Monday, February 25, 2008

Playing with vitual servers and SANS

I just purchased two equallogic iscsi storage area networks. I put the higer capacity moldel the PS300E in up in Columbus, Ohio and a smaller model PS100E in Houston with me. Installing the units was a breeze, I'm using the new Dell 5424 iscsi optimized switch. I'm curious as to how well the Dell performs vs. the Cisco my partner in Ohio is currently using. His switches just came in from Dell. I'm amazed at how easy it was to move all my critical data over to it.
The newer Dell server running vmware smoke. You can even tell it's a virutal infrasture it's running on. I'm amazed at the performance of the SAN using SATA drives. It performs just as well as direct attaced SAS drives.
The SAN has so many cool features, I'm just so happy total cost of ownership has dropped so much. Any business with a terabyte of data should seriously consider using a SAN to protect it and keep your day to day operations running smoothly. The SANS use RAID 50 which will chew up space but give you the best redundancy. With 2 hot spares on-line you would have to lose 5 drives before you lose data. My favorate features are snapshots and replication. I take a snap shot of my exchange database every 20 minutes in case of corrupution or a virus I'll only lose 20 minutes of work and I can just reque email if needed. I have the SANS replicating between each other our most critical data. For systems admin this will make your life so much easier. You will be able to retore in minutes and not have to deal with tape backups. It will help you het the most even out of older servers. Drives can be provisioned quickly and on the fly. As the price keeps getting lower more businesses will have access to this technology.


Marc Farley said...

Tork, I'm interested in hearing how the switches work out.

Tork said...

ugh,so what's the deal with jumbo frame support and microsoft? Also the original firmware on the switch seems to have some issues. The nics on the SAN seem to get pounded, I think we are missing something in the config, not sure if SAN, switches, vmware, or iscsi initiator. Would love to get on with an Equallogics engineer to review our design.

John Tourloukis said...

We did not really like them, we upgraded to stackables.