Appropriate storage solution, DAS or SAN, old HP server to new Dell server

Posted on 2009-12-22
Last Modified: 2013-11-14
I am looking for a solution to growing data needs as well as planning for a future VM infrastructure.

This is a small environment with current three servers running 2003 and one Citrix server running 2008. We currently have about 400 GB in RAID 5 on a HP ProLiant G3 server. Space will be running out soon and I got approved a budget of $8600 for an MD1000. Earlier in the year I thought getting a Dell MD1000 with 3.15 Terabytes of space configured in a RAID10 would be an appropriate solution for 3-5 years of data growth.

I was told back then the MD1000 would work with an Adaptec SAS-4800 card in my HP ProLiant server. Now I'm not so sure.

And now I'm wondering if I can find a solution budget that will also:

1) Be accessible from more than one server (in case the DFS host server goes down)
2) Be usable in a VM infrastructure in a fail-over scenario

I don't want to go under the 3 terabytes available solution.

Any advice? I need to find a solution and order before the year is up. In about six months we'll be purchasing a new Dell server that will become the file server and also a VM host.


The HP ProLiant server has a PCI-X (not express) slot available. The plan is to move the MD1000 to the new Dell server....
Question by:sweetseater
    LVL 35

    Accepted Solution

    From what you mentioned above it definitely sounds like you will need some type of a SAN. This is especially necessary if you are planning on having VMs on it with failover.

    I would reccomend you taking a quick look at the HP storage solutions app to determine what they have that will meet your needs.

    One other thing you should also check out is the VMware supported hardware list

    These two should give you a good place to begin your search for the right product.

    Author Comment

    That led me to do some more research on a SAN. It looks like FC is cheaper than iSCSI. And there are other components involved (such as dual cards for servers and network switches). It doesn't look like I can get a SAN anywhere near my price range. I'd be willing to get the components now with less storage and then add some later, but it doesn't look possible in the price range. Thoughts?
    LVL 24

    Assisted Solution

    If you want to go for virtualization in the future, dont buy md1000, it wont work with esx/esxi, you'll end up spending buying on other model if you decide to install vmware
    maybe I'm wrong but you can verify yourself at
    You can try to look at iscsi solution like equallogic, netapp, thecuss, lefthand, etc
    You need shared storage tech like fc san, iscsi or nfs to be able to use vSphere advance features, no point of having the entire storage attached to a single host
    LVL 32

    Expert Comment

    The MD3000 can attach to up to four servers for shared storage.  You will just have to verify with dell if it will work this way with non Dell Servers.

    Author Comment

    Thanks guys. Yes, the MD1000 is no longer the correct solution. It looks like a NetApp FAS2000 will do the trick and is very close to my budget. My concern was about performance, but it looks like it's good enough to host 4-8 VMs on two different machines (no Exchange and no serious SQL Server).

    It looks like it will allow me to add what looks like local storage to the Windows 2003 server for DFS as well as grow later when I want to virtualize.

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