iSCSI storage for vSphere (SMB)

glenmos used Ask the Experts™
Please recommend cost-effective iSCSI storage model for new vSpere deployment for SMB - 2 ESX server custer, VMs - 4 mail servers (Lotus Domino), 2 file servers, 2 DCs, 100 users, under 1TB storage needs.

Need a reliable shared storage but with limited budged under 10K. A dual controller HP MSA2000i would be OK but a bit over budget - here it is over 11k without disks.

Is there any option, which can give confidence that it will not break and stop all services, or the budget is too tight?

Taking other approach, how much would you spend for reliable storage in small environment described above?

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Senior IT Advisor
Top Expert 2008
Take a look at used MSA2000i you can get good deals on Ebay or used, they have a 3 year warranty and you can get extended warranty.  

Also take a look at a Dell MD3000i or a NetApp 2020

If you're really on a budget you can get something like a Iomega IX4-200R and use the extra funds for vm backups and/or replication.

Top Expert 2009

Try thecus n7700pro, probably the cheapest iscsi solution for SMB, dont think it will go beyond $5K
You could spend the xtra $$$ to setup dedicated network for iscsi, this is important for optimal storage performance
Check out
and btw, it is vmware hcl certified ocfoz


Thanks, paulsolov! Fortunately (or unfortunately) we look for new equipment ;-) Wile checking your models, I've found EMC ClariiOn AX4, which also has inexpensive dual-board configuration. Do you have any experience with it?

Thanks, ryder0707! Actually not looking for cheapest solution. Switches etc already allocated separately. Indeed looking for storage solution, which, fully redundand, would be under 10K without drives.

To all, are SATA drives OK in our case or SAS is a must? We will have 8-10 VMs.

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Top Expert 2009

If you have budget for SAS then i suggest to forget about SATA
Hi, just a thing to look at, Iomega has supported storage solutions available for a fair price
The following systems are supported and work fine for small environments.

Iomega® StorCenter™ ix4-200d NAS
Iomega® StorCenter™ ix2-200NAS

Both are nfs ready for vmware so it would be a cheap solution, both systems have raid capability and available in 19” models

Hope this will give you an idea that storage for small environments don’t have to cost much.

Good luck


Are there any other entry level external iSCSI arrays with dual controllers / PSU. under 10K?

The idea is to install single unit fully redundand and sleep well.
Top Expert 2009
Try QNAP, they have many models certified by vmware as well

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