Best VMWare Shared Storage for $3000.00 Cdn?

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Hi Experts im looking for some advice on what storage unit to purchase.
Budget is Low so i need help $3000.00 Cdn

I have Two HP Dl380 G6 machines both with 24GB Ram and 4X 300GB 10K SAS drives
Running Esxi 4.0.
50 user office enviroment

Host1 has 7 Guest Win2003 machines running on local storage using 300GB drive space

I would like to use Host2 for HA
So i need to come up with a shared Storage Solution for $3000.00 CDN

I have  Qnap TS410U with four 500gb 7200 Sata drives
( too many issues with this and i wouldn't consider using it in production..shares keep going corrupt after a couple weeks use)

I was thinking of going with the DELL NX300 with 4X 500GB 7200 Sata drives as it run storage server 2008 it will support iscsi.

Should i go this route or is there something better or comprable i should be looking at?

Thanks in advance
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DavidPresident
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
pesonally, I would look for a quality used system designed for enterprise use than a new lowend system..  it is a buyers market and lots of stuff on ebay last time I looked at 25 cents on th dollar or less.
DavidPresident
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
... the reason, the Dell NX300 is nothing more than a entry-level rack mount PC running WSS.   Heck, I picked up a used 6TB Fibre channel RAID subsystem with 22 x 250GB SATA disk drives not too long ago for $1000 used.  I heavily cannibalized it and ended up reconfiguring with 4 hot spares, just in case.   Deals are out there.  Go find them.
Paul SolovyovskySenior IT Advisor
Top Expert 2008

Commented:
Take a look at used HP msa 2000. Client picked up one of crauglist new for 4k for 4tb and still under support
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Author

Commented:
paulsolov
Are you saying that this ebay item # 180526898969 will do what im after ?
sorry i know very little about The StorageWorks line
Paul SolovyovskySenior IT Advisor
Top Expert 2008

Commented:
Only on mobile right now will take a look when I'm online.  Also take a look at iomega ix4 200. It is not as robust as a San but is VMWAre certified for nfs and iscsi
DavidPresident
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
Yes, a diskless MSA2000 would be great.  Then get new disks from HP (preferable due to warranty) or lots of used disks inexpensively (well under $50 a drive) and give yourself plenty of hot spares.

Author

Commented:
Doe's the MSA2000 require an HBA card in each host and a fiber switch as well ?
probable taking me over the $3000 budget.
This is for a not for profit outfit so pennies are tight.
DavidPresident
Top Expert 2010
Commented:
it is too expensive for you if you have nothing at all, and if you are not up on FC then probably too big of a learning curve. Use iSCSI as part of the search criteria in ebay and you will find something more low-end and inexpensive. This is a great price, but if you have no FC infrastructure, then it is outside of your budget.
Paul SolovyovskySenior IT Advisor
Top Expert 2008
Commented:
The MSA2000 series comes in two flavors, one iSCSI and 1 FibreChannel.  The iscsi version does not require HBAs. The one you had looked at didnt have any drives

Author

Commented:
The one i looked at looks like it only has two external sas connectors so it wont do at all.
Im not sure this is even doable for under $3K by the looks of it...even doing the used ebay route.
Paul SolovyovskySenior IT Advisor
Top Expert 2008

Commented:
A dell nas is maybe what you can afford.  The Iomega IX4-200 is under $3k and vmware certified for nfs and iscsi, perhaps worth a look as well

Author

Commented:
Thanks

Would you suggest the Iomega ix4-200 over a dell NX300 ? I can get a new NX300 from Dell Canada for $3k I also see a few Dell NX3000 units on ebay for $3K maybe that would be better?
Paul SolovyovskySenior IT Advisor
Top Expert 2008

Commented:
I would take a look at the specs. The nice thing about running VMs on NFS is thin provisioning by default and better use of space (you can resize the NFS volume up or down without causing issues while you can only resize the LUN up in size)
Paul SolovyovskySenior IT Advisor
Top Expert 2008

Commented:
If you can get support on the Dell it may be a better deal which is why you should look at it from Dell directly.   Just make sure it's on the VMware HCL

Author

Commented:
Thanks paulsolov
the NX3000 is on the HCL but i cant find the NX300 on the list...
No Dell support on the NX300 if i bring it from US to Canada im afraid
Paul SolovyovskySenior IT Advisor
Top Expert 2008

Commented:
Pick your poison in that case.  It would probably work and VMware would support the vmware piece but if push comes to shove they can always site that it's not on the HCL.
Top Expert 2014
Commented:
>I would like to use Host2 for HA

You won't have HA if you have a Dell NX300 since that will be a single point of failure and arguably a lot less reliable than a DL380. I think thet'll be the case with the Iomega IX4-200 as well.

MSA2000 actually comes in 3 flavours, iSCSI, fibre channel and SAS attached, the sas attached MSA2000sa has two host ports per controller so is ideal for a small cluster and SAS HBAs are much cheaper than fibre channel ones.

You might be best off using a software iSCSI target under VMware as long as it replicates between the two servers, then you can make use of the internal disk bays you've got left over on the DL380s. LeftHand VSA is out of your price range being about $5000 per node, StarWind enterprise may be affordable though.

Author

Commented:
Thanks andyalder :)

option #1
just to clear thigs up...
I could purchase a MSA2000sa like this ebay item # 180526898969 and populate it with small sas drives.
Purches two of these HBA's Ebay # 120589495709
Purchase two of these external sas cables ebay# 290448566653
Plug each esxi into the msa2000sa then each Host will see the same drive configuration on the msa2000 enabling shared storage for vmotion, i could then do a clustered HA across the Esxi hosts but not the shared storage of course.(still a single point of failure)

Option B
Use the extra local storage on the two Hosts using software iscsi target and starwind enterprise to replicate the storage across the two hosts ?

Sorry for all the questions...it's not that easy to come up with an inexpensive solution im finding.
Top Expert 2014

Commented:
Just looked ebay item # 180526898969 up on the web and it's a AJ750A "HP StorageWorks MSA2000 Dual I/O 3.5 inch 12 Drive Enclosure (w/ two .6m SAS cables)" which is an expansion enclosure for a MSA2000, it's not a MSA2000 itself. It has dumb SAS interface cards in it to connect to a MSA2000sa/fc/i. You would have to remoe the dumb interface boards and replace with a couple of controllers, AJ754A which cost about $1500 each (can use one controller for non-HA solution. Here's the quickspecs of the SAS attached version, http://h18000.www1.hp.com/products/quickspecs/13045_div/13045_div.html AJ752A is the single controller SAS attached model, AJ753A is the dual controller SAS attached model.

Author

Commented:
Okay thanks for the specs andylader...

So this is what im after then? ebay # 380245809899
Top Expert 2014

Commented:
Yup, and well over $3,000 and I doubt it has any disks in it. Same people have a MSA2000i dual controller for $4,500. For HBAs for the SAS attached version you can use SC08Ge, bit cheaper than SC44Ge, but still it's over budget.

Author

Commented:
Ok thanks...think i will look at StarWinds product for now...build a guest win2k3 servers and use there HA product...see how that goes

Author

Commented:
StarWinds product for the win...help keeps the cost down !!
Thanks Guys !

Author

Commented:
Thanks Guys !!
Going with StarWinds product

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