[plug] SAN Advice

Paul Antoine pma-la at milleng.com.au
Fri Oct 26 10:27:12 WST 2007


Those specs sound easy to cater for without needing the performance 
grunt of a SAN.  Most of what you need seems to be storage capacity for 
which a NAS is an ideal solution when combined with GigE on a suitable 

I'd suggest one of Dell's rack servers (Poweredge 1950/2950) with RAID 
card, remote management card, redundant psu's and with one their 
external storage boxes with 15 or 45 bays.  This exceeds the $10k of the 
Intel box, but provides more bays with greater expandability, assuming 
rack space isn't at a premium.

I'd run JFS as filesystem under Linux which allows for online filesystem 
  growth (the RAID card will do the online RAID volume expansion.)


Mark Slatem wrote:
> Our Budget is Max $25k, at the moment we have 3 x VMware ESX Servers 
> with each hosting 6-8 VM's. In the near future we would like to add a 
> dedicated box for Xen VM's as well, the rest of the rack consists of 4 
> Linux servers and 2 Windows (exchange + Blackberry). IMHO we are not 
> running any really IO intensive applications on any of our VM's at the 
> moment, but we do have a plan to create an additional Linux VM as a 
> secondary mail server running exim, clam, mailwatch, mailscanner, and 
> writing all to a MySQL Database, our current load on the mail is around 
> 15 000 - 20 000 messages a day.
> Our requirements are:
> 1 - Enable running virtual machines to be stored on storage device with 
> adequate performance between host server and storage device.
> 2 - Ability to move running VM's off a Baremetal ESX/Xen Server onto the 
> storage device temporarily should an ESX server need to be brought down 
> for maintenance or fail etc.
> 3 - Serve as a backup device for remaining servers in rack.
> 4 - As much bang for the buck! disk storage capacity as possible that 
> budget allows.
> 5 - would be nice if solution could scale easily as demand for capacity 
> grows.
> On Fri, 2007-10-26 at 09:16 +0800, Nathan Alberti wrote:
>> What product are you using for virtual machines ?
>> I would suggest if you are "small budget" then a FC SAN is pretty much 
>> out so for VM's that leaves you ISCSI or NFS, both will give you good 
>> performance over GigE however (depending on the storage you decide to 
>> go with) NFS may give you some more flexibility at the filesystem level.
>> Give us a better idea of your budget and your use case.
>> Nathan.
>> On 10/26/07, *Mark Slatem* <slatemfam at optusnet.com.au 
>> <mailto:slatemfam at optusnet.com.au>> wrote: 
>>     Paul,
>>     Thanks for the advice and the link you provided. The inquirer url
>>     shows the exact device we have been quoted on, the given price
>>     includes 1 x 100GB and 6 x 750GB Seagate SATA Drives. At the
>>     moment we are undecided on the SAN VS NAS, what is your opinion on
>>     both considering we want to run virtual machines on them. Also if
>>     we went for the "Intel Storage Creek 2" what OS flavor would you
>>     recommend?
>>     Mark.
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