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NetApp SAN Choice

Posted on 2011-02-15
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We are evaluating a NetApp storage appliance; particularly the FAS2040. We've come to a cross road in our decision to go with SAS or SATA drives. We're running a medium sized business SQL, Exchange, and general file services. Is the speed of a SAS drive worth the additional expense or should I save my money for other areas and just stick with SATA disks?

Any thoughts about deduplication of data on our production SAN through NetApp?

Thanks in advance!
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Question by:pitchford
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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Many of our clients are using DeDupe and NFS on NetApps now, rather than iSCSI and creating LUNs.

They tend to use SATA for off-site DR with Snap Mirror, than use for production, because of performance, SAS is used for NFS/iSCSI VMware volumes for virtual machines, SQL, Exchange.

But they use standard SATA to provide File Services via CIFs.

So high performing VMs are on SAS.
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paulsolov earned 250 total points
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For SQL and Exchange I would opt for the SAS drives.  Although for a smaller company SATA may work the IOPS and future requirements may give you performance bottlenecks.  

In the future you could always add a DS14 shelf with 14 1TB drives for CIFS or some of the low IOPS virtual machines.

I just finished a project today and deduplication is about 50% on a volume with application servers and 40% on CIFS (lots of CAD drawing nd binary files that don't dedupe very well.  On regular shares we get about 50-60).  Typically deduplication is in the range of 30-60 percent.  

Will you be running SQL and Exchange in a VM or physical?

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@hanccoka:  I spoke to a several Netapp engineers that came to us for a debriefing.  Going forward Netapp may be pushing iSCSI for VMs due to multipath capability and the ability to run more sessions in an etherchannel or LAG. Interestingly the tech stated that if we're using NFS we should probably sell it with vRanger for the file level restore vs selling flexclone which is not cheap
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by:pitchford
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paulsolov- Our intent is to run SQL and Exchange in the VM.

After reading these comments I believe we may separate our file shares (approx 500 GB) on SAS drives and leave the VM files on SAS.

Should I also consider putting our MDFs/LDFs and Exchange data stores outside the VMDK (direclty on a SAS share)?

My intent for using FC is requirements placed for Cisco Call Manager virtualization. Apparently Cisco currently requires FC SANs and when we get ready to migrate our VoIP network I don't want to have to reengineer our SAN...
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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@paulsolov: Maybe that's across the pond, we've always deployed NetApp FC or iSCSI solutions, but NetApp here in the UK, push NFS very heavily to clients. (maybe due to the cost of NFS license maybe!)
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We've been doing a lot of NFS as well but long term plans are to go with iSCSI
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