Solved

Dell R715 local storage & VSA - best 'value for money' SFF drives?

Posted on 2012-04-09
11
648 Views
Last Modified: 2016-11-23
Hi, Im building a new vmware essentials plus cluster and wanted to get some ideas on which local hard drives to choose with my new vSphere Storage Appliance (VSA), so i can have shared storage.

The servers are Dell R715 (each one with AMD 6174 2.2GHz 12-Core Processors, 64GB DDR3, H200 controller)

I plan to use the cluster for about 10 VM's including two SQL2008 databases (1 DB for Autodesk Vault 2012 for 10 users), and one DB for ERP system (dynamics ax 2012 for 40 users)

Should I go for SAS 15k drives (can't afford many) or SATA 10k?

Is it necessary to upgrade to H700/H710 controller so I have battery-backed cache?

I'd say I'm looking to spend up to $3,000 for as much storage I can get (plus the VSA software cost), since the servers cost me about $4000 each.

Should i go for RAID6 config or RAID10 on the drives?

VSA admin guide recommends 8 local drives on each host but I find this hard because of budget constraints (ie. 2 hosts * 8 HP 15k SAS drives each could cost more than $10k)

Also, is the AMD edition of the R715 supported in the VSA HCL?

Thank you


Any other considerations in terms of performance when using the VSA? Thank you
0
Comment
Question by:darkbluegr
  • 6
  • 5
11 Comments
 

Author Comment

by:darkbluegr
ID: 37826404
some background on the VSA here for those who are not familiar with it:
http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/products/vsphere/VMware-vSphere-Storage-Appliance-Evaluation-Guide.pdf
0
 
LVL 117

Accepted Solution

by:
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 500 total points
ID: 37826578
15K SAS drives in RAID 10 (although this has been relaxed, and other RAID configurations are now supported). In terms of performance you will need th fastest disks and RAID configuration to support your datastores.

Battery Backed Cache, will give you better write performance.

More disks = more spindles = more IOPS = more performance. Hence the 8 disks recommendations.

I cannot see at present the R715 on the HCL, you may need to check with Dell.

The Dell R715 AMD is supported for ESXi 5.0, but it does not show for VSA.
0
 

Author Comment

by:darkbluegr
ID: 37826587
After reading the VSA performance considerations document (attached) it seems that the local RAID controller performance is very important, and it seems RAID 10 is highly recommended

Also it seems its very important to have caching activated on the adaptor.

With these considerations in mind, would it be a good idea to go with the H700 or H800 RAID controller, or get an Adaptec PCIe 51245 which seems to have great reviews? is Adaptec on the HCL for the vSphere Storage Appliance?

Also, would it be risky to replace the Dell HDD's with Western Digital SAS 6Gb 7200rpm drives (specifically, the WD1000FYYG ), which I can buy for $140 a piece?
I could get 8 * 1TB drives on each server (4TB available storage on each), which would give me a total of 4TB usable shared storage in VSA... for $2,200; this would fit my budget nicely.

Does VSA require specific drives in order to work or just needs all of them to be the same make/brand/capacity?

Thank you.
vsa-perf-vsphere5.pdf
0
 

Author Comment

by:darkbluegr
ID: 37826591
Thanks hanccocka any recommendations on 15K SAS drives around $200-$300?

Would a 3-host setup be better than a 2-host setup in terms of storage performance?

With the R715 not on the VSA HCL is it not going to let me install or does it just mean it's unsupported?

Thanks
0
 
LVL 117
ID: 37826595
I would recommend the H700 or H800.

I've not heard of the Adaptec PCIe 51245, I would recommend a Dell Part.

I would recommend you purchase ALL DELL parts and components for their servers., otherwise the server you have purhcased is NOT on the HCL, if using non-HCL parts.
0
Find Ransomware Secrets With All-Source Analysis

Ransomware has become a major concern for organizations; its prevalence has grown due to past successes achieved by threat actors. While each ransomware variant is different, we’ve seen some common tactics and trends used among the authors of the malware.

 
LVL 117
ID: 37826601
the system requriements for VSA are

CPU 64-bit x86 Intel or AMD processor, 2GHz or faster

So it will install, as it's based on ESXi 5.0, but it will not be supported if it's not on the HCL.
0
 

Author Comment

by:darkbluegr
ID: 37826607
also how do I see which RAID adapters are supported in the VSA? the only document I find is from August 2011 and it doesnt specify:

http://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-50/topic/com.vmware.ICbase/PDF/vsphere-storage-appliance-10-install-config.pdf
0
 

Author Comment

by:darkbluegr
ID: 37826616
OK got it -- please disregard the adapter question!

Thanks for the raid recommendations on h700/h800, however I was asking about specific hard drive models if possible?

thank you
0
 
LVL 117
ID: 37826621
if you are still considering purchasing VSA, I would highly recommend you also have a look at StorMagic SvSAN.

http://www.stormagic.com/SvSAN.php

SvSAN
0
 

Author Comment

by:darkbluegr
ID: 37826639
thank you seems interesting.. even though VSA now essentially costs $2500 when bundled with the essentials plus pack (promo pricing)
will probably try the stormagic first..
thanks..!
0
 
LVL 117
ID: 37826650
Evaluate StorMagic solution, and then evaluate vSphere VSA, and make your conclusions!
0

Featured Post

Free Gift Card with Acronis Backup Purchase!

Backup any data in any location: local and remote systems, physical and virtual servers, private and public clouds, Macs and PCs, tablets and mobile devices, & more! For limited time only, buy any Acronis backup products and get a FREE Amazon/Best Buy gift card worth up to $200!

Join & Write a Comment

HOW TO: Install and Configure VMware vSphere Hypervisor 6.5 (ESXi 6.5), Step by Step Tutorial with screenshots. From Download, Checking Media, to Completed Installation.
In this article, I will show you HOW TO: Install VMware Tools for Windows on a VMware Windows virtual machine on a VMware vSphere Hypervisor 6.5 (ESXi 6.5) Host Server, using the VMware Host Client. The virtual machine has Windows Server 2016 instal…
Teach the user how to use configure the vCenter Server storage filters Open vSphere Web Client:  Navigate to vCenter Server Advanced Settings: Add the four vCenter Server storage filters: Review the advanced settings: Modify the values of the four v…
This Micro Tutorial walks you through using a remote console to access a server and install ESXi 5.1. This example is showing remote access and installation using a Dell server. The hypervisor is the very first component of your virtual infrastructu…

760 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question

Need Help in Real-Time?

Connect with top rated Experts

20 Experts available now in Live!

Get 1:1 Help Now