Storage Server

Hi All,

I am wanting to get some input and possibly recommendations on some storage hardware. For a bit of background info we are a VMware environment and were originally looking at purchasing another HP Left Hand SAN which came in at about 35k to add into our existing infrastructure. However our cost limitations have changed forcing us to look at other options. Primarily this is going to be used to archive data, most likely as a running VM. These VM's will be database servers, but will not be heavily utilized. We are also discussing the idea of using it to host our File and Print servers. I originally looked into a NAS for this, but I believe with the requirement for running VM's from it, that a NAS would not be sufficient for this task, which brings me back to a cheaper SAN or maybe even DAS solution. Our primary tick boxes are Stability, Storage Capacity and of course the Price. Performance aspects like faster disks and extra NIC's are great, but not really required as this will only be running non critical and less accessed VM's.
So long story short, any ideas and recommendations for hardware or solutions that could I could look into? :)
Josh RoweAsked:
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Rodney BarnhardtServer AdministratorCommented:
We are currently running VM's using an EMC Isilon x200 NAS array solution via NFS. We have about 20 VM's running in this way. We also have a VMware environment running about 300 VM's on a VNX 5700. As far as performance, the VM's on the Isilon seem to perform fine. They run our Citrix environment.
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Josh RoweAuthor Commented:
Hi Rodney, thanks for that. How much did the NAS array cost?
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Rodney BarnhardtServer AdministratorCommented:
If I remember correctly, it was around $80K for the 16TB. It is a three node cluster that allows and entire node to go offline without losing performance or redundancy. So, the cost could be less with less redundancy.
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andyalderCommented:
If it's non critical then just use local disks in the server, if you've already got a server but not enough drive bays get a DAS add-on preferably in the form of an internal PCIe RAID controller and an external JBOD. That's the cheapest option and also the fastest per $.
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Josh RoweAuthor Commented:
Thanks Rodney, but 80k will be a little outside our price range. The gear looks fantastic though. Andyalder, we currently have a HP Left Hand SAN, but we cannot just add disk to it unfortunately. We were going buy another HP Left Hand and add it to the cluster, but as mentioned we have now been advised we need to find a cheaper alternative.
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andyalderCommented:
Adding local disks is cheaper, you mentioned DAS in the question which is a non-clustered solution.

Alternatively do you have the part number of the LeftHand bundle you initially bought? HP threw in VSA licenses with several bundles and for that all you need is a standard server, bung VMware on it and then VSA and you've got another LeftHand node without having to pay the software cost.
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pgm554Commented:
Dells got a bunch of cheapies for under $25K.
Poweredge is a decent product.
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