fiber VNX or ISCSI VNX

Hi all

we are going to use vmware vsphere 6.0 for everything in our environment  

and we already have VNX 5400  and our VNX work now with fiber connection

the question is my manager want to change and he want to use ISCSI

so i need advice is really now ISCSI better because the Ethernet switches has 10 G speed

personally i had from long time ago problems to fix and troubleshot iscsi storage with Solaris servers so from that time i don't like Iscsi

now i want real good advice and especially for v sphere it is better to use fiber or ISCSI and why ?

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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Fibre Channel was king for many years before the introduction of iSCSI, but iSCSI has been a part of VMware vSphere fabric for many years now, since ESXi/ESX 3.0.

Fibre was considered the rolls royce of storage, followed by iSCSI, and NFS.... things have changed over the years.

iSCSI and VMware ESXi/ESX was a marriage made in heaven, and brought cheaper, inexpensive shared storage solutions, which were less complex, and costly than having to have a dedicated fibre fabric for fibre channel storage.

iSCSI via 1GBe networking has been fine for most, but now with 10GBe networking a commodity, has started to replace Fibre Channel.

The question you should be asking, is what performance, and IOPS do you require, are you going to be using a Hybrid Flash, or Flash Array, which needs the performance of 10GBe, or Fibre Channel.

iSCSI and Solaris, was an emerging technology....
sword12Author Commented:
So according to your advice

ISCSI with ESXI will provide stable good performance with no headache for troubleshooting  and no need any more to have dedicated fiber fabric  .

we will use in our vnx5400 one pool mixed SAS  with SSD disks with auto tiring enabled .

and we will replace the fiber interfaces with 10 G Ethernet and provide ISCSI and NFS for our ESXI servers  

so you think this good idea

and if you want to compare this solution with VSAN using the servers local disks which one you will recommend ? vnx5400 with ISCSI  or VSAN using the servers local disks ?

thanks again
Carlos IjalbaIT Systems DirectorCommented:
Head to head Fiber is always faster than iSCSI, since iSCSI goes through ethernet and has error control, retries, segmentation, etc, and fibre does not, as it has always been a protocol designed for block storage transmission.

The thing is that 10GB Eth is now fast enough to perform nearly as good as Fibre, but Fibre is faster and more resilient.
The downside is that is usually more expensive than Ethernet, but if you have both technologies Fibre will be a better bet for performance.

iSCSI has its advantages, nearly usually related to cost and administration, since Fibre requires more expensive equipment and knowledge of zonning, etc.

For a new system in a small to medium size business I would recommend iSCSI at 10GB (you can use LACP to expand the bandwidth), but for big companies you will in fact have a mix of Fibre, iSCSI and even NFS, depending on platforms and performance required for each.

VSAN is not free, as it needs licences (not cheap neither, they cost as much as a VNX), so if you already have a VNX, you will definitely end up using it (in your case it's free), but if you where to buy a new SAN, then you could consider buying VSAN instead, as is easy to administer, expandable, well integrated, and cheaper on power, maintenance & support than a HW SAN.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
ISCSI with ESXI will provide stable good performance with no headache for troubleshooting  and no need any more to have dedicated fiber fabric  .

iSCSI is stable, does not have any issues, and has been in use with ESXi for over 10 years!

Your Performance is based on what your requirements are.

There is no competition, vSAN as far as performance is far superior, because it's local, there is no share storage component latency with iSCSI, NFS of Fibre.

and vSAN now supports all SSD.

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