Best way to set up an HP MSA 1040 for esx host access

Hello,

I'm really seeking advice from someone with real-world experience with a similar model and not just the first 3 google search results anyone can find

We have a brand new HP MSA 1040 with (16) 600gb drives

we have about 20 ESX hosts that will use this as primary online storage to host VM's by iSCSI.  The VM's already exist (on other storage) and most are around 250gb thin provisioned each

Without getting a bunch of links to user guides or hundreds of pages to read about best-practice, what are some good practical ways to configure this MSA for storage?

Previously i thought, why not make one big raid6 container using 15 drives, and have one as an online hotspare... but some of the other menu options lead me to believe this MSA can handle storage a lot better, leveraging thin provisioning, and it's esx aware

That, and trying to create that partition in the built-in GUI gives me an error that the device isn't licensed for that kind of disk group (really?)

So, without reading hundreds of pages, what would you recommend for:
disk group(s)
volume(s)
pool(s)
?

I'm really seeking advice from someone with real-world experience with a similar model and not just the first 3 google search results anyone can find
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FocISAsked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
That's a lot of hosts, for a small SAN. Just an observation.

If you are seeking top performance, RAID 6, and a single Array, and then provision several virtual disks (LUNs), and present these to your hosts.

The other option, but you are limited by disks, is to create two arrays, owned by different controllers, so then do Active/Active and then create LUNs from each Array, and present to ESXi hosts.

Splitting, will only give you 7 disks, plus host spare, which performance per LUN will be slower.

Make sure you enabled Jumbo Frames, see my EE Article, and best practice for multipath iSCSI

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

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

What you have been reading is probably the integration it has with VAAI, where ESXi can offload some of the work to the SAN. You would install additional VIBs for this on ESXi. (vAAI = vStorage APIs for Array Integration)
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FocISAuthor Commented:
This is exactly what i was looking for, sorry for the 1.5 month delay, i was sent out of town and didnt have any time with this project, and very limited internet

your articles are top-notch, thanks for the links
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
No problems.
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