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SQL Server 2008 R2 Running on Dell Equallogic SAN

Posted on 2011-09-06
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
We are thinking of migrating our current SQL Server database to a Dell Equallogic SAN Storage box.  Previously we have used locally attached storage in a RAID 10 configuration.  Does anyone have experience running SQL on the Dell Equallogic and are there any pitfalls that I should be aware of?
I would very grateful for any response / insights / enlightening examples that you may be able to provide.
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Question by:Evolution-Recruitment
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mastoo earned 250 total points
ID: 36489595
We do that.  I was concerned about the iScsi point-to-point bandwidth limitation, and losing some flexibility on choosing Raid (IIRC raid type is set at the member level).  The increased spindle count turns out to be such an improvement in our case that both those concerns became moot.
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by:Evolution-Recruitment
ID: 36489707
Thanks mastoo, I will leave this open for awhile as I would like to gather as much feedback "from the field" as possible.  However, just so you know, I will be, accepting this as a solution when I eventually close this question.

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by:mastoo
ID: 36489802
No problem.  The other thing that comes to mind was the level of expertise required.  We're a small place without a dedicated storage person and EqualLogic seemed fairly easy to work with.  We're two years into it and no complaints on ease of use.
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by:andyalder
ID: 36490567
If it's just for performance you would be better off adding more disks in DAS enclosures plus good RAID controllers. There's no performance advantage in moving your disks further away from your CPU by separating them with iSCSI.
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by:kevinhsieh
kevinhsieh earned 250 total points
ID: 36492683
I would read the EqualLogic release notes for information on modifying iSCSI timeouts, NTFS partition alignments, and other such tweaks. If you are using Windows 2008 or better, NTFS partition alignment isn't a problem. You should use 64K NTFS formatting per SQL Server Team recommendation. You can install multiple NICs and use MPIO. Install the Dell EqualLogic Host Integration Toolkit; current version is 3.5.1.

I run my SQL inside of Hyper-V VMs. I don't bother with jumbo Ethernet frames. It is okay to thin provision the volumes. I provision the volumes first from the EqualLogic GUI and then I just mount them using the iSCSI control panel. iSCSI HBAs or TCP offload is not required.

It isn't required, but you should load the SAN Headquarters 2.1.0 reporting tool on a workstation or server.

I have been an EqualLogic customer for nearly 4 years.
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by:kevinhsieh
ID: 36492686
I put logs and databases on separate volumes for manageability. It doesn't make a performance difference because everything goes back to the same set of physical spindles.
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