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iSCSI Xen Storage SAN Switch Help

Posted on 2011-03-07
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I currently have a Citrix Xen Virtual environment, with 2 iSCSI paths running on two network cards from the SAN and the Xen Servers connected into Dell PowerConnects 5548's, along with 50 VOIP phones, 65 workstations and 10 virtual machines running on another set of bonded nics.  

I was considering getting three switches to completely segregate the iSCSI traffic from the network, using: (1 as a cold spare...)
Cisco Systems
SG100D-08 8-Port Gigabit Desktop Switch
Manufacturer Part# SD2008T-NA

My concern would be are these adequate enough considering thats all they would have connected to them is a SAN and three Xen servers, with dedicated iSCSI traffic over each switch.  (For redundancy.)


Any thoughts would ber greatly appreciated...
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Question by:tech-
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Expert Comment

by:kdearing
ID: 35057530
When I bought my Dell/EMC SAN, their storage expert recommended their PowerConnect 2716 (the current version is the 2816).
It's been running for 3 years with no problems.

And yes, your iSCSI should be completely independent.
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Author Comment

by:tech-
ID: 35058101
Will the Cisco Gigabit unmanaged switch handle the iSCSI traffic effectively?  I would be connecting four cat6 cables, dedicated iSCSI traffic from the SAN and dedicated port from each of the three xen servers?  I really dont want to waste money on a PowerConnect 2816, and only use four ports and not use any of the management functions.
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kdearing earned 500 total points
ID: 35058483
I haven't used any of the SD2008's
But I have used the SD208 (10/100 version) and had some of them choke on very heavy traffic.

My opinion...
Get 2 PowerConnect 2808's ($120 each) for now, then buy your spare when your budget allows.
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Author Comment

by:tech-
ID: 35058693
If I am only using 4 ports for dedicated iSCSI traffic, how important is the forwarding rate speeds? the 2816's is double that of the specs of the 2808 below:

Switch Fabric Capacity up to 16 Gbps
Forwarding Rate 11.9 Mpps
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Expert Comment

by:kdearing
ID: 35059135
For all practical purposes, the Forwarding Rate is directly proportional for the switch capacity or backplane speed.
The general formula is Backplane divided by 1.34 give you the Forwarding Rate.
Note this is all theoretical, lab testing type stuff.

The reason the 2808's Switch Fabric Capacity is half of the 2816 is because there are half the ports.
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Author Closing Comment

by:tech-
ID: 35059246
Thank you for the advice!
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