We are a mid sized secondary school of around 850 pupils with about 400-450 PC's. We have three Hyper-V hosts servers running about 30 virtual servers. The host servers have a 2Gbps LACP connection to our LAN for the Hyper-V virtual switch, a 1Gbps LAN connection for us to mange them and a separate 2Gbps LACP connection to our Storage Server on a separate "Storage Network" (poor mans SAN?).
All server running Server2k8 to take advantage of SMB v2. The Network cards have TOE and Jumbo Frames enabled. All profiles, virtual hard drives, user areas, shared network drives, etc. are stored on the Storage Server. The home drives, etc are actually on the server NOT in virtual machine VHD's. The Storage Server has a 2Gbps LACP to the Storage Network and 2Gbps LACP to the main LAN so users can access their home drives. All VM traffic happens over the Storage Network.
The Storage Server: Quad Core 2.1Ghz Xeon, 6Gb Ram, Dedicated SAS Controller with plenty of cache, 16x450Gb 15k rpm SAS drives (2 hot spare, 14xRAID-50).
I'm now looking at a 8Tb Buffalo Terrastation Pro (WSS 2008) to use with Robocopy to keep a semi-live mirror of this array as part of our backup/DR plans.
As you can see, Windows 2012 Server has quiet a number of attractions with that topology (when I'm brave enough).
Last edited by tmcd35; 12th July 2012 at 12:12 PM.
Wow that's some setup you have there how long did it take to setup?
I've been NM here for 3.5yrs and I'm not finished - It's been built piece mill year by year. Next up is redoing some of the switches, and seeing if we can incorporate vLAN's and have a plan for IPv6. Managed WiFi is most likely on the horizon and the host servers will start being replaced in 2014. The last host server we bought as 24 cores and 96Gb ram so should last a while yet!
The current setup is the result of not being able to afford a proper SAN. So I've had to be creative!
Last edited by tmcd35; 12th July 2012 at 12:20 PM.
We moved into a new build in 2008 and had all new kit and were promised that we would have a decent budget year on year. As you can see that didnt happen and now were stuck with old unreliable kit.
Im still agonizing over what to do as we have the san and the 6 servers all on fibre to the brocade but if I swap to copper I would have to buy a new switch and cards to do it. Only alternative is to use the existing cards and fibre and find some decent storage. Its all a little sad really that were reduced to this.
The question is: will the exiting fibre cards fit in a new server? If not what are the cost of replacement fibre cards vs the costs of a couple of NIC's and a cheap managed switch?Im still agonizing over what to do as we have the san and the 6 servers all on fibre to the brocade but if I swap to copper I would have to buy a new switch and cards to do it. Only alternative is to use the existing cards and fibre and find some decent storage. Its all a little sad really that were reduced to this.
Im open to suggestions as there are so many ways to go about this.
If you go down the BTO route, using Windows/Linux OS, then I can't see why a supplier can't fit a fibre card in a chassis. It's just a case of the fibre card adding a few hundred £££'s to the build cost...
I think I will look at both options and make a decision from there.
I just dont want to rush in to anything and end up with some duff kit.
I have decided to get one of these to play with, built on the same platform that has been running most of our budget SANs it looks like it could bring the enterprise level features into school at a price that might keep the bursar happy.
Pricing is still sketchy but $10k including all the software seems to be the target.
tmcd35 (12th July 2012)
I echo what most people are saying..... 10K just wont get you a solid storage solution for what you are running at the moment.... I would consider showing this thread to your senior management team to get them to understand the pitfalls of under specing a storage solution.
Storage is absolute key in delivering the resources that your network community needs. NAS is good as a secondary storage solution that can work alongside a SAN, but for it to become your main storage solution I would think very carefully before you proceed.
Anyways I have used previously NAS storage from Overland SNAP range and would recommend them highly. Not only is it an excellent NAS storage box but it can act as an ISCSI entry level SAN and I be honest with you it does work very well. I am questioning whether it would be suitable in your setup though but I would consider it in your situation...
Last edited by ranj; 12th July 2012 at 08:44 PM.
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