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vmware shared storage setup

Posted on 2014-03-31
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Last Modified: 2014-06-03
I have a qnap NAS with four drive bays and I am looking for suggestions for setting up the raid level and iscsi targets for use with VMware esxi 5.1 hosts.

I am not sure if I would get a better performance out of setting up one LUN using all four drives in a RAID 10 or setup two volumes each RAID 1 and divide the VMs that I plan to run on this device between the two volumes.
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Question by:IKtech
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12 Comments
 
LVL 120
ID: 39967902
RAID 5 will give you more storage, RAID 10 will give you more performance.

A four disk unit, will not provide you many IOPS, but you may not need high performance.

So do you require performance or storage requirements?

More spindles = More disks = More IOPS = More performance.

Or you could create two RAID 1 volumes, and create a LUN on each.

What Virtual Machines do you intend to run, SQL, Exchange, is this production, Office Use or a Lab?

I would keep the LUNs between 500GB - 800GB if possible.

Try and enable Jumbo Frames for iSCSI, and use Multipathing, to increase throughpout

see my EE Articles

HOW TO: Enable Jumbo Frames on a VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi 5.0) host server using the VMware vSphere Client

HOW TO: Add an iSCSI Software Adaptor and Create an iSCSI Multipath Network in VMware vSphere Hypervisor ESXi 5.0
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Author Comment

by:IKtech
ID: 39967937
I have a sql and and exchange VM.  I am not sure if I will put both of these servers on the same storage device.  This is production.


Performance is a higher priority than storage space.
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LVL 120
ID: 39967943
I think then two RAID 1 volumes and two LUNs.

Are the disks SATA 7200rpm does not give much for performance but that's the best you will get.
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LVL 3

Author Comment

by:IKtech
ID: 39967964
I have qnap devices for shared storage and Cisco switches sg300 28 port switches.  I believe both support jumbo frames.

As far as the raid 10 VS. raid 1 (x2) goes, do you think there is an advantage to having the servers running across two LUNs or two separate RAID volumes?
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LVL 3

Author Comment

by:IKtech
ID: 39967965
I am going to get 10k RPM drives with 6gb/s sata.
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LVL 3

Author Comment

by:IKtech
ID: 39967968
I am assuming I can map 2 LUNs to the same iscsi target and esxi will be able to see both LUNs.  is that a safe assumption?
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LVL 120

Accepted Solution

by:
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 500 total points
ID: 39967969
RAID10 with four spindles may perform a little better but theres not much in it.
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LVL 120
ID: 39967970
You should be able to create multiple LUNs and create multiple datastores
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LVL 3

Author Comment

by:IKtech
ID: 39970251
Is there any issues with having only Gig switch ports and using jumbo frames?
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LVL 3

Author Comment

by:IKtech
ID: 39970783
also will I need to adjust settings on the router to make jumbo frames work?  It is the gateway for two subnets that I am using.
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LVL 120
ID: 39970915
Your router, switches and SAN (Qnap) will all have to have Jumbo Frames enabled,

and try a before and after performance check, Jumbo Frames do not always increase performance.
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LVL 3

Author Closing Comment

by:IKtech
ID: 40109558
RAID 10 is a good option for me and it seems to have worked well.  Thanks for the advice.
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