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Hardware Thread, SAN & NAS in Technical; Hi Quick question for everyone, am interested in how other people are working with their sans Do you split your ...
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    SAN & NAS

    Hi

    Quick question for everyone, am interested in how other people are working with their sans

    Do you split your san holding your VMs from your san holding your student/staff documents?

    I'm thinking of the performance aspect of running a bunch of VMs on a dedicated san, to sharing that san with documents etc. At present I'm probably going down the route of a san for my VMs to sit on, and then a NAS to map documents to.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks!

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    apaton's Avatar
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    Why manage two different storage technologies?

    Purchase one solution to rule them all. (I'm sure that a line from a film )

    The big player in the space has been NetApp which has NAS (CIFS & NFS) and block level services (iSCSI & Fibre Channel). But more recently Sun Unified Storage S7000 is starting to snap at their heals!

    You need to size the solution appropriately of course and that would require far more detailed discussion with your reseller/supplier.

    Andy

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    I was thinking about the performance aspect of sharing user docs from the same san as what's holding my VMs. There is surely going to be a hit on the speed of my VMs because users are also accessing files from it? The bottleneck I'm thinking would be the nic, or would you make 2 private for VM access and 2 public for user docs access?

    The alternative I'm thinking of is a separate NAS with a NAS head to serve out user docs (assuming a NAS head makes quota and security simpler)

    Cheers

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    apaton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theaksy View Post
    The bottleneck I'm thinking would be the nic, or would you make 2 private for VM access and 2 public for user docs access?
    I understand where your coming from on the performance. But it looks like you have the right idea. Separate NIC's & Networks for VMware and user shares get round that quite easily.

    Obviously you still need to drive that performance down the NIC's and that's choosing the right box for your environment. (Disk Capacity, IOPS, SSD's, Memory, Cache, Networks Ports, Resiliency, Features etc...)

    On security, VMware uses NFS so that's quite easy to lock to to specific hosts/networks. With CIFS you have the usual array of Microsoft access controls ACL's/Quotas.

    Andy

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    Which SAN would you reccommend? I'm wanting to go down the iSCSI route (haven't looked at the pricing of 10G yet but would be nice!) as it seems the most flexible. The Sun 7120 has caught my eye (and gets quite al ot of love on here) and will look at the NetApps too - looks like much of it is in the licensing of the features.

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    Quote Originally Posted by theaksy View Post
    Which SAN would you reccommend? I'm wanting to go down the iSCSI route (haven't looked at the pricing of 10G yet but would be nice!) as it seems the most flexible. The Sun 7120 has caught my eye (and gets quite al ot of love on here) and will look at the NetApps too - looks like much of it is in the licensing of the features.
    Personally I'd go down the Sun S7000 route. There really is a lot of love here and there's good reason for it. I've got a 7410 and will be getting another to cluster the heads and a 7310 to replicate it if I get the budget. I've also got a NetApp 2020 and won't be buying any more NetApp kit due to the costs involved, mainly licensing. My 7410 cost me under £40k, the equivalent NetApp solution was £120k and the Sun box has more storage.

    Check out the really long thread on here about the S7000, if you want to have a chat then PM me and I'll give you my email address or phone number. If you'd like to talk to a reseller then give Andy at Cutter Project (linescanner on here) a shout. He just left my site about 10 minutes ago, excellent guy to deal with.

    (edit: I've never personally dealt with apaton/Andy but based on his posts here he'd also be a great person to speak to!)

    Chris

  7. 2 Thanks to Duke:

    apaton (26th November 2009), linescanner (26th November 2009)

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    apaton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theaksy View Post
    Which SAN would you recommend? I'm wanting to go down the iSCSI route (haven't looked at the pricing of 10G yet but would be nice!) as it seems the most flexible. The Sun 7120 has caught my eye (and gets quite al ot of love on here) and will look at the NetApps too - looks like much of it is in the licensing of the features.
    Like Duke I think the Sun S7000 is a must see product and just keeps getting better!!
    NetApp will kill you on pricing, but will kill everyone else on features!
    Dell Equallogic, is an excellent iSCSI only box.
    HP Lefthand, again another iSCSI box, but I think Dell's is better.

    Andy

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    apaton's Avatar
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    Forgot to say about 10G, if you want real performance then 10G is a must. With most solutions you can aggregate multiple 1Gig NICS, which helps. But that single HIGH I/O intensive machine you may have, then 10G is the only answer for iSCSI/NAS.

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    How are people affording thier NAS/SAN setups and what sort of prices are you paying? I want to put in a SAN/NAS next year but would be lucky if I have £8k so spend on it total.

    I just checked out the prices (on insight) for 10Gbe switched and NICs, after reading the above post, and to be honest - if I bought into 10Gbe or Fibre Channel I wouldn't have any money left for the SAN/NAS.

    I am I wrong or is link aggregatged iSCSI/NAS the only affordable option for most schools?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    I am I wrong or is link aggregatged iSCSI/NAS the only affordable option for most schools?
    802.ad Link-Aggregation is practical for almost all environments. Remember that Gigabit Link-Aggregation still requires network switches capable of 802.ad.

    There is a limitation in 802.ad with multiple 1Gb NIC, a maximum bandwidth for a single client is still 1Gb, 802.AD just loads balance many clients over all available NIC's.

    For NAS that not a problem at all, most desktop clients are still only 100Mb anyway

    Andy

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    How are people affording thier NAS/SAN setups and what sort of prices are you paying? I want to put in a SAN/NAS next year but would be lucky if I have £8k so spend on it total.

    I just checked out the prices (on insight) for 10Gbe switched and NICs, after reading the above post, and to be honest - if I bought into 10Gbe or Fibre Channel I wouldn't have any money left for the SAN/NAS.

    I am I wrong or is link aggregatged iSCSI/NAS the only affordable option for most schools?
    What kind of size do you need ? 8k does not go far if you want really good kit with a chunk of space

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    Like a lot of schools we don't have a huge IT budget. We have to fight for every inch of it and what we get we have to make go along way. So I have to get creative.

    Here's my current thoughts (bound to change, changed enough times over the past year and I'm not implementing till next summer):

    • We are running Virtual Server 2005 R2, moving to Hyper-V 2 as and when.
    • Looking at a central NAS store for holding VM images - or an iSCSI Cluster between 2k8R2 servers? (will VS2005R2 run with that?)
    • Maybe looking at Windows Storage Server 2008 for SMB2 or use FreeNAS
    • 12-port Layer 3 managed gigabit switch
    • 2Gb (802.3ad) to each server and the NAS/SAN
    • Home built NAS/SAN solution (Promise vTrak DAS with IBM Server head or HP DL185 G5 or Netgear ReadyNAS 3200)
    • 12/16 x Hitachi 15k 450Gb SAS or WD 10k 300Gb SATA-II drives
    • RAID-50 with 2 Hot-Spares
    • Use Broadcom NICs with TOE and Jumbo Frames


    The favoured solution is to try WSS2k8 from Technet as a NAS with SMB2 on a HP DL185 G5 filled up with 12 x 450Gb Hitachi's. This'll give 3.6Tb in RAID-50 with 2 Hot spares.
    Last edited by tmcd35; 27th November 2009 at 05:49 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by theaksy View Post
    Hi

    Quick question for everyone, am interested in how other people are working with their sans

    Do you split your san holding your VMs from your san holding your student/staff documents?

    I'm thinking of the performance aspect of running a bunch of VMs on a dedicated san, to sharing that san with documents etc. At present I'm probably going down the route of a san for my VMs to sit on, and then a NAS to map documents to.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks!
    Hi there,

    My name is Phil and I'm the man at Sun who looks after the S7000 (and other open storage products) at Sun from a technical perspective in the UK.

    If you want to give me a call please do so. Best number is 01252 420 000 and ask for Phil Lawrence

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