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Hardware Thread, Fujitsu Blade Cnetre and SAN in Technical; Hi All, I am looking about for a Blade System and SAN and currently fujitsu are the only one coming ...
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    penfold_99's Avatar
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    Fujitsu Blade Cnetre and SAN

    Hi All,

    I am looking about for a Blade System and SAN and currently fujitsu are the only one coming in on budget.

    I have never used Fujitsu equipment, only heard of issue like the mass HDD drive failures.

    Does any one here use there kit and what do they think?

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    WStore_Dan's Avatar
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    Hi penfold

    Could you PM me your details and exactly what it is you are after so I can get you some comparitive pricing? If you have a budget to work towards then let me know and I'll try and secure some special bids for you on HP while also quoting on IBM & Fujitsu for you

    Regards

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    Duke's Avatar
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    I haven't had great experiences with Fujitsu drives either and although we haven't had many here (mainly WD and Seagate with some Hitachi's) they do seem to have failed more than other brands.

    Any particular reason for going with blades, and do you need to get your SAN and servers from the same supplier? The Sun S7000 SANs are getting a lot of love at the moment and they're also doing some really good deals on servers (up to half price / BOGOF type of thing).

    Cheers,
    Chris

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    penfold_99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duke View Post
    I haven't had great experiences with Fujitsu drives either and although we haven't had many here (mainly WD and Seagate with some Hitachi's) they do seem to have failed more than other brands.

    Any particular reason for going with blades, and do you need to get your SAN and servers from the same supplier? The Sun S7000 SANs are getting a lot of love at the moment and they're also doing some really good deals on servers (up to half price / BOGOF type of thing).

    Cheers,
    Chris
    The are a number or reasons to move to blades mainly we are moving to a visualised environment and blades are better suited.

    i would prefer same supplier as there can be integrated management.

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    Duke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by penfold_99 View Post
    The are a number or reasons to move to blades mainly we are moving to a visualised environment and blades are better suited.

    i would prefer same supplier as there can be integrated management.
    Fair enough, although have you got enough VMs to make blades 'worthwhile'? I'm not trying to change your mind or disagree with you, but I know many people have found you need a decent number of physical machines (thus a large number of VMs) before going the blade route is worth it due to the proprietary hardware, vendor lock-in, etc. that is the downside of blades.

    Have you also considered the failover of a blade chassis dying? I'm going for four rack servers so that if one dies, another can take over through VMware, and I'll duplicate that in a second location for DR if the whole rack goes down. If you're packing 8-odd blades into one chassis, what do you do if the chassis dies and takes out all your hosts? Of course, if you're doing a huge project and will have several blade chassis and multiple blades in each then it's less of an issue. If you have a lot of bandwidth requirements, will the blades have enough network ports?

    Check out this thread: Servers and SAN - Suggestions?

    I know I probably shouldn't quote myself, but:

    Blades generally aren't worth it until you have quite a lot of servers and it gets to the point where the improved efficiency/space/cooling actually becomes worth doing. As you mentioned, vendor lock-in is an issue so I'd say stick with rack servers for now unless you have a lot of physical servers and you are very tight on space.

    As far as the SAN goes, definitely check out the Sun S7000 stuff, it's pretty cool. We have a Sun 7410 (22TB, but scales to 0.5PB which is awesome) here and it's a really nice bit of kit. I also have a NetApp FAS2020 and as others have mentioned they're very expensive and you have to buy an individual license for each feature you want, whereas the Sun stuff is designed to be 'open' and all features/protocols and upgrades are completely free. Definitely talk to Andy at Cutter Project (linescanner) about them, if you want to have a chat about ours Andy will pass on my details.
    Integrated management is definitely a good idea, I know the Sun ILOM is good, not sure what their server management tools are like. The S7000 SAN is mainly managed through a web interface and it's the most awesome thing I've played with in a while.

    Cheers,
    Chris

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    penfold_99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WStore_Dan View Post
    Hi penfold

    Could you PM me your details and exactly what it is you are after so I can get you some comparitive pricing? If you have a budget to work towards then let me know and I'll try and secure some special bids for you on HP while also quoting on IBM & Fujitsu for you

    Regards
    Hi Dan,

    thanks for the offer but hp and ibm are 6k more expensive from all suppliers.

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    I have to say we are a Dell shop and they tend t be very competative on pricing. Our Dell Blade chassis's are coming up on 5 years old, and never had a failure yet (touch wood).

    We've been pricing up a replacement of late and found the following:

    IBM - Expensive
    HP - Not looked at
    Dell - Pricing OK, but not as good as it used to be.

    As regards SAN's we have an EMC SAN that connects to the Dell Blades with no problems, and I can't see why there would be a problem unless the HBA (if you go fibre) adaptors are none standard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Duke View Post
    Fair enough, although have you got enough VMs to make blades 'worthwhile'? I'm not trying to change your mind or disagree with you, but I know many people have found you need a decent number of physical machines (thus a large number of VMs) before going the blade route is worth it due to the proprietary hardware, vendor lock-in, etc. that is the downside of blades.

    Have you also considered the failover of a blade chassis dying? I'm going for four rack servers so that if one dies, another can take over through VMware, and I'll duplicate that in a second location for DR if the whole rack goes down. If you're packing 8-odd blades into one chassis, what do you do if the chassis dies and takes out all your hosts? Of course, if you're doing a huge project and will have several blade chassis and multiple blades in each then it's less of an issue. If you have a lot of bandwidth requirements, will the blades have enough network ports?

    Check out this thread: Servers and SAN - Suggestions?

    I know I probably shouldn't quote myself, but:



    Integrated management is definitely a good idea, I know the Sun ILOM is good, not sure what their server management tools are like. The S7000 SAN is mainly managed through a web interface and it's the most awesome thing I've played with in a while.

    Cheers,
    Chris
    Hi Chris,

    Currently there are 9 servers running, this will double as we are looking to increase redundancy and increase further with a test suite.

    the schools is opening a 6th centre next September and im looking to put a flexible system in place.

    there will be a physical box in addition to the blade centre in the unlikely event of the chassis goes down where we can run critial systems from.

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    Quote Originally Posted by penfold_99 View Post
    Hi Chris,

    Currently there are 9 servers running, this will double as we are looking to increase redundancy and increase further with a test suite.

    the schools is opening a 6th centre next September and im looking to put a flexible system in place.

    there will be a physical box in addition to the blade centre in the unlikely event of the chassis goes down where we can run critial systems from.
    Cool, sounds good!

    For what it's worth, I'm virtualising about 20 servers next summer and should be able to fit that on 4 rack servers that'll be running dual 55xx Xeon processors and 48GB RAM with probably 4x 1Gb NICs. Storage will be the 22TB flash-accelerated SAN. Hopefully I'll get the budget and space to re-use the old servers in a second location as VMware hosts and get a second mirrored SAN for full failover and DR.

    If you think the blades will be worth it then they're a great way to get good server room density. If you're looking for flexibility just be aware of being tied into that vendor's chassis, and that when you run out of room in one chassis you need to buy another chassis just to get an extra blade. A 1U or 2U rack server will probably take up more space initially, but might make for simpler long-term upgrades when you need to look at CPU/RAM upgrades that make getting a whole new server worthwhile?

    Anyways, good luck with it all!
    Chris

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    mattstevenson2005's Avatar
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    Hi

    We have just had a complete server refresh now ruuning 24 servers and they are all fujitsu servers bar 1 and we have not had any problems we are also using 2 fujitsu sx80 SANs (they use seagate drives lol) and they run great we use the duplex data manager software to keep the two SAN in sync with each other.

    Matt

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    Duke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattstevenson2005 View Post
    [...] we are also using 2 fujitsu sx80 SANs (they use seagate drives lol) and they run great
    Haha... enough said!

    Most of my server/SAN-level hardware runs Seagate drives too (the S7000 has Seagate HDDs and STEC SSDs) and they generally seem very reliable. Most of our desktop stuff runs WD drives.

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