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Storage cluster?

Posted on 2011-02-16
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I'm needing to create shared storage for my SQL Server cluster.  We do not want a SAN due to it's cost and complexity.  Rather I want to create a storage cluster using a pair of servers with direct attached storage (RAID 10).  What is the best way to get this done?  Performance and disk IO matter alot, so it needs to be fast.

It would look like this:

Server #1 + 14TB [Primary node]
Server #2 + 14TB [Hot Standby node]

**In an emergency Server #2 seamlessly picks up the load
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Question by:Phil5780
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by:Phil5780
ID: 34912086
Is Windows Storage Server 2008 able to provide clustering like this?
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dlethe earned 250 total points
ID: 34912977
I am going to assume active/passive ... because active-active, i.e, both systems reading and writing to the same volume at the same time is going to destroy your budget.

Some options are ...
1) Get an older PC and load X64 Solaris or Nexenta on it, and use the native zfs software-RAID. It is much superior to RAID1 in reliability, performance, and data integrity.  Then set up the O/S to present the shares as iSCSI target(s).

2) External FC used RAID subsystem. Lots of stuff on ebay, especially for fibre channel-based RAID. Stuff that went for $25K++ 5 years ago are in the $1000 range.
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by:andyalder
andyalder earned 250 total points
ID: 34914906
>Is Windows Storage Server 2008 able to provide clustering like this?

It can but it would cost more than a shared SAS storage box. You'd be far better off with a Dell MD3000 or HP MSA2000sa.

For example from HP side -

Dual controller SAS attached storage box...
1 * AW593A dual controller P2000 £5,750.00
4 * SAS HBAs 4 * £125 = £500
12 * 600GB 15K disks 12 * £387.83 = £4656
Total £10900

Vs
Two servers for storage (without software)
2 * ML350 entry level servers £2100
24 * 600GB 15K disks 24 * £373 = £8952
(sundries omitted)
Total £11052

Near enough the same price but I haven't added enough disks. For the dual-server configuration you have to add twice as many disks as you have to add to the dual controller SAS (or iSCSI) connected SAN. Plus you have to install and maintain the OS on your storage servers whereas it's just firmware on the SAS attached storage boxes.
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