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SAN Hardware for VMware environment

Posted on 2011-03-15
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Last Modified: 2013-11-14
I currently have an environment whit HP servers running esxi hypervisor with datastores on local storage. (DL360 G7, DL180 G6 and extra DL360 G7 pending)

I plan on upgrading my VMware software with the essentials plus kit for high availability and data protection. Too this end I want to expand with an iSCSI-SAN. HP P2000 G3 is my primary choice at this time with 10k RPM 2.5" SAS drives. What I wish to find out is if this product will do for running with 3 vSphere servers.

Also hope to get some advise on what switches to use to build my separate SAN-network. I'm currently looking into the cisco 2960 series.

Main applications that will be running on this environment are: Exchange, MSSQL, MySQL, Fileserver, Terminal server, IIS, linux webhosting.

Any advise is welcome.
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Question by:Haldor
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by:andyalder
andyalder earned 500 total points
ID: 35138354
P2000 / MSA2000 runs fine as a SAN for VMware, whether you use fibrechannel, iSCSI or SAS host connects, all are certified.

As to whether it's fast enough that really depends on the number of disks and the RAID level. Any gigabit switches will do, HP used to bundle a pair of dumb fanless ones (ProCurve Switch 1400-8G) with the older MSA2012i.
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by:Haldor
ID: 35138510
Was gonna start out with 12 x 300GB 10k rpm sas drives.
Raid configurations I was still investigating. I might still expand with a few 15k rpm disks on more performant raid configuration and use the 12 x 300GB in a raid 6 configuration for reliability.

I'm just afraid to create a bottleneck in my switches if I go with the cheaper ones. I've read that Jumbo Frames configuration could help performance for instance.
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andyalder earned 500 total points
ID: 35139246
I don't see why you'd create a bottleneck, even if the switch is a blocking one. With a blocking switch you can't talk full bandwidth gigabit from every port at the same time because of the backplane bandwidth but in this case you can't talk full bandwidth gigabit on all ports anyway because all traffic goes in/out of just a pair of ports (the iSCSI box) so you only need 4Gb backplane.

You can use jumbo frames if you want, I don't normally bother because the disks are the bottleneck normally, especially with the random I/O profile VMware will hit it with.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Haldor
ID: 35139417
Will the performance be enough to run all above mentioned services?
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by:andyalder
ID: 35139765
Impossible to say since no idea of total IOPS required, use a general rule of thumb you'll get about 120 IOPS from your 10K SFF disk, so multiply that by 12 so 1440 IOPS and then divide by 2 for RAID 10 (or divide by 4 if using RAID 5, divide by 6 if RAID 6) and that's a ballpark figure.
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by:Haldor
ID: 35139827
Are 15k SFF disks a big improvement?
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by:andyalder
ID: 35140054
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by:Haldor
ID: 35143413
Thx, you have been a big help.
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