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IBM DS3300 and ESXi 4

Posted on 2009-07-05
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I'm currently designing a new system using the IBM DS3300 and ESXi4.
I'd appreciate any remarks and suggestions before I'll continue with purchase this solution.

Storage : IBM DS3300 iSCSI Dual Controller with 10 X 450Gb SAS 15K.
VM : VMware ESXi 4
2 Servers : IBM x3550 (2 X QC E5420, 8Gb RAM, 2 X 146Gb SAS, Qlogic Dual Port iSCSI HBA)

Maximum Concurrent users : 15

Storage:
1. 2 X 450 RAID1, 1 X LUN for ESX1
2. 2 X 450 RAID1, 1 X LUN for ESX2
3. 6 X 450 RAID10, 2 X LUN for data inc. Exch., SQL, FS, ISO

ESX1:
VM1 = Server 2003 Std.(DC1) + Exch. + SQL, XOsoft for SW replication to DC2. Resources: 1CPU, 4Gb RAM
VM2 = Server 2003 + Blackberry software. Resources: 1CPU, 1Gb RAM

ESX2:
VM1 = Server 2003 Std.(DC2) + Exch. + SQL, XOsoft replica server. Resources: 1CPU, 4Gb RAM
VM2 = Server 2008 + TS + Office2007 + SAP Business One. Resources: 1CPU, 4Gb RAM

Backup:
Arcserve installed on ESX1/VM1 running D2D2T (External Tape) and DeDup. D2D will perform to local HDD on server.

Q's:
1. Running this configuration, will the users fill any performance problem?
2. Is there any reason way not connect the iSCSI HBA's from the storage to the servers directly? If we'll add a server, I'll add a switch.
3. Any problems with this configuration?
4. Using this HW, will I be able to use vMotion and HA, if I'll upgrade the VMware software?
5. Using this SW and HW, is it possible to change the size of a partition (add another HDD to and existing LUN)?
6. Are there any problems sharing the same VMFS running these SW and HW?
7. Are the RAID's and LUN's configuration correct?

Thanks.
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Question by:OrenRozen
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za_mkh earned 350 total points
ID: 24780814

First point: To use Vmotion or HA or DRS, you would need Virtual Center with the approriate licenses to allow you to do this.  Once you have this ... it can then normally be left to VC with DRS to split the VM's across your ESX / ESXi Hosts so you don't have to worry about which ESX host runs which VM. Also,  You can use ESXi with all the features of Vmotion/HA/ etc if it is so licenced.

For any of the above features to work, all your VM's would need to be on a storage medium that is accessible to both (or more) ESX/i hosts. So you will need to present all your luns to all your ESX servers for it to work.
1) For 15 users, your disk carving strategy should be more than ample.
2) I don't understand you here, but you should save yourself the pain and add a dedicated switch just for ISCSI traffic now. It will make your life easier if you need to add another server to your cluster later on. If you connect it directly now (i guess using a cross over cable) .. it will mean downtime in the future.
3) Have answered your question above
4) Answered above
5) Depends on your SAN hardware ... probably not .. with our SAN, we can thin provision volumes from the SAN so that a server sees e.g a 2TB volume but it is residing on say 300GB of physical storage. So ESX sees 2TB, and as we fill up the phsycial storage we can add more disks to the Array/LUN without affecting the LUN configuration from ESX's point of view.
6) That's an art all to itself. But since you are using ISCSI, ensure your ISCSI network is gigabit.
7) I would say RAID is correct, and your LUNs could be correct. I wouldn't know. Just remember that all your traffic at the end of the day goes to the same controllers on your storage array. If you have space to spare, make everything RAID 10 ... for additional redundancy at the cost of losing some capacity. You have 15 users and with your software that you use, I don't think you would see a negative performance if you did so.
 
My only concern is the way you wish to implement your backup. If possible don't run the backup software in a VM. Run this on a physical seperate server. Also if you are backing up your VM's with backup agents installed on the guests, you will affect server performance on the ESX hosts when backups are taking place. Maybe you should also look at VCB and VMWare related backup tools such as VizionCore vRanger / Veeam Backup , etc.
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by:nappy_d
nappy_d earned 150 total points
ID: 24780946
Only thing to add to za_mkh. VMWare's VCB is compatible with ArcServe and they have a module to support this. It is worth paying for.

Also, double up on your RAM in both ESX host. If you are considering HA, you better have the available RAM to startup y hosts in the event of a failover.
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