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Will a SATA iSCSI SAN for VMware VsPhere 5 perform well?

I'm going to roll out a VsPhere5 enviornment using 3 ESX hosts with about 4 VM's each.  The budget is tight and the SAN is a huge part of the cost, and so I was looking at the Equallogic 4100e iSCSI SATA SAN (2x 1Gbps controllers) but I definetely dont want the enviornment to suffer because the SAN is too slow!!  The Dell rep is telling me that the performance is excellent and for my setup it should work well.  Would be looking at 12 x 3TB 7.2K drives running a RAID 50 for 15TB usable.  The reason we need so much space is we are planning to replicate this setup in our other location and build DR plan using VMware SRM and SAN replication.   The VM's would be all Windows boxes, 1 Exchange 2010, 1 SQL 2008 (using different LUN's for data and logs), 2 Citrix Xenapp, and various other Windows hosts doing less intensive things.  The exchange, SQL and Citrix support about 75 users so it's not the heaviest load.

It's hard to do an iops study because we currently dont have the application servers in place, this will be setup to introduce a new ERP system into the enviornment (M$ Dynamics AX).

Any feedback on the SAN solution would be appreciated.

Thanks
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jcneil4
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jcneil4
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
That really depends what VMs you use,

SATA 7200k in general does not perform well.

I would recommend SAS for Production, and SATA for your DR and Testing.
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James HIT DirectorCommented:
I just deployed a EQL SAN solution using a mix of 4100 and 6100 iSCSI.
With your setup, 4 VM's per host is very light and IOPS doesn't seem like it will be very much, however what are the specs of the hosts themselves and what version of vSphere 5 are you using? vRAM a concern for you? 12 VM's spread out over 3 hosts will be very lightly used and the SAN shouldn't be a concern as long as you properly project your growth.


The current setup I am using has over 50 hosts and using vSphere Enterprise Plus and three hosts with 96 GB RAM each.
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jcneil4Author Commented:
Thanks  Spartan_1337.  Were your EQL's both SATA?

The hosts will be Dell Poweredge probably R710 dual Xeon quad core with about 96GB RAM.  Vsphere standard.

Also the drives are NLSAS (near-line SAS) not SATA, which i guess is a little better than plain SATA.
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James HIT DirectorCommented:
No, the 6100 are SAS drives.
I am using the same host specs and have no real issues at the moment and running 4x more guests

If you plan on using SRM, make sure you use the latest firmware release as we have been working with Dell on some issues with the EQL storage and SRM not working properly. We are on a pre-release firmware that resolves most but not all of the issues.
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jcneil4Author Commented:
Ok thanks, so it sounds like your opinion is that we should be ok with the 4100E NL-SATA and no SAS?
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