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Openfiler Hardware

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by michael78, May 30, 2010.

  1. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

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    Right this is a question for the near future when I start doing my VCP but have been pointed towards Openfiler for a SAN solution.

    After reading a couple of threads on here about RAID cards I want to use RAID 5 but what RAID card/s do I use? I've seen this one and this one and wondered would either do. I will be using 3x 1TB disks. I know I would have to buy 2 of the cheaper RAID cards as they only have 2 ports but would either of these do. Also with the 8 port one by the looks of it only has 2 slots so do you need to buy a cable to daisy chain them or some kind of splitter?

    Cheers
     
    Certifications: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | MCP | MCDST | MCTS: Hyper-V | MCTS: AD | MCTS: Exchange 2007 | MCTS: Windows 7 | MCSA: 2003 | ITIL Foundation v3 | CCA: Xenapp 5.0 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician on Windows 7
    WIP: Online SAN Overview, VCP in December 2011
  2. ThomasMc

    ThomasMc Gigabyte Poster

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    Hi Sly, you will find the 8 port one will need multi lane cables, have your checked ebay for some 3ware cards? I picked up a 9500(4pt SATA I) for £30 and my 9650SE(4pt SATA II) was £130 off ebay and maybe pick up another HDD to make it a minimum of 4
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2010
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  3. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

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    Yeah mate did have a look last night for ones mentioned in other threads but they were pretty expensive and from international sellers so if it didn't work I'd be stuffed so looked for an alternative.
     
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    WIP: Online SAN Overview, VCP in December 2011
  4. ThomasMc

    ThomasMc Gigabyte Poster

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    I no longer use the 3Ware 9500 if you want I could sell it to you, its only SATA1 though(no BBU included)
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2010
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  5. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    Check the card you're buying works with the kernel version that OpenFiler uses (2.6.26, I believe) before buying it. I think most RAID cards are supported - but, IIRC, Openfiler itself doesn't have a tested, accepted HCL, so you;re always going to be taking a chance (however slight that is).

    FWIW, I have the HP 200i - it's reasonably priced, comes with 256Mb BBWC and reliable. Performance isn't that great, but it's a lab system, so I'm not too bothered about that.
     
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  6. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    Fortunately once you have the equipment for your lab sorted you are generally going to be keeping it until you need to replace it, I always advocate spending that little bit more for true lab environments because you do need to try and simulate the level of hardware that you're likely going to be seeing in an enterprise.

    As far as raid cards go, you get what you pay for, the older PCI-X cards are still great performers however and are relatively cheap where raid cards go.

    What CPU and how much ram are you going to be throwing at it? My current OF machine has 8gb inside it as well as an e5300 cpu, she also has a total of 13 hard drives, 9 of them internal, 4 of them in a 3ware sidecar unit.


    The kernel version of what I am running is 2.6.29.6-0.24.smp.gcc3.4.x86_64 (done via the conary update), currently she has been up for 45 days without any issues.

    If you can don't skimp on the hardware because the last thing you want is for your virtualisation platform to struggle because the SAN storage is crap.
     
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    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
  7. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

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    Haven't really thought about the hardware mate but was just going to go for a bog standard Dual Core (Nothing fancy) and 2GB RAM as I didn't think the actual PC was that important. I basically thought the RAID card and hard drives would have to be good but the rest wasn't as important so I'm a little shocked you have 8GB RAM in your SAN which makes me think it may cost a little more than I thought :(
     
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    WIP: Online SAN Overview, VCP in December 2011
  8. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    It's all important because whilst the raid card is used so too are the ram and the cpu, I don't know how many vm's you're planning on running but with each additional machine talking to the server you're putting more pressure on it to work smoothly, the more ram you have in the box the more easily it will handle requests going to it.

    I specifically spec'd up the hardware for this machine (ram, motherboard, cpu, raid controllers and case), now of course you can go down the route of 2gb and the chances are you will be more than fine with that in a small lab environment but as soon as you start running multiple machines with multiple iops going back to the SAN the more you will suffer due to the lack of resources.

    I would also suggest that if you can you ensure that you have a dedicated NIC connection (or two for bonded operations if you can) between your OF and ESX servers for iscsi traffic (if you do, ensure it's running on a different subnet and if you have a decent switch a vlan of its own).
     
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    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
  9. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

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    Simon, I have a Dell T105 server and HP ML115 both are 2.1Ghz quad core and have 4GB RAM.

    I have 2 choices the first being to use one to host Windows 2008 with Hyper-V installed running Windows 2008 DC and possibly some client OS's and I'll use this server to administer Hyper-V and ESX server. On the other server I'll have ESX running the VM's. I can only really see me running maybe 2 VM's on the ESX server at a time. This would mean buying another PC of some sort to run the SAN on.

    The second setup I could do is to use one of the servers as the SAN and run all the VM's off the other server.

    The only thing is I'm not sure if it would be a good idea to run 4 VM's on the same server at the same time.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2010
    Certifications: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | MCP | MCDST | MCTS: Hyper-V | MCTS: AD | MCTS: Exchange 2007 | MCTS: Windows 7 | MCSA: 2003 | ITIL Foundation v3 | CCA: Xenapp 5.0 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician on Windows 7
    WIP: Online SAN Overview, VCP in December 2011
  10. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    Alternatively, my openfiler provides all the storage for my VMs (twenty two of them, running on three ESX hosts), and has only 1.5Gb RAM and a very low-end Xeon.

    [​IMG]

    It's been up for eight months solid (five months before that - only down because of a powercut) without any problems at all and performs perfectly well.
     
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  11. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

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    22 VM's lol wouldn't know what to install on them all. Zeb quick question mate do you run ESXi or ESX and if it's ESX do you just run the trial version or did you get a licence of some sort? Been trying to see if there is a developer licence or a cheap way of getting hold of one.
     
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    WIP: Online SAN Overview, VCP in December 2011
  12. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    Full fat ESX. There are ways of extending the evaluation of ESX and VC every 60 days. VMWare don't really care, provided you aren't running it in production. It's one of the reasons I luuuuurve VMWare (though I'm sure at some point EMC's licensing pricks will win and VSphere will go the same way as evalusations of every other product out there.)

    As for not knowing what to install on 22 VMs - check out the screenshot - it pretty much tells you what I've got installed on all of them :biggrin
     
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  13. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

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    Nice one mate, take it your running two separate setup's? I'm planning on setting up a Windows 2003 and mirrored 2008 domain as well.
     
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    WIP: Online SAN Overview, VCP in December 2011
  14. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    Well, the ZBXB (zebuxebu) domain is a secondary domain to the ZBLB (zebulebu) one. ZBLB was the original, I brought ZBXB up a few months back for some Exchange testing and I run all sorts of other gumph on it now too. I am planning on getting two more ESX boxes, migrating ZBXB across to them and then running a test of SRM so that I can simulate DR scenarios for work (I'm making our colos active/active later this year)
     
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  15. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

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    Another two ESX boxes lol I hope you have a good electricity deal mate :biggrin
     
    Certifications: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | MCP | MCDST | MCTS: Hyper-V | MCTS: AD | MCTS: Exchange 2007 | MCTS: Windows 7 | MCSA: 2003 | ITIL Foundation v3 | CCA: Xenapp 5.0 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician on Windows 7
    WIP: Online SAN Overview, VCP in December 2011
  16. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

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    Does anyone know if ESX will install ok on a HP ML115 server or do you have to install it via the USB method like ESXi?
     
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    WIP: Online SAN Overview, VCP in December 2011
  17. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    Slypie - check out the whitebox HCL for ESX here. That will tell you everything you need to know about getting ESX running on a specific server (or, for that matter, workstation)
     
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  18. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

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    Think I've sorted the RAID card out. Looking around I think the HP P400 RAID should do for £60. It's the one with 256MB Cache and not 512MB but should do. There are also ones that come with an optional battery like this does the battery make any difference to the performance? One last question are the cable propriety to the card or will any 4 way SATA splitter work? Again cheers for all the help guys. Just goes to show I have a lot to learn.
     
    Certifications: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | MCP | MCDST | MCTS: Hyper-V | MCTS: AD | MCTS: Exchange 2007 | MCTS: Windows 7 | MCSA: 2003 | ITIL Foundation v3 | CCA: Xenapp 5.0 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician on Windows 7
    WIP: Online SAN Overview, VCP in December 2011
  19. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    The BBU allows for a level of redunancy where data transfer and powercuts go, for the most part in a lab environment you will be fine but in a commercial environment you will want to have it.

    Having a BBU allows for the use of write caching which 'should' be turned off if you don't have a BBU, it's usually turned on however to give you a better 'score' on performance. If you turn on write caching and you don't have a bbu you run the risk of data corruption in the event of power failures, it's far less likely to happen with a BBU enabled raid controller because it's kept in the write cache and restored when the power is restored (one of the reasons why the raid controllers regularly check their BBUs).

    Oh and where the ML connectors are concerned, I would definitely check the lead required because there are different types. You can't just order an ML connector and expect it to work (for example 3ware have a couple of different types for their cards, it depends on the age for which lead it uses).
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2010
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
  20. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

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    Simon as always cheers for the advice. Will have to look to see which leads this will take. Never straight forward lol.
     
    Certifications: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | MCP | MCDST | MCTS: Hyper-V | MCTS: AD | MCTS: Exchange 2007 | MCTS: Windows 7 | MCSA: 2003 | ITIL Foundation v3 | CCA: Xenapp 5.0 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician on Windows 7
    WIP: Online SAN Overview, VCP in December 2011

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