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    RobFuller's Avatar
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    Lightbulb iSCSI SAN system recommendations

    We have some money left in the budget so I thought we could purchase an iSCSI SAN box to start using virtualisation properly. I have previous experiences with EMC FC SANs and have been blown away with their performance. Iím worried iSCSI just wonít cut it compared to the EMCís FC 2 GBís I know before.
    I have 3 boxes in mind which Iíve been looking at 1 of them is bit too expensive the SUN but I might be able to pull it off as it does look the best of the bunch.

    If anyone has recommendations or experiences of these boxes or any others I would greatly appreciate it.

    ē HP StorageWorks 2000i Modular Smart Array
    ē Dell PowerVault MD3000i
    ē Sun Storage 7110 Unified Storage System

    Thanks in advance!

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    The last SAN I set up was based on a standard Windows 2003 Server with...

    Insight UK - Promise VTrak M310p - Hard drive array - 12 bays... - VTRAK-M310P

    and

    SANmelody | iSCSI SAN, FC and Storage Virtualization Software

    both are very good products and I am thinking of using them again. However, I'm considering looking at

    Openfiler — Openfiler Homepage

    instead of SANMelody based on chatter on these very boards.

    One thing I will say, If you are going for a SATA RAID rather than a SAS RAID use something like

    Insight UK - WD VelociRaptor WD3000HLFS - Hard drive - 300 GB...

    instead of standard SATA drives. I think the performance of the last SAN I set up suffered because we used Hatachi 320Gb 7200rpm SATA-II drives.

  3. Thanks to tmcd35 from:

    RobFuller (6th February 2009)

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    RobFuller's Avatar
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    That has cross my mind going down the build it yourself route, I keep hearing all the time the SATA drives just wonít give you the performance, which I know if probably true to a degree. We are currently using SATA disks in our main servers at the moment; this was like that when I got here. But again performance is ok, though I do notice stutters sometimes. Havant really investigated if thatís down to poor I/O or not.

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Puget Custom Computers: SCSI vs SATA, Which is Faster?

    An interesting read on the subject. 320Mbps SCSI vs 300Mbps SATA-II? With NCQ this (dated) article is showing 10k rpm SATA drive outperforming 15k SCSI drives. I don't know how SAS effects this. If the article is anything to go by I'd say very little.

    Also, don't forget you can channel bond NIC's, to 2Gbps iSCSI is perfectly feasible.

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    Theblacksheep's Avatar
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    I've just got the HP MSA 2012i DC.

    Very easy to setup. I have gone with 6 300GB 15K SAS disk (one hot spare) for VMs (cdrives) and 6 1TB 7.5K SATA disks for backups, test, storage etc...

    Performance with iscsi is fine on the SAS, noticibly slower on sata.

    Wouldnt mind a second array with 12 450GBs SAS for user areas.

  7. Thanks to Theblacksheep from:

    RobFuller (6th February 2009)

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    RobFuller's Avatar
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    Only the SUN supports link aggregation.

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobFuller View Post
    Only the SUN supports link aggregation.
    Sorry, I was still thinking along the build your own lines. I don't know what the Openfiler software supports - although it should be just Linux. But using Windows and SANMelody, with the right NIC's it's quite easy to set up.

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    plexer's Avatar
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    Openfiler allows you to combine nics.

    Ben

  11. 2 Thanks to plexer:

    RobFuller (6th February 2009), tmcd35 (6th February 2009)

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    RobFuller's Avatar
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    Openfiler could be an option, might investigate the supported hardware list?

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    The 7110 is the most interesting of the lot.....because these are the first NAS/SAN systems from sun that build ontop of the capabilities of ZFS and the storage stack that leverages ZFS. It strikes me as the first salvo's in SUNs attempts at taking on the other notable unified storage vendor Netapp and it's competing WAFL file system.....ofcourse because ZFS and opensolaris are open source you could always have a pop at building your own storage system from supported hardware using the openstorage stack that is freely available.

    I personally would always favour the vendor supplied route for my primary storage, whether it be nas, san or both. The 7110 is interesting becuase it does multiprotocol, will be backed by SUN support presumably, and appears to have a reasonable entry level price. They've taken the hassle out of the customer building their own ZFS storage box and are obviously charging appropriately.

    How it matches up against a Netapp or an emc i really don't know....it's very new, previous to this product Sun storage offerings was stuff that was OEM'ed from DotHill, Engenio and HDS.
    The Engenio kit IBM and SGI also OEM, so they're midrange disks were a very common hardware platform in datacenters just with different badges and mgmt software depending on which vendor you went with, with the 7110 Sun are stepping out in a different direction this is all SUN developed hardware and software it appears.

    That's why a lot of people are watching very closely how this product line fares.

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    andyrite's Avatar
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    Have you looked at the Dell Equalogics PS5000 series?

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    Quote Originally Posted by torledo View Post
    The 7110 is the most interesting of the lot.....because these are the first NAS/SAN systems from sun that build ontop of the capabilities of ZFS and the storage stack that leverages ZFS.
    I've been following the ZFS file system for a while. It sounds extremely interesting. So I thought I'd compare costs.

    Sun Microsystems, United Kingdom - Sun Storage 7110 Unified Storage System

    £7800 for the Sun. I have to admit a much more reasonable price than I imagined. But...

    IBM Quad-Core, 8Gb Ram, 4xNICs, 2.4Tb storage on a Promise V-Trak DAS with SANMelody comes in at £6500

    Get rid of 2 cores, half the Ram, 2 of the NIC's and possibly go open source and you get quite a compelling iSCSI SAN solution for around £5000!

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    PeterW's Avatar
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    Get rid of 2 cores, half the Ram, 2 of the NIC's and possibly go open source and you get quite a compelling iSCSI SAN solution for around £5000!
    We did something similar for plexer using openfiler I think it was about £3k at the time (will have gone up a few hundred quid due to the weak £).

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    RobFuller's Avatar
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    The SUN system with the SAS disks I have been getting quotes for well under the £7K mark, the other 2 just over 5K for 3TB (SATA disks).

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    torledo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    I've been following the ZFS file system for a while. It sounds extremely interesting. So I thought I'd compare costs.

    Sun Microsystems, United Kingdom - Sun Storage 7110 Unified Storage System

    £7800 for the Sun. I have to admit a much more reasonable price than I imagined. But...

    IBM Quad-Core, 8Gb Ram, 4xNICs, 2.4Tb storage on a Promise V-Trak DAS with SANMelody comes in at £6500

    Get rid of 2 cores, half the Ram, 2 of the NIC's and possibly go open source and you get quite a compelling iSCSI SAN solution for around £5000!
    tut tut. Looking at list prices of the SUN......cardinal mistake.

    Also with the SAN melody aren't you just adding an unnecessary software layer ? ZFS and the sun stack can do snapshotting and other funky stuff. I don't know if it does thin provisioning, but it wouldn't be hard for SUN to add that feature. I like the SANmelody product especially with all the bells and whistle but what advantage did you get from it with your environemtn ?

    My impression was it really comes into it's own when you want to virtualize different commodity storage arrays. I don't see it's advantage when your looking at purchasing a single array.

    Also, have you got three seperate support contracts to manage with your DIY soluton....or will datacore handle break fix of the ibm and v-trak products on your behalf ?, in either case the SUN is a minor premium to get a single set of hardware and port of call for support. Not that i don't like your DIY suggestion, it's just i don't think the bottom line is always the bottom line if you get my drift.
    Last edited by torledo; 6th February 2009 at 04:41 PM.



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