Servers and SAN - Suggestions?
Some time ago I posted about a server upgrade I was proposing, and the various options i was considering... well, finally I've been given the ok!
I've been looking at blades, using the IBM bladecentre S with built in hard drive enclosure, and with my budget (17K) can afford 2 blades (I have to include UPS at £3800 and NAS at £1100 int he 17K too which is helpful!). I'm planning on virtualizing the entire network over time, starting with the DCs and document servers, and then eventually SIMS (prob when sql 2008 is supported) and all of our other servers as they become too old.
I've come round to thinking however that although blades are neat, reduced power etc etc, I would be limiting myself in terms of storage and vendor lock-in, and as I can only afford 2 blades at the moment I may consider my options.
I'm now wondering whether I can afford maybe 3 powerful rackmounts and a dedicated SAN that I can then expand in the future. I see many people on here are fans of the Sun 7100 SAN. I was originally looking as using iSCSI, but I am interested as to whether i can afford fibre. The suppliers I am speaking to were great for the blades, but I'm not sure they have too much experience with SANs. Anyone got any good suggestions for a SAN and the supporting hardware I would need to purchase? Rackmount-wise I'll probably look at the usual HP and IBMs and whack in a couple of disks and 24Gb ram. I was also thinking, as I'm not too familiar with the fibre channel business, I have out old backbone switch that has about 8 fibre ports, would this be any use for connecting the fibre? Thoughts are much appreciated as I want to get a solution specced and purchased before the end of the hols so I can begin migration as soon as possible (yes, would have been nice to have been able to do this over the summer wouldnt it!)