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vmware storage question - need assistance

hello,

we are looking to build-out an esxi 5.5 HA cluster and have (2) 1u servers and a Dell Direct Attached Storage Array.

since we don't have a SAN available, is there a way to leverage this DAS storage? and still have both nodes connecting to it and be able to use the HA features?

I was thinking perhaps we could set it up as a NAS storage device? can this be done while plugged directly into one of the ESIi hosts?

thanks in advance,

S.
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siber1
Asked:
siber1
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1 Solution
 
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
You could turn the DAS storage into a virtual SAN hosted on ESXi, and then have both ESXi Hosts connect to the storage, which would then be shared storage between them.

Many products available, e.g. Starwind iSCSI SAN.

http://www.starwindsoftware.com/starwind-free
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Steve MCommented:
vSphere Storage Appliance might be of use to you as well if you have lots of local disk in the servers.

http://www.vmware.com/products/vsphere-storage-appliance/
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siber1Author Commented:
hanccocka, thanks so I take it we would require another server to connect the DAS storage to? I suppose we could connect to any of our server, file server etc?

have you used this particular product before? starwindssoftware? is there a better solution or is this what you recommend?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Virtual Server, hosted on your existing servers.

or DAS connected to another physical.

We have used this software and would recommend it, there is a FREE version, and Licensed Version.
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siber1Author Commented:
thanks isk, that actually might work out better. any idea of the cost for this add-on?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
You will need to have similar storage in BOTH ESXi hosts for vSphere Storage Appliance!

So that would be 2 x DAS units!

That's why I didn't recommend it, and personally, we believe there are better options than VMware VSA.

Video Tutorial - Adding iSCSI storage to a VMware vSphere ESX/ESXi 4.x host server
http://andysworld.org.uk/2011/06/24/new-hd-video-adding-iscsi-storage-to-a-vmware-vsphere-esxesxi-4x-host-server/

Video Tutorial - Eazy Peezy Lemon Squeezy iSCSI Storage by StarWind iSCSI SAN Software
http://andysworld.org.uk/2011/06/22/new-hd-video-eazy-peezy-lemon-squeezy-iscsi-storage-by-starwind-iscsi-san-software/

You can do want you want for free (ish), you just need a OS License for Windows 2008 R2/Windows 2012 to install StarWind iSCSI SAN Software
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siber1Author Commented:
hanccocka thanks, I didn't realize that. It appeared that the VMware storage appliance could leverage the single DAS array, if it requires 2 then that is not a good option for us.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Storage is clustered between the two ESXi hosts, so you need to have balanced or the same amount of storage, minimum between the hosts.

if you only have a single DAS connected to ESXi host, either

1. Connect DAS to ESXi Host, Create a new VM, using all the DAS storage, and then use SAN iSCSI software above.

or

1. Connect DAS to different physical server, using Window 2008 R2, install  SAN iSCSI software above and present this to both ESXi Servers.
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siber1Author Commented:
thanks hanccocka, I think option 1 - create a new VM and allocate all DAS storage then use the iscsi s/w would work best for us. that a great option.  appreciate the insight!
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
No problems, check the videos, there is no audio!
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Handy HolderSaggar makers bottom knockerCommented:
It's hardly a HA cluster if all the storage is on one node, if that fails the other node fails too!

What is the DAS (make/model)? There may be an option to upgrade it to a SAS attached SAN.
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siber1Author Commented:
hanccocka, one last question. can we present multiple DAS storage in the vSAN with that s/w?

one server has almost 1tb of local storage, and the other has 2TB of DAS storage [external DELL enclosure]

thx
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siber1Author Commented:
good point Andy,
it is a Dell PowerVault 221S SCSI enclosure

what do you recommend?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
No different to ANY SINGLE SAN, which is a single point of failure, unless you have TWO SANS!

if you allocate the storage to a Server, physical or virtual - yes you can have multiple vSANs!
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Okay, if you have a minimum of 1TB in each ESXi Host server, you could use, ANY of the Virtual SAN solutions for VMware vSphere.

1. HP VSA (was Lefthand) - the grandaddy of them all! and recommended!!!!

1a. Starwind iSCSI HA

2. SAN Symphony - Better than VMware VSA

3. DataCore SvSAN - Better than VMware VSA

4. VMware vSphere VSA (newest product to the bunch!)

Do you already have VMware vSphere 5.5 licenses, e.g. already purchased?
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Handy HolderSaggar makers bottom knockerCommented:
Decent dual controller SANs have no SPOF so you don't need two SANs to have HA.

There are DIP switches on the PowerVault 221S than can put it into split-bus mode so you can split it between 2 servers with 7 disks on one and 7 on the other, then it's a lot nearer to HA than having all the storage on one host.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
@andy....

Decent dual controller SANs have no SPOF so you don't need two SANs to have HA.

last week we had two clients....

Dell Equallogic backplane capacitors or something failed!
NetApp motherboard failed!
(and don't ask about HP P2000s!)

Not cheap units, £20k ish, both have dual controllers.

So it depends what you refer to as decent, or how much you have to spend!
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siber1Author Commented:
thanks again!
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Handy HolderSaggar makers bottom knockerCommented:
Well, it's a fuck sight better to have a dual controller SAN than use DAS on a single host which is probably what they'll end up doing because it's cheap.
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