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Thin Client and Virtual Machines Thread, 10K in Technical; Originally Posted by Ric_ *Cough|* Ebay *cough* 16 x HP ProLiant BL460c w/ 2x Quad-Core Xeon L5420 2.5Ghz BL c7000 ...
  1. #31

    garethedmondson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ric_ View Post
    *Cough|* Ebay *cough* 16 x HP ProLiant BL460c w/ 2x Quad-Core Xeon L5420 2.5Ghz BL c7000 Blade Server | eBay

    Leaves you with 5k for switches, storage and a lot of power connections.
    Spooky - just been speaking to a refurb supplier about these.

    Gareth

  2. #32

    glennda's Avatar
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    Personally I would say 3 x hosts. then buy a large Supermicro machine and install Open-E for a SAN solution using SAS drives, Open-E do deals on server licensing for education on the cheap and you can build a large drive.

  3. #33
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    Take a look on the Broadberry website - you can do some pretty nifty custom server designs that would fit your needs.

    Server 2012 with its 'almost real time mirroring' mode makes a SAN nearly useless as the data is duplicated between the two hosts and in small-medium installs this will be cheaper than having a SAN.

    10k will buy you quite a lot of nice kit but do remember you need software (if you don't already have Server 2012 cals through EES/SA) as well so don't forget to factor that in!

  4. #34

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    Ok, as your post was a little aggressive @Punkfish, I think I need to give a bit of a reasoned response.

    This obsession with a SAN is pointless. A SAN is a specific piece of technology, an appliance if you will. We have shared storage which does all of what you discuss, but using a normal server. It isn't a special piece of kit.

    So, personally I'd say that we should possibly stop using the term 'SAN' and use 'Shared Storage' instead.

    A 2 server + shared storage solution is totally possible on a 10k budget. You just have to choose your components carefully.

    I do agree though about the need for shared storage, doing it with replication or the like is adding extra software complexity to the solution that is more than likely going to come and bite you in the rear at some point. Follow the 'KISS' principal. Which is why I went for a simple Windows Server 2012 + Hyper-V using SMB3 solution. It took barely 10 minutes to configure once Server 2012 and Hyper-V were installed. Creating a server and enabling failover is a matter of a few clicks. No need for iSCSI, which face it, most people don't have the experience of in schools to be able to diagnose if it goes wrong - but they do know about standard Windows shares.

    There's no need for extra specialist storage server software etc.

  5. Thanks to localzuk from:

    sparkeh (30th November 2012)

  6. #35

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    I was speaking to Luke @Millgate today and he is starting a HP offer soon, I think he said Monday (3rd December).

    Might be worth a word

  7. #36
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    Hi,

    I agree that the word SAN could be substituted for shared storage, however a SAN is an optimised device that will provide better performance for similiar money to a specced up server (I am obviously not advocatinh EMC, NetApp or other lagre vendors here).

    In the end it will just as easily come down to comfort levels with the technology, and some peole may feel more comfortabele with server based storwage than trying to take on board a new storage technologies as well as virtualisation

  8. #37
    zag
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    Quote Originally Posted by broc View Post
    There was a thread on here a while back which suggested we can make life very complicated for ourselves with technology

    We used to run our school on 7 seperate physical servers until BSF came along. Now we have a SAN and a dual VMWare cluster configured for high availability, with dedicated iSCSI switches & redundancy all over the place. It was not cheap... the irony is that we are delivering no more useful services or functionality to our end users than we were before BSF; true, we can cope with failure with less down time (in theory) but in the 7 years I ran our old low budget network we had two server failures of around 1/2 day which took out part of our operation. One of these was due to a serverboard dying (requiring cannibalisation of another server), the other a disk failure in a RAID array that took forever to rebuild.

    Virtualisation is a techies dream (& nightmare)..... where I work we are pulling out of our managed service , to do this I have to migrate from VMWare to Hyper-V, add another server to the cluster, add extra disks to the SAN, & we need to sort out local & offsite backups. It is going to cost .... & we still won't be delivering any more services to our end users.

    Don't let technology blind you ...... I would happily go back to a simpler environment
    Excellent post that. I've always gone by the mantra of keeping things simple so they are easily fixed, easily replaced and dont cost much to upgrade.

    The post below by Punkfish also makes some excellent points as well though. I certainly will consider in the future the idea of higher RAM/Less machines.

    P.s. I bet my SSD servers have higher IOPS than any of your SAN's

  9. #38

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Punkfish View Post
    Hi,

    I agree that the word SAN could be substituted for shared storage, however a SAN is an optimised device that will provide better performance for similiar money to a specced up server (I am obviously not advocatinh EMC, NetApp or other lagre vendors here).

    In the end it will just as easily come down to comfort levels with the technology, and some peole may feel more comfortabele with server based storwage than trying to take on board a new storage technologies as well as virtualisation
    I agree they are similar in technologies but disagree on the money part. A SAN costs a lot of money, plain and simple. A server with hard disks and Windows Server is always going to be cheaper, and the speed will be similar in the environments we work in.

  10. #39
    zag
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    Also forgot to mention our 3000Volt APC's cost 2 grand each, the server cabinet another 2k and the Rack monitor and keyboard/mouse pullout the same.

    So probably looking at 18k for the full virtualization rollout.

    One thing to remember is you don't have to do it all at the same time. It can be built in stages.

  11. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by garethedmondson View Post
    Spooky - just been speaking to a refurb supplier about these.

    Gareth
    I was half joking about that... the C7000 requires HUGE power inputs. The C3000 is a better bet (single phase and regular power connections) and the chassis will last forever so you could buy a second user/refurb unit with older blades (quad-core Xeons) and then upgrade the blades and networking later when funds allow.

    The point @localzuk makes about it being shared storage and not necessarily a typical SAN is also very valid. Just make sure you have plenty of NIC links from the SAN to the hosts - a couple of decent switches for failover and port aggregation are a must. There are also some very competitive NAS solutions from the lieks of QNAP and Thecus which have Citrix/VMWare certification.

  12. #41

    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Have you considered ISCSI for shared storage? It will be cheaper.

  13. #42

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    If you have any questions regarding Open-E PM me and I can try and answer them. If you want to see how easy it is to use build a vm in virtualbox and you can test it that way.

  14. #43
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    You can get a Dell Powervault MD3200i SCSI SAN with 6x500GB NSAS (posh sata) for 5,600 EX VAT.

    (I hope you mean 10k ex VAT)

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesfed View Post
    Take a look on the Broadberry website - you can do some pretty nifty custom server designs that would fit your needs.
    I used broadberry for our junior school server and san, they are great to talk to, to make sure you get what you need. They also do educational discount

  16. #45

    glennda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TronXP View Post
    I used broadberry for our junior school server and san, they are great to talk to, to make sure you get what you need. They also do educational discount
    The engineers are pretty good too - a few of them did the Open-E course with me last month

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