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Can we switch from EMC CX300 (FC) to Dell MD3600i (10gbe iSCSI) Without Moving Off of Our Sunfire V490?

Posted on 2014-12-05
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
We recently migrated a server from a SunFire v480 connected to an EMC CX300 to a Dell 2950 connected to a MD3600i.  It went smoothly and our database application is running great (10gbe on copper) on the new platform.

Now, however, we are looking at migrating a second platform over to a new, separate Dell MD3600i and we want to avoid having to move away from the SunFire v490.  

Is it possible or is it inadvisable to try to run the Sun fire UltraSPARC box with the Dell Xeon-basedMD3600i?

It would be a lot of trouble to move the entire platform over and I noticed that I could drop two sun 10gbe Nic's into the back of the V490.

Thanks for any help in advance.
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Question by:bhunger
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by:gheist
ID: 40484490
There is absolutely no chance to create incompatibility because of Xeon based storage system is being accessed over power-pc based network switch by sparc64 machine or windows 95 machine.
And EMC storage is manufactured by DELL for quite some time

Check sun guide on "Configuring iscsi initiators"
That should suffice for connecting DELL storage.
Yes, you need to move data from FC to iSCSI with disruption most likely.
Mirroring disks comes in mind, but i dont have experience on that across different types of storage, so cannot promise it works.
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by:robocat
ID: 40484953
As said by gheist, just configure the Sun to use the Dell as iSCSI target and it should work fine.

I wouldn't bother with adding 10Gbe NICS to the Sun though. The system is unlikely to benefit much, because this is quite an old & slow system that has lots of internal bottlenecks. It would just be throwing away your money. Just use the existing Gbit ethernet connections.
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by:bhunger
ID: 40484962
Robocat

I was looking for a performance boost from the existing Cx300  fibre channel san.  I think it's running a 2gb connection.

If I can't get a performance boost, we'll migrate to a R900 with 10gb isci.  We set one of those up a while back and it really performs well.

I was just trying to avoid that step.
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by:gheist
gheist earned 250 total points
ID: 40485263
You get enough boost from gigabit ethernet. It is 2Gbps per wire counting FC way, so having two already doubles the kick.

How do you measure performance? Do you often exceed gigabit speed? or 2 gigabit? You kind of need 3-4 fast modern disks to reach first.... Or do you (like most of the world) stutter from 50IOPS per laptop-class "enterprise" disks they put in arrays?
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robocat earned 250 total points
ID: 40485292
Performance is a complex topic and whether or not you're getting a boost from moving from Cx300 to the Dell depends on where your bottleneck is right now.

You don't mention what application you use on the V490. If it's also a database, then IOPS are more important than bandwidth and 2Gbps FC or 1Gbit/10Gbit ethernet might not matter very much.

The V490 is most likely the biggest bottleneck in your setup. It is also End Of Support, so you should replace it anyway. Replacing it with a modern system may easily give you a 10x boost in processor performance, BUS speed etc...
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by:gheist
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V490 is not so bad with IOPS. And processor is on par with good ones when it comes to java...
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by:bhunger
ID: 40485411
Thanks for your insight.  The bottleneck has always been the connection to the EMC.  A year ago, for eample, we lost half of the CPU (one of two modules on the system) and the overall performance only dropped 30%.  It's a database on the san.

I guess we'll switch over to the Dell R900 and the md3600i.  It's important to get a noticeable performance gain and this would definitely do it.

Thanks.
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by:gheist
ID: 40486423
The bottleneck is always IOPS
Should you move to PC Solaris 11 or Oracle Linux 7:
time dd if=/dev/zero of=benchmark bs=512 oflags=sync count=5000
try to add arithmetics to count writes per second which means worst case IOPS your array/connection does.
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