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Custom built SAN for Productin environment

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  • Custom built SAN for Productin environment


    I need you advise here about using custom built SAN for our Production environment,


    120 users, 10 windows server (including Exchange, 2 sql, 2 file server, 2 DC and possibly ERP database server)

    We are focusing on using this SAN for server consolidation and migrate all server to virtualized platform on SAN,

    My hardware vendor has given me following specs,

    Intel SR2612URR-based Storage Appliance
    Intel E5630 CPU
    12GB DDR3 RAM
    6 Gigabit Ethernet Ports
    Intel RS2BL040 SAS/SATA Gen2 LSI RAID Adapter
    Intel RAID Premium Feature Key w/SSD Cache and Fastpath I/O
    Intel X25-E 32GB SSD for RAID SSD Cache
    Intel RMM3 Remote Management Module
    12 HotSwap SATA/SAS Drive Bays including Carriers
    Redundant 750W Power Supplies
    Rackmount Rails
    Seagate Cheetah 15K

    he is suggesting to use OpenE's SAN software with this Box,

    other product we have looked at are Dell's equallogic ps4000x and HP Lefthand p4300,

    there is a considerable saving on built box, but I need to know how safe it is to use such a box in production? How easy it is to setup and maintain? what are the failure chances of the hardware? or RAID going corrupt?

    What you guys recommend?

    Can some body suggest their experience with these type of box?

  • #2
    Re: Custom built SAN for Productin environment

    I'm curious if you have made a decision on this?

    Also, if you don't mind me asking, what was the price for the device?

    Did you run any tests on your systems to get your current IOPs to scale the drives?

    I am looking at a possible EMC solution for my network, I'm just waiting for some quotes to see if I need to keep looking .

    My network is a little smaller than yours with only 80 users, but I like the robust features with the EMC productline (DeDupe, Block replication, Exchange archiving). I'm sure each solution has their own flavors of the features, but I like the N+1 failure plan.



    • #3
      Re: Custom built SAN for Productin environment

      I think, like Hobie alluded to, you need to review what you expect your disk load to be. It's the only way to really devise a proper solution.

      You can then create a solution that has multiple tiers of disk - ultra-fast SSD disks for some, and then high-capacity but slower disks for snapshots and backups for instance.

      Personally, I'd be VERY, VERY hesitant to go with a white-box or custom-build, roll-your-own, call it what you want, solution in a corporate environment, unless they can offer 24x7x2 support. You're talking about putting your entire infrastructure on this disk backend - what happens if the motherboard fails?

      Compare it to a Dell MD3000, just for amusement's sake. Everything in it is redundant (if you spec it right) so even if something does fail, with full coverage, dell will be on site fixing it for you. HP and IBM probably offer similar solutions.

      what can your vendor offer you for support inthe solution you mentioned?

      Just putting in 15K drives is NOT always a solution - you may not get enough capacity, for instance. It also looks like you only have ONE RAID adaptor on there - you want to connect 12 disks to this.. ?

      Can it handle multiple disk groups, multiple luns, different raid configurations?

      what sort of throughput does the vendor tell you it can get. Can he demonstrate it for you? has he provided the same solution for other customers, can you review their solution and see how happy they are ?

      To me, this just looks like a server solution with a shitload of disk in it, and not a true SAN solution.
      Sure, people run solutions like this, and they home cobble them, but they are able to support and understand them - it feels like maybe you wouldn't, and then be at the mercy of the vendor.
      Please do show your appreciation to those who assist you by leaving Rep Point


      • #4
        Re: Custom built SAN for Productin environment

        This whole solution is close to 10K Canadian,

        Tehcamel, you are right, I am in the same boat as you in terms of reliability and support, performance may be good, but I don't feel comfortable with this,

        Dell and HP solution are almost twice the price for 5TB usable disk space but they are more industry recognized and more mature and trusted product.

        Only reason to look at Custom SAN was budget, we are trying to convince management to spend extra on the main storage unit.

        Thanks for the reply.