Entry Level SAN for 2 host ESX vSphere Setup

Neranel used Ask the Experts™

We are looking at replacing out existing physical server netowrk with a single rack with with 2 ESX Servers (Looking at the HP DL 385 G6 with 2 - 6 Core 2.1 GHz Processors and 32 GB RAM on each Server) to Virtualize 7-8 Production Servers and Several Tesing or Demonstration Virtual Images. The question I am having trouble answering is which SAN solution to use in the solution. We want to take advantage of vMotion and High Availability. I would prefere to work with iSCSI, but am not absolutely opposed to working with Fiber Channel.

Some SAN Solutions we are considering are:

Promise vTrac VTM310i (I know there is currently a driver issue with ESX 4 and this device, but Promise informed me that they have this resolved, and expect an update to be released next week)

Refurbished HP SAN (Still gathering information on this option)

I would love to work with a LeftHand SAN, but fear that they are priced beyond our budget, if anyone has any information on a LeftHand in the Entry Level Range, or a refurbished i would be greatly interested. I have worked with LeftHand SANs before and love the capabilities.

In the end we would like 4+ TB before RAID in capacity at the minimum, we are looking at RAID 10 for performance reasons.

Any information you may be able to send my way would be greatly appreciated. Please reply here or send me an email directly, ryan.ford@perryman-sw.com. We are also looking to offer solutions such as these with our other products to our customers, so if there is a channel program i should check out, also please include.
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Senior IT Advisor
Top Expert 2008
If you're looking for an HP you may want to look at the HP 2000, a HP MSA 2012 comes in an iSCSI or FibreChanell version.  A customer was able to purchase one used for half price of new. Just make sure you can transfer ownership since it comes with a default 3 year onsite coverage.  I have set it up with vSphere and didn't have any issues.

You may also look at the NetApp FAS2020, the nice piece about this unit is that you can do iSCSI, FC, and NFS (faster then iSCSI).  You can also do CIFS on it and perhaps consolidate some of your file servers.
za_mkhIT Manager
I would also recommend looking at the Sanmelody / Datacore SAN solution (www.datacore.com) It is sort of disk agnostic. Works over FC or ISCSI. Good value for money.
You can also take a look at Dell PowerVault MD3000i iSCSI Array.

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Top Expert 2014
For just 2 hosts you're better off with SAS, MSA2000 G2 supports up to four hosts with redundant connections, G1 goes up to two hosts redundantly connected..


Thank you all for your great comments.  Now I extend this question, has anyone used the D-Link iSCSI DSN-2100-10?  If so, did it work well?


Product was spouted, but know whys or real substance to any suggestion, also no answer to my followup question.

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