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Inexpensive, reasonably priced SAN solution to work as storage for ESX VM's secondary drives

Posted on 2010-04-06
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Last Modified: 2013-11-14
I have my first esx server. I need an inexpensive san solution that will allow me to use the san as the location for my vm's secondary drives.

i got a quote on what was suppose to be an inexpensive emc ax4....that quote was $20k. im looking for $8k mmmaaayybbbeee 10k.

ideas?
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Question by:justyn8490
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Expert Comment

by:Duncan Meyers
ID: 29959582
A NetApp FAS2020 is in your budget range. NetApp's entry level kit is seriously good value, and it gives you plenty of room to grow.

Have a look at http://www.netapp.com/us/products/storage-systems/fas2000/ for more information.
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by:spogs
ID: 29970760
A cheaper solution to NetApp is Synology.  

Have a look ... http://www.synology.com


You would have to use iSCSI to map the drives to your VM Server.
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by:Paul Solovyovsky
ID: 29981532
Only issue with Netapp is that you have to buy NFS license,otherwise you'll use double the space if you use snapshots on the iscsi LUN.  On the other hand if you have the funds for NFS and Snapmanager for VI it will make your life a lot easier.  The dedupe on the VMs is well worth it (we're getting about 30-50% dedupe on the VMs.  

Not sure if Synology is on the VMware HCL, when issues arises and you want to be sure that it's been tested otherwise the support may not be fully there for you when something hits the fan.  If your job is on the line I'd go with the Netapp

A cheap solution that's still supported would be a HP MSA2000i series, nothing fancy but will get the job done and for $10k you can get two controllers for redundancy.

How much storage do you need?
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Handy Holder earned 1500 total points
ID: 29990781
Another iSCSI box in the same price range as HP's MSA2000i is Dell's MD3000i, I don't generally like Dell kit but it's made by LSI Logic really, just like the MSA2000 is made by Dot Hill. Again buy a dual controller model.
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by:justyn8490
ID: 30026880
For the mmediate future I need about 2 tb, but I'd prob use that up within 2 years. But 2 tb would do for now
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by:justyn8490
ID: 30039131
I went to Dell's site and got a price of $9k on this config:

8 1 tb sata drives
one dual port controller(to get 2 dual port its an extra $2000, is it worth it?)
Snapshot feature license
remote installation

To get 15 500 gb near-line sas drives it adds about $500.
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by:Handy Holder
ID: 30043418
I can't see any reason to pay for hardware snapshot when ESX has its own. HP's web price will probably be higher but a reseller will give you a lower bid. I wouldn't use near-line drives, 450GB SAS are probably the best deal for size/performance.

A dual controller is well worth it if you want redundancy and to avoid not knowing what was in cache if a controller fails, the DEll disables the write cache in single controller models by default I think not sure whether the HP does or not.

You could get a bid on IBM DS as well.
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by:justyn8490
ID: 30241875
i talked to a dell rep, md3000i with dual controllers, 9 500 gb near line sas drives $6300. and he said it will be cheaper near the end of the month.
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by:Paul Solovyovsky
ID: 30242578
All the vendors will be offering discounts as it is end of year for them and they're trying to make their numbers look good.  

What type of VMs are you going to run?  We should probably try to fit the solution with what you're trying to use it for.
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by:justyn8490
ID: 30243312
currently have a dell r610 with esxi. there is a windows 2003 web server on it right now and a windows server 2000 machine. but i dont have a whole lof of drive space on the esx host, so i'll need to start housing them on the san that i purchase. i think in total i wont have more than 6 VM's on this host, running server 2000 or 2003.
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by:Paul Solovyovsky
ID: 30244701
If you're looking to do this for servers with not a lot of IOPS then any of the SANs will do the trick.

You may want to spend the any extra money on a second ESX/ESXi server and setup shared storage.  If the host dies you lose all the servers.

Right now for $500 you can get vSphere Essentials that will give you up to 6 ESX hosts and vCenter with one year support.  You will not have DRS, HA, etc.. but if one of the hosts fails you can manually register on the secon host and do load balancing by shutting down the VMs and moving them to each host.

Another issue to look into is how are you going to do backups.
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by:Handy Holder
ID: 30323238
I thought vSphere Essentials was just 3 hosts Paul? Not that it matters, 3 is a nice balance with 2 running and one down for maintenance.
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by:Paul Solovyovsky
ID: 30367323
That's correct, Essentials is up to 3 hosts.  My understanding was that there was only one host for now and my suggestion was to have at least 2.  You will not get DRS, HA, etc.. but I've done manual takeover of VMs connected to the same NFS extent or LUN.  Essentials Plus is about $3k more and gives you some of the other options but is still cheaper than standard, enterprise, etc.. for up to 3 hosts.
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by:webbster20
ID: 30400283
If you go NetApp, speak to a sales rep and request TR's first.

You don't ALWAYS use double the space for LUNs, only if you don't thin provision. If you do go NetApp, please fight for a 2040. There's a valuable secret hidden in that box that I can't divulge, but if you look at the specs for the 20x0 series, you'll see it.
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by:Paul Solovyovsky
ID: 30436618
@webbster20:  I agree with the thin provisioning, but I'm not sure if the 2040 will support Ontap 8, I do like that it has 4 nic ports per head.  Just finished NCDA this weekend and will get some hands on this week on a few of these.
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by:webbster20
ID: 30437386
It's not necessarily the NICs, it's the horsepower.

Also, I think it will support 8. Speak to a sales rep for more info. That's all I can say without violating anything.

Also, remember taking a 'hammer' to a FAS is not supported, but cool for an example.
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Author Closing Comment

by:justyn8490
ID: 31763124
i have not purchased anything yet but dells md3000i is the front runner so ill award points here
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