Need like-minded opinions on SAN/Virtualization

I'm about a quarter of the way through a Virtualization project.  I've settled on a SAN that we can afford, Netapp FAS2552HA with 14TB usable.  However now I'm at the VM point.. We use hyper-V, Vmware ESXi and XenServer in house and I want to consolidate all of those into a pay for application that we have support on.
Due to popularity and reliability I'm looking at Vmware.  I have $100k for this project.. so the SAN is going to eat about $70k of that.  So for the remainder $30k.. I'd be looking at the licensing for Vmware itself.. plus the hypervisor hosts correct?  I want to make sure that I'm not overlooking something here.. so I'm thinking 3 physical servers for the hosts, using the SAN with an iSCSI lun for backend storage.

We currently have between 10 and 15 virtual machines, we'd be looking at converting an additional 10-15 after this is done.

So I should take a tally of the resources allocated to current VM's, Plus what would be allocated to future VM's and verify that the new Host units would be able to meet that.
LVL 14
Ben HartAsked:
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
FAS2552HA is an excellent choice....

Did you specify SATA, SSD pool ?

NetApp favours NFS for VMware, and have you looked at VMware vSAN ?

which is part of the hypervisor, and can use local storage in the Hosts, you will need at least 1 SSD and 1 Magnetic HDD per host, and recommended 10GBe networking.....

It provides more resilience, as the storage is "mirrored" across hosts storage!
0
Ben HartAuthor Commented:
We are sticking to 1.2TB SAS 10k drives in the head units.. the option we are looking at is just the 24 x hdds for the controller and that's it.

The Premium license bundle is supposed to cover all we'd need.  We're not looking at any data replication as of yet as that'd require an upgrade to my local FAS3020.

I have not started looking at Vmware in depth yet.. we just finished the SAN portion late last week.  our existing hypervisors all use local storage which is the one thing we're wanting to get away from.  the ability to move VM's between hosts will be a big benefit.
0
Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
The FAS 2252 is a very nice unit, currently have one on the shop table.  Netapp has currently more integration with Netapp vs HyperV or Xen.  One thing to keep in mind that the controllers have only 2 1GB interfaces, the rest are 10GB Ethernet/FC and you have to make a decision whether to do 7 mode or cluster mode but the performance on the new models is great.  You can use NFS or iSCSI for Datastores and most customers use NFS due to simplicity.  If you get the full package licensing you can have almost instantaneous restores due to flex-clone.
0
Ultimate Tool Kit for Technology Solution Provider

Broken down into practical pointers and step-by-step instructions, the IT Service Excellence Tool Kit delivers expert advice for technology solution providers. Get your free copy now.

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Have you ordered your SAN, with looking at vSAN ?

I assume you want to use this with Hyper-V and Xen, so VMware vSAN is out of the question?

otherwise great choice, I've got three on delivery for the 17th!
0
Ben HartAuthor Commented:
Oh no no.. I did not know about vSan until you mentioned it actually lol.

We have no ordered the san hardware yet, but this particular model is quickly meeting the consensus of the rest of our IT dept.

And no.. the goal is to convert all the existing non-vmware vm's over to vmware. Ditching Xen and Hyper-V.
0
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
You will definately WANT to research vSAN BEFORE your SAN purchase!
0
Ben HartAuthor Commented:
Problem with that is.. with SSD's the price will jump.  I need to buy a SAN, at least three hypervisors, VMware licensing, and a tertiary netapp shelf for my site.  I'm worried that 100k won't do it.
0
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
You only need 1 x SSD and 1 x Magnetic HDD per host for vSAN.

it's also recommended to have 10GBe networking, you may find disks for servers, and vSAN licensing cheaper than purchasing a NetApp SAN.
0
Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
but than you have to call super micro for hardware support <--dealing with vSAN vs HP VSA right now..
0
Ben HartAuthor Commented:
yeah well 10gbe would be outstanding but again.. I only have so much money.  Honestly though our network is not the bottle neck.. our servers are.  I highly doubt we'd make enough of a dent in a typical 1gb ethernet connection to warrant 10bge.
0
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
It's only recommended for vSAN and 10GBe, otherwise "rebuild" times could be long with 1GBe.

vSAN is part of the hypervisor, not a virtual machine or appliance!
0
Ben HartAuthor Commented:
the Netapp is not only dedicated for virtual hosting.  We're going to use it to replace all of our file servers.. hosting the vhd's is just one of the many benefits this thing will allow us.

But yeah.. obviously 10gbe will be faster at everything ;)

vsans being cutting edge and awesome are overkill for us.
0
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
But vSAN could be cheaper than a full blown SAN, and all the SAN management, and performance!

You may need to do some sums...
0
Ben HartAuthor Commented:
Could be cheaper yes.. but will it provide me 14 TB of usable storage?  Like I said the Mass storage is not only just for the virtual machine related stuff :)  I can't store file data on hypervisors.. lol that's just the opposite of what we're trying to do.  

You are way more experienced in virtualization than I am that's for sure.  But if I went with vSans I'd have to get a real san in addition.
0
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
So you want to use the NetApp for CIFS and iSCSI/NFS ?

or ALL VMs ?
0
Ben HartAuthor Commented:
CIFS, NFS and iSCSI.. And all my VM's will be stored on it.
0
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Okay, vSAN is not for you.

I would look at the costs, and to reduce costs, you could switch from SAS to SATA disks, and a 4xSSD SSD pool for the NetApp.
0
Ben HartAuthor Commented:
here's what I've got so far:

Netapp FAS2552 24x1.2TB SAS
10gbe uplink to core switch
2 x Proliant DL360p Gen8 3 x 600gb SAS, 2 x Xeon E5-2643V2 (6 cores) 32GB ram for Hypervisors
Possibly each Hypervisor with port channel/bonded links to core switch
0
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Looks good, and vSphere Licensing... ??
0
Ben HartAuthor Commented:
Oh yeah.. duh.  The Vmware software obviously ;)

You think that'd be a decent setup?
0
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Only three servers now?

What VMware licensing have you selected?

Do you need local disks in your ProLiants ?
0
Ben HartAuthor Commented:
sorry Andrew.. yes three servers and we've been quoted for the Essentials Plus package.  Each of the servers will have a 300GB raid 1 w/hot spare.
0
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
If you are wanting to save money drop the local disks in the servers, they are overkill, use the SD card slot in the ProLiants to install ESXi on!

Waste of money! Unless you can think of a use!

Here is the VMware KB on installing 5.x on USB/SD:
http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2004784
0
Ben HartAuthor Commented:
That wont lower the performance of the hypervisor?
0
Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
hypervisor is memory resident so it doesn't matter where it's loaded from.  Reduce cooling by using SD card
0
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
The Hypervisor, is read from the SD card, goes memory resident, and then the media is never used again! (well okay, configuration changes are written, and occasional read!) - but as a Test to confirm, SD/USB media was removed and ESXi OS and VMs continued without issue! - but this is just a magic trick, it does not mean, boot and remove!!!

So your expensive 300GB SAS disks, will be spinning doing nothing, other than failing!!!

We've been installing ESXi (what used to be called embedded!) on SD/USB flash drives since 2004!

Most server vendors now have internal SD or USB flash drive slots for this purpose.

I've seen more issues with disk failure in that time, than SD or USB failure, and issue with RAID failure, and re-installing ESXi!
0

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Ben HartAuthor Commented:
Thanks guys! I never thought about using flash media for this project.  Much appreciated.
0
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Virtualization

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.

Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.