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Topic # 98742 5-Mar-2012 23:26
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Hey guys,
I'm looking at upgrading our infrastructure and looking for some advice/feedback. We currently have a single SAN with 400GB of SSD and 12TB of RAID 6 drives for iSCSI. We are using Starwind on top of Windows 2008 and it works well. We then have a single ESXI 4.1 host connected via 4gbps bonded 1gbps ethernet (this works great). All backup solutions run within the VMs.

I've now got the budget to upgrade to a redundant SAN and host system and its probably worth looking at switching to a better backup solution. THe key I think is to choose the right SAN software. I want to have SAN software (not buy a ready made big $$ solution). I have heard about Nexenta and ZFS but they scare me a little. I don't need automatic failover (this usually costs a lot more) so maybe an Active/Passive setup where I could swap over in about 15 minutes would be fine.

In terms of backup I was thinking of something that could dedupe on the SAN and talk with the host directly to backup all VMs without agents on the VMs. I was looking at Veamm on a seperate VM so I can take advantage of deduplication between the sources and their backups.

What are peoples thoughts/comments on this? 





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  Reply # 590973 5-Mar-2012 23:55
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I run NetApp kit internally, and some friends of mine work there too.

NetApp announced some pretty big price drops on their entry level SANs recently, so perhaps you shouldnt write them off just yet. From memory, the entry level units can ship with dual controllers, NFS and CIFS protocols as well as iSCSI. Dont take my word for that though...

The NetApp's also have a bunch of vmWare specific features and tools which may be of use to you. I run Hyper-V so I cant offer much input there.

Also, if you're looking to do dedupe on the SAN, the NetApp does a great job. Completely set and forget. I started off with about 70% savings on one of my hyper-v volumes, its shrunk to about 50% now but thats still pretty good savings. 2TB of vm data stored in 1TB of physical disk.

What is really cool though, is turning up to work in the morning and finding a replacement disk on your desk - before you even know a disk failed. The auto support on these is great :-]

http://www.netapp.com/us/products/storage-systems/fas2000/




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  Reply # 592262 8-Mar-2012 12:29
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If you're fine with StarWind why don't you just upgrade to it's commercial high available version? And it also comes with deduplication even with a free version so it worth giving it a try :) During our runs Vs ZFS using 4KB block StarWind was a bit faster compared to Nexenta / OpenIndiana and using much less RAM for dedupe hash tables. It would be nice if you'd run them face-to-face on the same hardware and publish numbers for your data pattern :)

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 592264 8-Mar-2012 12:31
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Isn't NetApp with offline (background) deduplication only? What exact appliance model do you run? 

Regs: I run NetApp kit internally, and some friends of mine work there too.

NetApp announced some pretty big price drops on their entry level SANs recently, so perhaps you shouldnt write them off just yet. From memory, the entry level units can ship with dual controllers, NFS and CIFS protocols as well as iSCSI. Dont take my word for that though...

The NetApp's also have a bunch of vmWare specific features and tools which may be of use to you. I run Hyper-V so I cant offer much input there.

Also, if you're looking to do dedupe on the SAN, the NetApp does a great job. Completely set and forget. I started off with about 70% savings on one of my hyper-v volumes, its shrunk to about 50% now but thats still pretty good savings. 2TB of vm data stored in 1TB of physical disk.

What is really cool though, is turning up to work in the morning and finding a replacement disk on your desk - before you even know a disk failed. The auto support on these is great :-]

http://www.netapp.com/us/products/storage-systems/fas2000/

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  Reply # 592269 8-Mar-2012 12:40
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If you can do without the dedup then the HP P4000's are pretty sweet, The entry fast stuff is $18k for 3.6tb of network raided storage on 15k RPM SAS, Dual onboard 1gbit nic's and an upgrade slot for standard 10gbit PCIe card




Most problems are the result of previous solutions...

All comment's I make are my own personal opinion and do not in any way, shape or form reflect the views of current or former employers unless specifically stated 

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  Reply # 592278 8-Mar-2012 12:55
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For a single or just a pair of hosts I think he does not need dedupe @ target side - VEEAM has pretty good dedupe/compression engine built-in into backup itself. Target side deduplication starts to shine with 3+ hosts and separate VM storages. 
Beccara: If you can do without the dedup then the HP P4000's are pretty sweet, The entry fast stuff is $18k for 3.6tb of network raided storage on 15k RPM SAS, Dual onboard 1gbit nic's and an upgrade slot for standard 10gbit PCIe card

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  Reply # 592290 8-Mar-2012 13:13
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Zeon: Hey guys,

...

In terms of backup I was thinking of something that could dedupe on the SAN and talk with the host directly to backup all VMs without agents on the VMs. I was looking at Veamm on a seperate VM so I can take advantage of deduplication between the sources and their backups.

What are peoples thoughts/comments on this? 


Been using Commvault9 and Avamar for for VM image backups, both do a really good job at agent-less backups, and their disk savings due to dedupe are rather scary.

Been playing around with Veeam too, very useful for moving VM's to a DR location on the cheap.
 
As for storage I'd have to agree with Regs, NetApps if you can.
 



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  Reply # 592304 8-Mar-2012 13:29
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Thanks for the input guys. I know I'm going to sound like a cheapass but my current SAN cost probably around $6,000 for a 4u 24 slot Supermicro chassis with a socket 1155 mobo, Xeon and LSI megaraid RAID card alongside 8x 2TB drives in RAID 6 and 4x 120GB SSDs in RAID 5. That gives me 13TB usable.

I look at the price of the HP option and that gives 1/4 of the space for 3x the price. I realize that for active/active most providers charge per TB (including Starwind). I'm not even sure if we need active/active if the downtime on failure would only be 20mins or so but in saying that, if we went Active/Active do you think we could have some storage on the same SAN being non Active/Active?

I guess our problem is that we have a lot of long term archiving which makes up 80% of our required space but the other 20% needs to have really high uptime.

Netapp looks interesting. Any ball park figure for our type of configuration? :) 





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  Reply # 592313 8-Mar-2012 13:35
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1) Any clustered storage I know allows exporting 1-way (non-clustered) LUNs. In a nutshell it's OK to have some LUNs mirrored between physical nodes and other LUNs - not.

2) If you would run Hyper-V as a hypervisor you could have many options not to have NAS/SAN as a shared storage at all (StarWind, DataCore, VM6 and Virsto). For VMware it's only VMware VSA not being much better then any guest-VM storage appliance (( DAS is always cheaper and faster then any SAN/NAS.

Zeon: Thanks for the input guys. I know I'm going to sound like a cheapass but my current SAN cost probably around $6,000 for a 4u 24 slot Supermicro chassis with a socket 1155 mobo, Xeon and LSI megaraid RAID card alongside 8x 2TB drives in RAID 6 and 4x 120GB SSDs in RAID 5. That gives me 13TB usable.

I look at the price of the HP option and that gives 1/4 of the space for 3x the price. I realize that for active/active most providers charge per TB (including Starwind). I'm not even sure if we need active/active if the downtime on failure would only be 20mins or so but in saying that, if we went Active/Active do you think we could have some storage on the same SAN being non Active/Active?

I guess our problem is that we have a lot of long term archiving which makes up 80% of our required space but the other 20% needs to have really high uptime.

Netapp looks interesting. Any ball park figure for our type of configuration? :) 

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  Reply # 592384 8-Mar-2012 15:16
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KOOLER: Isn't NetApp with offline (background) deduplication only? What exact appliance model do you run? 

Regs: I run NetApp kit internally, and some friends of mine work there too. 




the new appliances and new OS also have compression, but i only have background dedup on my FAS2020 (3yo, end of line model).  
http://www.netapp.com/us/technology/storage-efficiency/feature-story-compression.html


as for price, the US web site quotes "Truly unified storage systems starting under $7,500".  Thats under NZ$10k with the current $US rate.




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  Reply # 592393 8-Mar-2012 15:18
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If you want to find out about the netapp pricing, call SAS IT and ask for Kevin Rapson. He should be able to help you. http://sasit.co.nz/




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  Reply # 592418 8-Mar-2012 15:48
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+1 for Veeam here. Works great and is licensed per socket of your host.

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