?
Solved

Building a SAN (Storage Area Network) from an old server

Posted on 2007-10-20
7
Medium Priority
?
954 Views
Last Modified: 2013-11-14
Hello
I have an old poweredge sever that I want to make into a SAN.  However, I don't really now what OS to use.  This is only for education/play but I want it to have the best performance possible at the cheapest price as possible, preferrably free and/or open-source.  I also know that I can use iSCSI but I would like to know what other alternatives are available.  The key goal here is to just become famliar the working of an as close to production class SAN as possible (EMC CX maybe - budget permiting) and run a couple of test clusters on it.  Any help or direction is very much appreciated.
Thx
0
Comment
Question by:CeLLuS
5 Comments
 
LVL 97

Accepted Solution

by:
Lee W, MVP earned 500 total points
ID: 20115563
SAN equipment tends to be VERY specialized... The exception being something like iSCSI.  But iSCSI requires software that will let the system act as an iSCSI target.  I believe such software exists for free on Linux, but I'm not aware of any currently free Windows solutions.

You can familiarize yourself with NAS technology using something like FreeNAS - a linux based system designed to act as a NAS.  But otherwise, I don't know that you'll be able to do what you want without spending some money or at least knowing linux.  

Once you have an iSCSI target setup, the iSCSI initiator for Windows is free, so you should be able to connect to it from as many windows systems as you like.

Some possible options/articles
http://articles.techrepublic.com.com/5100-9592_11-5888332.html:
http://www.zdnetasia.com/techguide/storage/0,39045058,39291568,00.htm
0
 
LVL 5

Assisted Solution

by:kkrans
kkrans earned 500 total points
ID: 20116567
Hi,

Get one of thiese with iSCSI license. Must be among the cheapest iSCSI targets around.

http://www.snapserver.com/snap/en-US/Products/hw/servers/ss110
0
 
LVL 30

Assisted Solution

by:Duncan Meyers
Duncan Meyers earned 500 total points
ID: 20120719
Have a look at FreeNAS (http://www.freenas.org/) which includes an iSCSI target. This will give you a good opportunity to have a bit of a play with iSCSI - but it is not the same a a true SAN system. Enterprise class SAN systems tend to run there own OS, and the code is proprietary. The best way to get familiar with an EMC CLARiiON is to go to EMC's web site (http://www.emc.com/techlib) and read through some of the whitepapers there. The document entitled "Introduction to Fibre Channel Storage" is a good place to start.

One thing worth looking at is NetApp's simulator - register at http://now.netapp.com. The sim runs on a Linux system and looks and feels like a NetApp filer/SAN system.
0
 
LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:kkrans
ID: 20134301
Yeah, fibre SAN is different than a iSCSI IP SAN but the principle is the same.

Unfortunately it will swallow loads of funds to invest in a FC SAN just to play around.

If you wanna do the fibre way i'd say the MSA 1000 box (old) by HP is nice one and also Sun ST2540 is bang for the buck. You should get a FC switch and some HBA cards to get a proper system and it will swallow quite some funds.

Configuration for IP SAN is very easy and everybody can learn that quite quick. FC stuff is more complicated but can be very rewarding as a learning experience.

Good luck!
0
 
LVL 14

Assisted Solution

by:arthurjb
arthurjb earned 500 total points
ID: 20149668
The newest version of Solaris 10 which is a free download at http://www.sun.com has the ability to do iSCSI target and initiator, so you could use a system as a san.  This means that it can be a client or a server.

Most other OS's just have the ability to accept drives as clients, but not send drive as servers.

Like kkrans said fibre stuff is really expensive for the average home user, since a controller alone can cost more than a decent laptop...
0

Featured Post

Free Tool: SSL Checker

Scans your site and returns information about your SSL implementation and certificate. Helpful for debugging and validating your SSL configuration.

One of a set of tools we are providing to everyone as a way of saying thank you for being a part of the community.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Windows Server 2003 introduced persistent Volume Shadow Copies and made 2003 a must-do upgrade.  Since then, it's been a must-implement feature for all servers doing any kind of file sharing.
Article by: evilrix
Looking for a way to avoid searching through large data sets for data that doesn't exist? A Bloom Filter might be what you need. This data structure is a probabilistic filter that allows you to avoid unnecessary searches when you know the data defin…
This Micro Tutorial will teach you how to reformat your flash drive. Sometimes your flash drive may have issues carrying files so this will completely restore it to manufacturing settings. Make sure to backup all files before reformatting. This w…
In this video, Percona Director of Solution Engineering Jon Tobin discusses the function and features of Percona Server for MongoDB. How Percona can help Percona can help you determine if Percona Server for MongoDB is the right solution for …
Suggested Courses

862 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question