iSCSI Overheads. Are there any?
I am looking to consolidate all our file storage onto our SAN box, mainly because of disk space issues.
Currently we have a server 2003 standard SP1 file server which performs the job fine for serving home directories and profiles out on the network. Itís a Dual Intel Xeon processor HP Proliant with 4gb ram and hardware RAID5.
I have a SNAP Server 520 which is our NAS box but can also act as an iSCSI target so my plan was to migrate all the directories onto the snap server, rebuild the server 2003 and install 2003 R2 mainly on this because I keen on introducing quotas and am really impressed with the new quota features and reporting in R2.
I was then going to install the Microsoft iSCSI initiator on the 2003 server and set up a iSCSI link with the server, I have done this as a test and it seems to work fine, mind you I have not setup any CHAP security or IPSEC. I wanted to ask is this necessary and will it cause any more overhead between the initiator and target?
Currently the data is served out on a 400gb RAID 5 configuration (hardware RAID) on Ultra320 SCSI 10rpm disks, now the SNAP server currently utilises SATA disks in a RAID5 config. I currently host some of our shared areas on the SNAP server and in terms of performance we donít seem to have any issues (at the moment!), itís probably faster than the file server (probably because of low overheads as its based on Guardian OS linux).
Now with the SAN bloc which is directly attached to the SNAP, I can either invest in some SATA disks or I can go for SAS which will give me additional storage, all I do is buy some news disks and setup a new volume, obviously with SATA I will get more space for the money but then SAS claims it will offer better performance due to faster disk access.
My main question is with the windows server and iSCSI initiator, does anyone know if this will introduce overheads where the performance of getting access to files will drop. Will it place unreasonable demands on our switch and network cards on both the HP and snap server (we only have 1 1gb card on the HP server and 2 on the snap).
The SNAP was configured in a bonding mode with the network but iSCSI didn't seem to work with this so only one network is activated at the moment.
If anyone can offer any advice, especially if you use a snap server as an iSCSI target, it would be most appreciated..