MSA Storage

New virtual infrastructure - MSA vs 3PAR


New virtual infrastructure - MSA vs 3PAR

We've just been given the go-ahead to replace our existing virtualisation platform. The current one (which I implemented) has lasted around 5 years and we've learned that certain parts were over-provisioned and others under-provisioned. In particular, expansion of it is a bit of a dead-end so I'm keen to avoid this happening again.


Right now I'm looking at the following:

4x DL360 Gen9 - VMware hosts
1x E5-2630v4, 128GB, 10GbE LOM, 10GbE PCIE, no local storage

1x DL380 Gen9 - Veeam backup proxy and repository
2x E5-2630v4, 64GB,  10GbE LOM, 2x SFF for OS, 12x LFF MDL for data

1x Aruba 5406R zl2 - Core switch
3x 10GbE v3 modules

All of this should allow future expansion easily - the hosts are under half provisioned (CPUs and memory), Veeam can be upgraded with DAS if required, more modules are available on the switch. I'm looking at direct attach 10GbE SFP+ for networking.

Storage is my big sticking point. We need around 10TB of fast VM storage (SAS at a minimum, ideally either tiered SAS + SSD or all flash) and around 25TB of archival storage, where MDL SAS/SATA would suffice. My options are MSA, 3PAR or VSA. Some pros and cons that I can think of:

+ Cheapest option
+ Easily expanded with disk enclosures
+ MAS2040 supports performance tiering
- No Veeam storage snapshot capability
- Looks dated (G6/G7) versus our nice new Gen9 hosts (minor, but we like things to look uniform!)

+ Best in class, incredible performance
+ Ultra reliable
+ Easily expanded with disk enclosures
- Pricing seems to be insanely expensive for additionals, e.g. licences per disk added
- If using FC for storage, requires expensive switches/networking

+ Highly redundant (e.g. 4 hosts running VSA = network RAID10)
+ Cost efficient, as our servers already come with storage controllers etc.
- Not really expandable at all
- Large datastores (e.g. our 25TB one) mean hosts will need a lot of disks (probably need to move to DL380 for hosts)

I'm pretty much torn between 3PAR and the MSA here. If the 3PAR comes in at a decent price (e.g. I've heard of a 3PAR 8200 all-flash array for ~$20k) then I might be swayed by it. It would also depend on FC pricing. So, some questions for you:

- Have you got any comments/thoughts on the above specs? Hosts , networking etc.

- Is the 3PAR worth it? The MSA is hardly going to be poor when it comes to performance.

- Would storage be best on FC or is 10GbE ok? For the 3PAR, it seems like I have to go down an expensive add-on adapter route for 10GbE.

- Does FC support direct attach for cabling? $300 of transcievers and $80 of fibre seems like a lot for a 1m connection when direct attach SFP+ is more like $75 a pop.



Re: New virtual infrastructure - MSA vs 3PAR

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HPE Blogger

Re: New virtual infrastructure - MSA vs 3PAR

Well, hello again!  I can help you here or I can help you there!  Or feel free to send me an email. calvin dot zito at hpe dot com.