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Do we really need a 10GB switch for our EMC SAN?

Hello - we're waiting for EMC to come on site and install our new VNX5200 SAN.  When we ask them what kind of switch is needed to host it, they say 10GB is highly recommended.  This is an extra 15K, so we're trying to do a little research to see what other companies are using out there, and if the idea of trying to run the SAN over a new Cisco 3850 1GB switch is a really bad option, or if the SAN would perform fairly well.  Is there anybody out there running this (or a similar) SAN over a 1GB switch and doing ok with performance?  Thanks for your insight.
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Damian_Gardner
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Damian_Gardner
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markvorCommented:
Hi,

which connection do you want to use ?

UltraFlex I/O Expansion Modules for Block       4-Port 2/4/8 Gb/s Fibre Channel  
4-Port 1 Gb/s (copper) iSCSI  
2-Port 10 Gb/s (optical) iSCSI  
2-Port 10 GBASE-T (copper) iSCSI  
2-Port 10 GbE (optical or twinax) FCoE

UltraFlex I/O Expansion Modules for File       4-Port 1 GBASE-T  
4-Port 1 GBASE-T and 1GbE (optical)  
2-Port 10 GbE(optical)  
2-Port 10 GBASE-T (copper)

And what kind of virtualization you will use?
And what kind of VM's (Oracle, Exchange, MS SQL,...) are planned?
And how will the Virtulal Drives be Mounted ?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
We use 1GBe, multipathed and jumbo frames, and we are monitoring the network, and when we saturate 4 x 1GBe links, then we will upgrade to 10GBe (we have none at present in the SAN Storage network!)
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Damian_GardnerAuthor Commented:
Markvor - I believe it will be 4-Port 1 Gb/s (copper) iSCSI  connections, used for a VMware ESX environment.  The most critical VM we have now is our Exchange 2010 server, with about 6 other VM's running various applications, like Symantec, backup AD server, etc.  The datastore volumes will be mounted via ISCSI.

Andrew - thank you for your feedback.  Are you running VMware over your SAN, or just physical servers.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
We run many hypervisors, VMware, Hyper-V, Xen, and physical servers.

The greatest benefit of 10GBe is it can reduce the number of nics required for a VMware implementation, with the use of VLANs, for all the services, Management Network, Virtual Machine Network, vMotion Network and Storage Network, where we usually use between 12 and 16 1GBe nic ports!
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Damian_GardnerAuthor Commented:
Ah - ok. Yes, I imagine it would allow several to easily use the same port, with the extra bandwidth.  Ok - thanks much!
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Damian_GardnerAuthor Commented:
we found it to be VMware tuning that was the problem.  thank you for your help.
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