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So whats everyone using for switching and servers?

 
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jwagner137
Advisor

So whats everyone using for switching and servers?

I'm curious what folks are using for their ISCSI switching and servers? If you dont want to say that's fine. Just trying to get a feel for what others are using and maybe what you like and don't like about them.

We are looking at a few different server and switch vendors and haven't settled on any particular vendor yet.

Thanks in advance.

John

32 REPLIES
ryanhoman100
Occasional Visitor

Re: So whats everyone using for switching and servers?

Using Cisco 3750x and HP A5500 for switching. I like the gui on the HP switches better than the cisco as you can complete most functions without needing to know command line.

Using HP DL380 servers for VMware. The new gen8 series have tons of sensors and run a lot cooler than the older series.

jonathan_dee_ha
Occasional Visitor

Re: So whats everyone using for switching and servers?

For switching we use Cisco's Catalyst 4510r with WS-X4748-UPOE+E linecards for GigE and WS-X4712-SFP+E linecards for 10GigE.  We have always used Cisco gear in our data center, but the upgrade to the chassis-based 4510r switch has been great; very robust and versatile. We use IBM x3550 servers in out VMware environment, which is primarily what our Nimble array is dedicated to.  All of our other servers are IBM xSeries from different generations.

jliu79
Frequent Advisor

Re: So whats everyone using for switching and servers?

We are a HP shop. We use ProCurve line switches. For server we use Proliant DL360 G7. HP servers are the best in my opinion and their support is excellent. We also have a IBM BladeCenter which gives us a lot of trouble and IBM support really sucks.

dejvnull49
Advisor

Re: So whats everyone using for switching and servers?

Hi all!

We're using HP DL360's and DL380's Gen 8 servers. On the switching side, we were a bit on a budget, so we went over pretty much every 10GB switch available... we ended up with Netgear's 10GB switches, which after som initial issues and quirks are actually running fine. The reason we chose them is that we could get four switches instead of two, so now we have two switches in each DC fully redundant. I also have a fantastic technician who is networking agnostic. He'll make anything work as we want it to.

The biggest caveats with Netgear is getting to 3rd line support. 1st line are useless and just loop you around. Getting 3rd line and the issues are usually solved like with most others like Juniper, HP etc...

/Dave

nelson49
Occasional Visitor

Re: So whats everyone using for switching and servers?

For the network that connects our SANs and VMware Servers we are using Dell PowerConnect 5524 switches. For our core network we are using HP ProCurve 2800 series switches.

For our servers we currently use Dell PE R610.  This year, though, we have switched to a company named ByteSpeed for computers and our next round of servers will most likely come from them too.  They provide 5 year warranties on desktops and servers as a standard and use name brand components (mostly Intel).

We haven't had any issues that I am aware of. 

roddy_pimentel
Occasional Visitor

Re: So whats everyone using for switching and servers?

We are using Dell PowerEdge Servers R720's, Cisco 3750X for iSCSI and Cisco 4506 Blade for Server Side Switching.

We almost went all Dell, but I don't know.  Just a fondness for Cisco and being very familiar with the CLI.

ageiger3171
Occasional Advisor

Re: So whats everyone using for switching and servers?

We are using Dell M620 blades and Cisco B200 M2/3s.  The Dell servers access our arrays through a pair of Force10 MXL switches uplinked to a pair of Cisco Nexus 5548s.  The UCS servers connect up through the FI to the Nexus 5548 pairs.

Both have setups have worked pretty well.  The Nexus and Force10 switches have their own peculiarities with the molded twinax cables though.

kevin_kumpf
Occasional Visitor

Re: So whats everyone using for switching and servers?

We're using mostly the Nexus line from Cisco for switching and a variety of R"XXX" servers from Dell.  From a compatibility standpoint, I can't think of a single issue we've had related to Nimble/Cisco/Dell not playing together nicely.

jwagner137
Advisor

Re: So whats everyone using for switching and servers?

Kevin,

Which cisco switches if you don't mind me asking?

We are looking at 3 dell R720s with 2 Cisco 4900M's (1Gb throughout) to a CS260 and CS220.

John

kevin_kumpf
Occasional Visitor

Re: So whats everyone using for switching and servers?

We're using the Cisco Nexus 5010 (which I believe is EOL now) and the 5548.  Admittedly these may be pricey to get into but have been the most rock-solid, datacenter level switch we've used for storage.


I don't think you'll be disappointed in the R720 either, as that's currently our flagship server.  Quite beefy for only 2U of rack space.

gsherart26
Occasional Visitor

Re: So whats everyone using for switching and servers?

We are using HP ProCurve 5400zl switches with 10Gb modules.  Servers are HP BL460c G8 blades (256G RAM, Dual 8 Core).  We boot off the Nimble so there is no local storage.

jwolf81
Occasional Visitor

Re: So whats everyone using for switching and servers?

We're running four HP Gen8 BL460's on VMware with 192 GB RAM each at our primary datacenter. Switching there is through two 10GB HP Procurve 5820 series switches. Storage is Nimble CS240G and an old Drobo device for archive storage. We have around 50 VM's running in that environment (SQL and Citrix XenApp are the biggest hitters there).

We're replicating at the storage level, a SQL cluster, and through DFS down to our DR and development site which is a single HP Gen8 DL380 running VMware. I just have a small Procurve 2910 there at the moment with a Nimble CS240 as the only storage on site.

Both setups work extremely well, and my only gripe with the switches is the 5820's are really running the old 3com OS. The commands are different between the two Procurve products because of that which is frustrating. In a pinch, I also like to use the web interfaces on the switches as you can do most everyday tasks through there.

We're booting all our servers into VMware from onboard SD cards.

J Benway
Advisor

Re: So whats everyone using for switching and servers?

We have Dell R7X0 server connected with 10GB twinax cables to cisco nexus 5548. I agree the twinax cables are VERY touchy. I think we've had to replace about 6 of them. We are using Qlogic CNA cards in the servers.

jwagner137
Advisor
Solution

Re: So whats everyone using for switching and servers?

So we finally purchased and got in place our core. We ended up going with Dell Poweredge R720s and 4 Cisco 4900ms with a Nimble CS260 and CS220.

If I had to do it over I would go with a different switch vendor.

Otherwise all is running well and we are very happy with the setup and functionality so far.

tmoore106
Trusted Contributor

Re: So whats everyone using for switching and servers?

For those that engage with a Nimble SE in the purchase process of an array, ask for that SE's feedback on switches specifically used for iSCSI. We see the good, the bad and the ugly.

Jacob_Wilde
Advisor

Re: So whats everyone using for switching and servers?

We're running Nexus 5548's and all servers are Cisco UCS Blades, things seem to running well, we might consider going to Jumbo Frames as we're all 10GbE and we've seen some latency issues with SQL when doing backups and maintenance jobs that hit the databases hard. VMware seems to fly along, only thing I could wish for is an additional pair of 10GbE ports per controller so I could direct connect the Nimble Arrays to our two UCS domains via Appliance Ports.

davecramp16
Occasional Advisor

Re: So whats everyone using for switching and servers?

I'll chime into this too.

DC1:

Cisco Nexus 5548 switches & Cisco UCS Blades.  We run jumbo frames for iSCSI and NFS traffic VLANs.

DC2

Cisco Nexus 5547 switches & HP C7000 / BL460C G6/7/8 blades.  HP FlexConnect 10gbit blade switches with Jumbo frames for NFS and iSCSI traffic.

dhicks2
Occasional Visitor

Re: So whats everyone using for switching and servers?

HP DL360 Gen 9

HP 5406 10GBE

HP5612 10GBE

CS240

marty_booth
Occasional Advisor

Re: So whats everyone using for switching and servers?

Cisco UCS B200 M4 Blades

Cisco C240s

Cisco 6296 FIs

Cisco Nexus 7k

2x CS300s (DR site)

2x CS500s (Prod site with All Flash Shelves)

We run the Nimble via appliance ports directly into the FIs, jumbo frames. I wish I hadn't done jumbo frames now, overcomplication of the environment for no real performance gain.

Melbourne VMUG UserCon 2015 - vSphere Storage Best Practices - YouTube

We replaced VMAXs and CLARiiONs...

pduncan66
Occasional Visitor

Re: So whats everyone using for switching and servers?

3 x Cisco UCS C220M4

2 x Meraki MS420

1 x Nimble CS300

Kelli
Occasional Visitor

Re: So whats everyone using for switching and servers?

Phillip -

We are looking at implementing a close setup.  Cisco UCS C220M3 and a Nimble CS215.

Do you like your setup?  How long have you been running this setup?  Did you compare it to anything else?  If I may, what applications are you running?  Exchange?  SQL?

We are still in the discovery phase so any help would be great!

Kelli

pduncan66
Occasional Visitor

Re: So whats everyone using for switching and servers?

Hi Kelli,

We are still in the implementation phase of our new environment but so far so good with 1 exception. We've had small issues with how the Meraki switch environment is performing and their support when we think there is a problem. We have been up and running for about 1 month now. The Nimble has been great, and the Cisco UCS have been performing well. Actually, now I remember that there are small issues with the Cisco UCS environment as well, when working with a VMWare hypervisor. Nothing that was too hard to solve but definitely wished it worked out of the box without any hiccups.

We are a Public Safety agency so we had to get multiple vendors and platforms. We mainly compared it to a complete Dell solution (Dell switches, Dell servers, Dell SAN) but decided to go with Cisco and Nimble.

We run a Windows AD environment, with multiple SQL VMs, multiple Exchange 2010 VMs, and other custom app servers. PM me if you want pricing or any other details.


We plan on purchasing another 3-2-1 solution for our secondary 911 center site and will probably go with Nimble/Cisco.

Thanks,

Phil

Kelli
Occasional Visitor

Re: So whats everyone using for switching and servers?

Can you follow me so I can PM you..

ron_fisher
Advisor

Re: So whats everyone using for switching and servers?

We have a variety depending on datacenter. Remote datacenters have DL360G8's with 1G or 10G uplinks to either HP A5920 or A5500Hi switches in IRF stacks with CS300's and moldy oldy Equallogic and CS120's.. Wish we would have gone with 380's for more PCI expansion. Main data center we have HPc7000 enclosures with virtual connect (converged FCoE and 10GE) running 10G meshed to HP A5920 IRF stack with CS500 iSCSI and VNX fibre channel connected.. smoking fast