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Purchase decision - MSA60 sufficient?

 
Nu IT
Contributor

Purchase decision - MSA60 sufficient?

Hello,

I'm pondering whether to go with a blade or just stick with the much simpler, tried and true single standalone server. I would greatly welcome your thoughts and wisdom! :-)

My shop has 65 Windows servers, many run virtualized (VMware Server, not ESX). All the physical servers (DL380 G4 and ML350 G5's) use only Directly Attached Storage via built-in hard drives with each server hosting about 4 to 7 VM's.

About half of the servers run Oracle or Microsoft SQL and as a result are disk intensive.

I'm thinking about purchasing a c7000 and MSA60 storage array, and loading up with (8) BL480c to replace the DL380 G4's and the ML350 G5's, and in the near future, throwing in (4) BL680c to run Terminal Servers for about 150 users.

My question is won't a single MSA60 get severely overwhelmed handling disk activity for 40 servers, plus Terminal Server user activity for 150 users?

What would be a better performance approach to deal with storage in this scenario?

Thanks for your advice!

5 REPLIES
JKytsi
Honored Contributor

Re: Purchase decision - MSA60 sufficient?

MSA2000 with FC controllers. Scales with your future needs too.

http://h18006.www1.hp.com/storage/disk_storage/msa_diskarrays/san_arrays/msa2000fc/index.html

Just a curiosity but how You planned to connect the MSA60 blade enclosure ?
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Torsten.
Acclaimed Contributor

Re: Purchase decision - MSA60 sufficient?

http://h18006.www1.hp.com/storage/disk_storage/msa_diskarrays/drive_enclosures/index.html

The MSA60 is SAS/SATA - where do you want to connect to SAS cable on your blade enclosure???

You need a device with LAN or FC connectivity:

http://h18006.www1.hp.com/storage/disk_storage/msa_diskarrays/san_arrays/index.html

or

http://h18006.www1.hp.com/products/storageworks/eva4400/specs.html

or

http://h18006.www1.hp.com/products/storageworks/eva4100/index.html

Hope this helps!
Regards
Torsten.

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Steven Clementi
Honored Contributor

Re: Purchase decision - MSA60 sufficient?

You should probably be looking into a more flexible Storage Solution, rather then Direct Attached Storage.

Though it will be possible in the future, I do not think there is availability currently to connect an external DAS device to the blades in a c-Class Enclosure.

You will either need to re-think your design, or wait a little while before upgrading.

Current Options include the SB400 Storage Blade, MSA2000, EVA 4x00/6x00/8x00... each with varying costs.

The EVA4400 is competatively priced when compared to the MSA2000 and offers many more storage options/features.

The MSA2000 is simple and effective and allows for some future growth.

The Storage Blade is Direct Attached Storage.

Will you be switching to VMware ESX Server with the upgrade? or staying with the Windows Based VMware Server?


Steven

Steven Clementi
HP Master ASE, Storage and Clustering
MCSE (NT 4.0, W2K, W2K3)
VCP (ESX2, Vi3, vSphere4, vSphere5)
RHCE
NPP3 (Nutanix Platform Professional)
kris rombauts
Honored Contributor

Re: Purchase decision - MSA60 sufficient?

Hi,

so you are talking about approx 15 physical servers here (65 total and 4 to 7 VM's per physicall server), this means that if you go for the BL480C or BL680C blades which are full height blades, that you need a total of two C7000 blade enclosures.


Given the intensive disk I/O of your environment, i really think you should move to a SAN based storage solution like EVA where you can start with a entry level model and grow over time if needed. The advantage will be that you have a very easy and centralized management of all LUNs with just one user interface and have features like snapshots/snapclone/business copy/dynamically grow or shrink LUNs if you like. Also redundant access and load balancing to the LUNs will be possible from each host.

If you go the blade way, MSA60 is currently not an option since there is no way to connect the SAS/SATA storage to your blades as already mentioned before in this thread. When the shared SAS/SATA blade solution comes, i am not sure it would be able to keep up with the I/O you need unless you spread it over several MSA60's but that solution also becomes more expensive then and more complex to manage each individual storage enclosure.
If you prefer to have a local SAS/SATA SmartArray based storage solution that you are familair with now for every blade then the only solution right now is to use the SB40C Storage blade (currently max 6*146 GB disks) but that takes up half a slot in the blade enclosure and is not shared between blades.



HTH

Kris
Nu IT
Contributor

Re: Purchase decision - MSA60 sufficient?

Thank you everyone for your suggestions and particularly for the easy to click URL links!

I'm thinking about the 4400 Starter Kit for Blades, in large part because it supports storage virtulization - yeah!

Two follow up questions, please:

As a traditional standalone server and directly attached storage guy, I'm struggling to estimate just how many servers can be stuffed into a c7000 enclosure before a 4400 with (12) 450 GB 15,000 RPM drives becomes too burdened by all the activity of the connected servers?

The c7000 will ultimately have 10 to 16 BL460c's running Windows 2008 and VMware Server (not ESX) with about 4 to 7 VM's per BL460c.

Or, it will have (8) BL460c for VM's and (4) BL680c for Terminal Servers.

Many of the virtualized servers run databases (SQL and Oracle), though only about 30% of the servers are consistently busy reading/writing to storage. Thus, 70% of the servers are not stressed making them excellent for virtualization.

Forgive my redundancy, I'm just uncertain how to estimate, or better yet, measurably demonstrate how to size the necessary number of drives and enclosures.

I've read the 4400 is capable of 140,000 I/O's per second. Wish I could find out how similar DAS drives in a ML350 G5 stack up.

Anyone care to help me across the bridge of understanding on this one, please?

Thanks again!