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Newbie Datacenter SAN/NAS Question

Posted on 2011-03-23
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
A partner and I are in the initial phase of putting together a small data center.  We are leasing some rack space at a local telco.  We have put in a vmWare solution using Open-E DSS v6 for our SAN.  It is a linux solution and seems to be working ok. We have implemented Multi Path I/O and using two 1 GB Ethernet Adapters for the MPIO.  Our SAN is currently a Dell Power Edge 2900 with about 1.5 TB of data.  The drives are 15K SAS Drives.

Here are my questions...
1) How many Servers, from a IOPS can I put on the SAN?
2) With a SAN do i have to use SAS drives or will SATA work fine?
3) We want to setup a file server and have a NAS for the file shares.(Cheaper than the SAN) what is the best way to provide redundancy?

My initial thought was to have two Netgear ReadyNAS appliance and present the NAS iSCSI channel to the vmWare.  So present two I iSCSI datastores to vmWare.  Do this and then present the virtual disks to Windows and let windows do a RAID1.  I think I would get lots of overhead from iSCSI and then the RAID overhead.

Solution 2 was to use DFS and just present the drives as two different drives with a direct iSCSI connection to the Windows 2008 servers.  There are so many ways to do this I am hoping that someone has a best practice for something like this.  We currently have no fault tolorance and want to plan for this as well.

Thanks
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Question by:Neadom Tucker
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6 Comments
 
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zazagor earned 2000 total points
ID: 35206566
Hi,

You would prefer SAS drives especially if you host DB-servers, but SATA will work.
I've done a similar config. A cheap HP vmware server and a cheap NAS, iscsi-ing drives directly to the Windows-VMs. The redundancy is in the NAS (raid1).

//zaZagor
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by:Neadom Tucker
ID: 35208526
Are you running servers on the SATA SAN?
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by:SysExpert
ID: 35210684
for servers and reliability stick to SAS. SATA drives tend to die a lot faster.

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Expert Comment

by:paulsolov
ID: 35212304
A readyNAS is going to get killed in IOPS. Typically the SATA drives get 80 IOPS per drive vs 150 on SAS 15k.  Running ReadyNAS (not even sure it's on the VMWare HCL) will kill your performance fast.

1.  Calculate IOPS needed
2.  Research solution - Ensure that if it's production it is on the HCL and you can get support (it's not a good feeling calling support only to be told that the solution you have isn't a supported configuration"
3.  Migrate VMs if needed and implement backups
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by:Neadom Tucker
ID: 35214135
Paulsolv: How do I check IOPS for a solution say running RAID10 SAS 15K Drives across a 2Gbps MPIO iSCSI.

This is where I get confused.  I have the Drives IOPS then I have the ISCSI across ISCSI.

Thanks

Neadom
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Expert Comment

by:paulsolov
ID: 35214580
Use something like IOMeter and check from this the OS.  This will give you an idea what your OS (Virtual or physical) needs to operate from the storage

http://www.techrepublic.com/article/test-storage-system-performance-with-iometer/5735721
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