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Hardware Thread, Choosing SAN questions in Technical; At the moment we're looking at choosing a SAN for our server virtualisation project for next year, so far looked ...
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    gshaw's Avatar
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    Question Choosing SAN questions

    At the moment we're looking at choosing a SAN for our server virtualisation project for next year, so far looked at...

    - HP Lefthand
    - NetApp FAS series
    - EMC Clariion \ Celerra

    And possibly a few others less significant than the big players.

    Having looked at the NetApp feature set (dedupe, good snapshot management etc) I thought I was leaning towards finding a solution. Thought I'd have a quick look on here for people's views then I read that it's... got... a... mobile Celeron?!?!

    Which really does raise the question how it can keep up doing all those software features with such a weak CPU. Doesn't inspire confidence tbh and some people seem to have had performance issues from what I've read?

    Which begs the question what I should be looking at now and what actually would be a reasonable price point. I've been thinking 15-20k is about right for a SAN but beginning to wonder if it's actually too much?

    Of course we could just go for one of the dumber (and cheaper) arrays but then missing out on snapshotting and other features along those lines does seem a bit short-sighted?

    The project would involve replacing servers as well... 15 x Opteron 2U Supermicro servers aiming to consolidate to 3 x VMWare hosts. The new servers will be HP DL380s I'd think, 3 of those specced up seems to be around 13k so what wth licensing etc the project is looking around 40k.

    Does all this sound reasonable or is something looking far too expensive?

  2. Thanks to gshaw from:

    albertwt (15th February 2011)

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    Dos_Box
    Last edited by Dos_Box; 18th November 2010 at 03:10 PM.

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    Take a look at the Sun/Oracle unified storages systems.

    More info and a simulator can be found here.
    Sun Unified Storage | Flash Optimized Storage | Oracle

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    Seconded here for the Oracle S7000 series, they do all the things you're after like dedupe, snapshots extremely well. Have a chat with Phil Lawrence, hebdenlad on here, who works for Oracle as a storage specialist or speak to Andy Trevor, linescanner on here, who is from a company which sells the kit. We've had some of the S7000 kit here for well over a year now, much better than any of the other storage solutions in the same bracket that we looked at.

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    kmount (18th November 2010)

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    Hi,

    For our server virtualisation SAN project last year, we decided to go with the EqualLogic PS4000XV. This was circa 17K with 16 x 450GB HDD. Been a very good SAN and does all the snapshots, volume copies etc you would require. In terms of most SANs I don't think they have massively fast processors, it's not needed and also to keep the heat down I'm guessing. We have an Dell MD3220i (with an additionals shelf) that's about 4 weeks old that runs our shared folder, my documents etc areas. The controllers in these have an 800MHz PowerPC Processor yet they are incredible fast (even with small non-sequential IO that's the majority of the workload), so I wouldn't be woried if they have an Mobile Celeron.

    Thanks,

    Rob

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    teejay's Avatar
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    If you're going to use de-dupe, that can use quite a bit of processing power unless you use large block sizes, which then makes de-dupe pointless. The Oracle stuff is based on AMD or Intel server processors so they have plenty of grunt.

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    We are currently looking at the Hitachi SAN's.

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    Sylv3r's Avatar
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    We are currently looking at the Hitachi SAN's.

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    I recommend the Hitachi sans we have two SMS looking at the ams as well

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    john's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teejay View Post
    If you're going to use de-dupe, that can use quite a bit of processing power unless you use large block sizes, which then makes de-dupe pointless. The Oracle stuff is based on AMD or Intel server processors so they have plenty of grunt.
    The current range, launched about a month or so ago, now uses the latest Intel CPUs, the previous ones did use AMD though

    I can highly recommend the Sun / Oracle range, a very happy 7110 user here just awaiting delivery of my 7120 to go with it, due late next week fingers crossed!!!! That will bring me some more shinyness to the server room (and a spike in the very reduced electric bill from Virtualisation)

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    I would be tempted to not use 3 hosts, I'd use 2 sets of 2 with 2 seperate sans. Lots of processor and ram on the hosts, and 2 Mirrored system disks then find some beefy servers and use something like starwind's Iscsi software. Use a dedicated switch and you'll be fine and dandy. if you use hyper v you can failover in real time between the clustered nodes or move the virtual servers from one cluster to the other use virtual machine manager in a short space of time.

    If you ensure that key services are available on each cluster you'll be nice and secure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by strawberry View Post
    I would be tempted to not use 3 hosts, I'd use 2 sets of 2 with 2 seperate sans. Lots of processor and ram on the hosts, and 2 Mirrored system disks then find some beefy servers and use something like starwind's Iscsi software. Use a dedicated switch and you'll be fine and dandy. if you use hyper v you can failover in real time between the clustered nodes or move the virtual servers from one cluster to the other use virtual machine manager in a short space of time.

    If you ensure that key services are available on each cluster you'll be nice and secure.
    Or get a SAN with dual head clustered failover, which would work must better than 2 seperate SANS.

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    Another BIG fan of Sun / Oracle here. Have 2 x 7110's and they are great. At the time I bought them with the Sun Matching Grant program they were 1/8th of the price of dell or 1/4 of the price of hitatchi so it was a no brainer for me. Even if you don't take into consideration the price their arguably better than dell / hitatchi anyway.

    Unfortunatly not sure if Oracle will be doing matching grant like Sun did. We can live in hope.

    Butuz

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    Fifth'd or Sixth'd support for Oracle Sun S7000.

    I haven't got time to write everything I'd like to say, PM me with a contact number if you'd like to chat.

    • You get the whole software stack and all updates in the price. NetApp and most of the other big players will gouge you when you want to buy a new software licence (10k for NFS, not kidding).
    • The hardware is enterprise-grade (redundant components, clustering support, etc.).
    • The Fishworks interface is the big one for me - usability on most SANs (NetApp and EMC spring to mind) is something of a nightmare, Fishworks really couldn't be easier.
    • DTrace = Awesome.


    Happy to talk sometime, spent a lot of time trying to work out what was best for us, already had a NetApp FAS2020, went for a S7410.

    Chris

  18. Thanks to Duke from:

    albertwt (15th February 2011)

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