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iSCSI Storage for small office

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by LukeP, Feb 14, 2010.

  1. LukeP

    LukeP Gigabyte Poster

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    Which iSCSI solution would you recommend for small office that supports hyper-v failover cluster and isn't too expensive?

    I am getting ready for 70-652 exam and I have read Sybex's and MS book on the topic as well as plenty of good ol googling. I want to expand my knowledge to some theoretical set up scenarios for failover clustering and I am interested how process of deploying iSCSI storage looks like.

    If you could recommend any solution so I can do some more reading to get better idea.

    Thanks
     
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  2. supernova

    supernova Gigabyte Poster

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    What are you looking for the hardware, the software or both?

    I would start off looking at openfiler
     
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  3. LukeP

    LukeP Gigabyte Poster

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    Thanks,

    I am looking for hardware solution though. Mainly because I wanted to download manual and/or installation guide and read through.

    This is mainly due to numbers of questions I have after research.

    What I'm looking for is:
    1. Ports on hardware iSCSI device from Dell are SCSI IN 1, SCSI IN 2, ethernet. What are they?
    2. With 2 host cluster is it fine to connect storage directly into servers?
    3. Best practices for backing up iSCSI storage?

    Which I expect to find in manufacturers manuals for a device :D
     
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  4. supernova

    supernova Gigabyte Poster

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    Dont Dell, HP, IBM, EMC etc allow you to download product manuals?
     
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  5. LukeP

    LukeP Gigabyte Poster

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    Should I download them all? Most of those solutions ain't cheap. Which one would you recommend?
     
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  6. supernova

    supernova Gigabyte Poster

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    Its a bit like how long is a piece of string, companies use different solutions.

    Most iSCSI solutions i know are in larger companies and often run off a SAN, most of which are fibre channel on the backend (iSCSI is over Ethernet). Yes very expensive

    Sorry i cant be of much help, its an area i struggle to find good information on.

    Most home labs use openfiler as you will see on the forums
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2010
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  7. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    How much is "isn't too expensive"?

    -ken
     
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  8. LukeP

    LukeP Gigabyte Poster

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    Less than £5k I would say.
     
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  9. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    In that case take a look at Drobe Elite, then populate it with SATA HDD's, maybe 8 x 2TB drives - giving you a total of 14.55TB worth of space (using dual disk redundancy).

    Ex-vat prices:

    Drobo Elite approx £2200
    2TB drive approx £100 each (cheapest drive currently on Ebuyer) - £800 approx

    Shared LUN key, still waiting to find out on cost - but doubt it'd be more than a couple of hundred.

    This doesn't use fibre, but your existing Cat5e/Cat6 infrastructure.

    This is something that we're going to buy to work with our current Intel Modular server (with internal SAN) and Promise Storage array.

    Hope this is something that may interest you :)

    -Ken
     
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  10. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    Less than 5k really limits your options. If you can stretch your budget to about 8k you can get an entry-level EqualLogic. You won't get fast disks, and you'll also need to run the traffic through decent (and I DO mean 'decent') switches, but it will give you all that you want. Other than that, you're probably destined to be using a whitebox solution and run Openfiler on it. Be prepared for some serious performance tuning if you ever want to put openfiler into a production environment though. I've run mine for 18 months at home and it's been rock-solid, but even when I do moderate I/O on it I see timeouts - and I understand this is even worse when running it as back-end storage for vSphere environments.
     
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  11. supernova

    supernova Gigabyte Poster

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    What about some sort of shared directly attached storage ie SAS they normally allow 2 nodes with redundancy is that costly?
    many places have started to use it.

    seems yes still expensive, you may be able to find some cheaper.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2010
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  12. supernova

    supernova Gigabyte Poster

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    I have heard some complaints due to performance

    Also they dont support virtual filing systems (VMFS at least) which causes some issues with the devices storage system. I have heard that there are plans for support in the pipeline.
     
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  13. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    I've only heard about problems with multiple hosts with the non-droboElite units. However it's like everything else, it depends how you use it and what you use it with.

    -Ken
     
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  14. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    Why not build up an OpenFiler box with hardware iscsi initiators? I built up a box at my house that has a total of 12 disk in two different raid sets (8x320gb disks in raid 5 using a 3ware 9500s and 4x750gb disks in a 3ware SideCar with the 9650 controller) and that probably set me back about £600 all in. Building your own server you can obviously decide what you want to use but a Hardware Initiator is going to offer you more resiliance than a Software based one (less of a bottleneck with the CPU as it's all handled by the dedicated card).

    www.openfiler.com for more information.
     
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  15. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    It depends on how you are using vsphere, if you're using thin provisioned disks then you can expect issues with locking the files (too many operations causing the iscsi transport to lock and fail) but the nice thing with Openfiler is that it also allows for NFS as well.
     
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  16. LukeP

    LukeP Gigabyte Poster

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    Last edited: Feb 14, 2010
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  17. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    Yes you would generally always need to buy disks for disk shelves.

    I would have a look to see what kind of through put you get with anything that you're considering. Cheap doesn't mean good (and to be fair, neither does it having an IBM badge on it). I would suggest you see what peoples views on the box are before splashing out on it.
     
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  18. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    Hey - if you wanna 'roll your own' I've got an Areca ARC-1160 you can buy off me if you want - brand new, unwrapped. Sent by Areca as a replacement for a failed card a couple of months back, but we dumped the box and went with an MSA instead. I was gonna use it at home for a secondary SAN, but someone's given me another box to use instead - make me an offer if you;re interested!
     
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  19. ThomasMc

    ThomasMc Gigabyte Poster

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    I've found switching delayed ack off on the ESXi host solves my issues with openfiler and ESXi 4 u1
     
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  20. supernova

    supernova Gigabyte Poster

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    StorageWorks management software is good i know a bit about using that, isnt the StorageWorks software separate?
     
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