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SAN on a Budget

Posted on 2011-02-24
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hello,

Can anyone recommend a starter SAN that is under 5K? I'm looking at the new Drobo business devices that support iSCSi. Also, I've read some posts where people have bought a server, loaded it with disks and then used iSCSi SAN emulation software like Starwind, which I'm familiar with.

I would like to hear some real world examples that might fit my scenario. I want to use a SAN versus a NAS as I want to use iSCSi technology.

Thanks.
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Question by:LCNW
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 400 total points
ID: 34975667
Don't get put off by NAS, NFS can work very well if configured correctly.

iSCSI can work very badly if configured incorrectly.

You may want to look at the HP MSA2324i.

otherwise software solutions:-

You require shared storage for HA, vMotion and DRS.

You could look at consider these free options to create a Virtual SAN on your network.

1. Openfiler (iSCSI or NFS) - http://www.openfiler.com/

2. FreeNAS  (iSCSI or NFS) - http://freenas.org/downloads

3. iSCSI Cake http://www.starwindsoftware.com/

4. StarWind iSCSI Tagert - http://www.starwindsoftware.com/

5. StorMagic - http://www.stormagic.com/SvSAN.php
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Author Comment

by:LCNW
ID: 34975692
I would prefer the dedicated access and block level solution of a SAN.
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LVL 121
ID: 34975707
You may want to look at the HP MSA2324i.
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Author Comment

by:LCNW
ID: 34975735
I looked at it. Could you explain if it equals the performance of a SAN? I'm not familiar with MSA technology.
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LVL 121
ID: 34975795
The MSA is a Modular Smart Array, part of the Small and Medium size Business IP SANs.

As the ability to use Single and Dual controllers, multi-path for resilienced, or you can purchase with a single and upgrade later.

http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/us/en/sm/WF04a/12169-304616-241493-241493-241493.html
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by:pitchford
pitchford earned 100 total points
ID: 34975978
Depending on how cheap you can go with DROBO. They do NFS and one of their boxes are certificed for VMware using iSCSI

www.drobo.com

I demoed their product and it's good for a test lab or a small business network.
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Expert Comment

by:m-andrews
ID: 34986360
Thecus make similar boxes to Drobo. It is a NAS. However you can configure them for iSCSI. Performance will never match that of a SAN. They are low cost and VMware Ready logo certified.
see http://www.thecus.com
Tip: go for Thecus HCL (non-eco) disks.
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Author Comment

by:LCNW
ID: 34990049
I'd like to stick to SAN technology. Drobo claims it's SAN technology.
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