Configuring SAN for use with VMware ESX - MOST FAULT TOLERANT CONFIG

I'd like to configure my SAN to be the most fault tolerant yet make use of the disks efficiently with VMware ESX Server.

At the SAN controller level I mirrored my two shelves (RAID10) which contain 8 drives each (total of about 1TB). I also have one ESX Server.

I am thinking of carving a LUN out of each drive and presenting that to the ESX server and configuring it as RAID5. Is this common practice? How is everyone else setting up their SAN's for use with ESX?
jbisordiAsked:
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Duncan MeyersConnect With a Mentor Commented:
RAID 5 gives you adequate redundancy, although RAID 1/0 is better if you can afford the cost penalty. 8 disks will give around 840 I/Os per second in a RAID 5 set, or about 960 I/O per second in a RAID 1/0 set.

Your LUNs should be no larger than 500GB and you should have multiple paths set up for path redundancy
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kkransCommented:
Ok, complex question will probably get a complex answer but it needs to start with a question.

What is "carving a LUN"?

Usually there is a raw LUN (allready set with appropriate RAID) presented to a ESX server which can thed be used to assign capacity to the various VMs

Hope this helps!
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Handy HolderSaggar maker's bottom knockerCommented:
You cannot mirror shelves with the MSA1500, it is just that if you use a similar number of disks on each shelf and use RAID 1+0 you end up asif the shelves were mirrored.

Also depending on your version of ESX there is a patch specific to the MSA1500, without it LUNs keep appearing and disappearing.
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Duncan MeyersCommented:
I object to the question being deleted - both andyalder's and my answers are valid and useful - and they can help others asking the same question.
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Handy HolderSaggar maker's bottom knockerCommented:
I object as well.

I'm sure we can work out what they are asking and find a solution to jbisordi's question if they come back to us on what they want. The MSA1500 isn't "most fault tolerant" since the disk shelves are single-attached (by pretty solid parallel SCSI). We're not going to get dual-attached from HP for a few months and that will be SAS, IBM has already released it twice with the DS3400 then DS3300.

I didn't even see the question until today, there's something funny going on with the display order, today's questions are listed on page 2 rather than in date order. I'd assumed people had stopped asking questions!

I can answer kkrans's query about carving off a LUN, you bung all the disks in one container and then slice LUNs off it with whatever RAID level you want. How else can you describe it; it's like turkey stuffed with a couple of ducks which have themselves been stuffed with quail. Turn-key under duck :)
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kkransCommented:
I don't mind really if it is deleted or not.

I write "complex" om my 1st post but the question is pretty basic. How do people usually assign capacity to a ESX where the answer is pretty much assigning some kind of raw-disk-device to the server where JBOD, FC, SAS or iSCSI would do the job.

HP just announced a new line of MSA product which should be more modern than the current one (not checked it out yet) Sun Storagetek also have a nice entry level SAS-SAS FC-SAS and iSCSI-SAS lines with their ST2510, 2530 and 2540, they are *very* similar to IBM DS3x

Now the question got more interesting :-)
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Handy HolderSaggar maker's bottom knockerCommented:
>Now the question got more interesting :-)
:-)
>HP just announced a new line of MSA product

Ya; done the product launch webinar but they didn't answer any tech quetions. MSA60 has just gone dual-connect for HP-UX and VMX but still single-initiator a far a Window and Linux goes. Probably be good kit by May or June.
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