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vmware shared storage solution

Posted on 2011-03-18
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Hey guys i am trying to figure something out here.
I have 2x ibm system x servers that i want to put in a vmware cluster to run HA.

So essentialy i need a shared storage and i am in sort of a dilema.

Either i can use the 8x 2tb SATA drives i already have and buy a box for those. Or i can use the 10x 15k 2.5" 146gb SAS drives i have and use those.

I am trying to think which direction to go?

for the sata drives i was thinking i could use something like this: Qnap TS-809U-RP Turbo NAS

And for the SAS drives i was thinking another potenial was maybe buying a ibm system x server like the System x3650, and just putting the drives in there and then buying the iSCSI card and doing it like that.

Does anyone have any suggestions on the route to take? I will probably only be running like 5 VM's or so. But my issue is i dont want the SAS drives to necessarily go to waste...

any ideas?

Thanks
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Question by:silviotucciarone
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8 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:Muzafar Momin
ID: 35165772
use one server with 4TB disk , install openfilre and create your own san/NAS...its totaly free and works smothly
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Author Comment

by:silviotucciarone
ID: 35165912
so buy the new server or any server and either do sata drives or the SAS drives and then use openfiler?

Can i just add it to vmware with a vmware hypervisor usb key and host the storage like that?
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:vervenetworks
ID: 35166494
SAS is definitely the way to go for performance.  Especially with more/faster spindles.  You will see a huge increase over the SATA.
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Author Comment

by:silviotucciarone
ID: 35166563
will i see that with only like 6 or so VM's though. My whole goal is the most speed i can get in the end really
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nappy_d earned 2000 total points
ID: 35171632
What will your VMWare guest OS' be doing?  Data bases, filesharing or other?

It is still a good idea to have a second hardware based host for failover and you can load balance your guests between your two servers.

QNap is a a good way to go.  look at one of their units like this one that is rack mountable and supports dual power supplies. http://qnap.com/pro_detail_hardware.asp?p_id=184

If you are not proficient with Linux, openfiler may not necessarily be the solution if there is an issue and you are under a time constraint to bring things back online.
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Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 35175053
Once you take the disks out of your cluster and put them in a single storage box you no longer have a HA solution. Having a single system x box hosting the SAN is less reliable from a hardware point of view than just having a single VMware server on that system x server.

To have a proper HA solution you have to have a pair of back-end SAN boxes mirrored, you can build the back-end SAN out of VMs running iSCSI on the local disks in the VMware servers though. Take a look at HP LeftHand VSA - www.hp.com/go/tryvsa . Unfortunately it's not cheap but at least you don't require more hardware, you could maybe find other virtualized SAN solutions that are cheaper.
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Expert Comment

by:nappy_d
ID: 35175072
To andyadler's point, this can be achieved with Qnap for an economic solution as well http://www.qnap.com/images/products/Application/RR/features10.jpg

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Author Comment

by:silviotucciarone
ID: 35183683
interesting ok thanks guys, i have actually gone with the 8bay qnap device.

Thanks for your help
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