CAN buy support for free XenServer from Citrix.

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