12Gb 15K 600GB SAS Hard Drive and 12Gb LSI MegaRAID SAS 9361-8i RAID Controller

Hi,

  I am interested in trying the newest and greatest in terms of 12Gb SAS hard drive (for VMWare box) along with 12Gb RAID Controller.
  I found out that Seagate makes 600GB SAS 15K 2.5" Hard Drive (ST600MP0025) and LSI makes MegaRAID SAS 9361-8i. Also I learned  that DELL makes Perc H730P and Intel makes RAID Controller RS3DC080 that provides 12Gb speed as well.

  I would like to hear the recommendations on HD and RAID Controller from experts WHO DEPLOYED these in production environment. What brand of HD or RAID controller do you recommend? Pros and Cons?

Thanks.
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sgleeAsked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
If you are discussing Servers for Production, e.g. Dell and HP, we always use the storage controllers that are supplied from the vendor, we also use vendor hard drives.
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Gerald ConnollyCommented:
What are you hoping to prove by buying this kit.

Unless you are going to put more disks on your server, you are unlikely to see any performance increase as the limiting factor is the MB/s and IOPS of the disks, and an increase in the pipe speed is unlikely to improve those numbers.

You might want to checkout a SSD setup if performance is what you are after.
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
Experts,
 
 I see your points. However I wanted to hear from those who have these RAID Controller and HD in production environment to determine whether it is worth the investment.
I have considered SSD, but they are very expensive and not recommended for OS VMs/partitions.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Do you have a SAN?

or are you going to use local disks?

are you going to use vSAN ?

are you going to use VDI ?

do you need bhigh IOPS for VDI or Database Servers ?

We can talk to you all day about them.....

But they are not as fast as SanDisk Fusion-IO cards....

what RAID and how many are you purchasing ?

IT and Storage is changing rapidly, and local disks, are being replaced with Flash, and vSAN, Flash Accelerators, Flash Arrays in SANs, or Flash Accelerators to accelerate VMFS on SANS....
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
@Andrew
Do you have a SAN? No
or are you going to use local disks? Yes
are you going to use vSAN ? No
are you going to use VDI ? No
do you need bhigh IOPS for VDI or Database Servers ? No
But they are not as fast as SanDisk Fusion-IO cards....
what RAID and how many are you purchasing ?  Just purchasing another VMWare box. I have currently have one VMWare box (built in 2011) with Qty. six 600GB 15K 3.5" SAS HDs on RAID 10. Very happy with performance.
It is just that since I am looking to build replacement VMWare box, I wanted to see if 12 Gbps RAID Controller with 600GB 12 Gbps 15K SAS is the way to go.  I can absorb price difference between 6Gbps 15K SAS and 12Gbps 15K SAS.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
So this is whitebox, homebrew, experiment and Lab, not Production ?

just a single disk ?
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
whitebox, production replacing old VMWare box installed 2011. 6 SAS 15K 600GB HD.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
We are personally not a fan of whiteboxes for production, because they are not certified for use by VMware ESXi. So I'll get that disclaimer out of the way, and then that is your Risk to decide.

Make sure that you do select any storage controller which is on the HCL.

We have many of the LSI  9361-8i in lab machines for testing, certified for use with 5.5 and 6.0, we use these with Hitachi Ultrastar® C15K600 HDD disks, and then are exceedingly fast.

We always use LSI storage controllers, for whiteboxes, and experimentation, when not using vendor servers, e.g. Dell or HP.

But, we have found Fusion-IO PCI cards faster.
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
"We have many of the LSI  9361-8i in lab machines for testing, certified for use with 5.5 and 6.0, we use these with Hitachi Ultrastar® C15K600 HDD disks, and then are exceedingly fast." ---> this is exactly what I wanted to hear.
Regarding "Whitebox", I buy either INTEL RACK Chasis along with INTEL MB. I may consider  Supermicro this time.
I have two whitebox rack servers (purchased in 2011) and they have LSI MegaRaid Cards for multiple Seagate SAS 15K 600GB HDs and they have been great.
I also purchase DELL T and R series servers and they are great too except I have to buy DELL certified HDs which are more expensive, whereas I can buy any SAS HD for whitebox severs.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
All whiteboxes are not on the HCL - you must assess the risk for your company.

I would favour Supermicro, rather than Intel, however!
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
Point well taken.
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