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20tb VSA Cluster - Running 2x VSA on one box?

Paul Hutchings
Super Advisor

20tb VSA Cluster - Running 2x VSA on one box?

I'm planning our imminent storage/server refresh.

 

Right now we have P4000 split across 2 sites with 10GbE and a third witness site on 1GbE.

 

Our IOPS is very low (< 2000 @ 95th percentile).

 

My current plan is to spec up a pair of ML350's each with 16x3tb nearline SAS drives in RAID10 and a couple of SSDs.

 

I then plan on using HP SmartCache on the SmartArray to make the SSDs available as disk cache.

 

I then plan on running 2x VSA on each box (I need 2 to get the 20tb of capacity that I require).

 

The Storage Network would be 10GbE with 1GbE as standby adaptor.

 

Thoughts?

7 REPLIES
5y53ng
Regular Advisor

Re: 20tb VSA Cluster - Running 2x VSA on one box?

I'm running two VSAs on a single server to get by the 10TB limit. This is still in the test phase and not in production, but it runs great.  This setup is on dl380, 25 spindles @ 10k rpms.

 

Paul Hutchings
Super Advisor

Re: 20tb VSA Cluster - Running 2x VSA on one box?

How are you finding it for IO please?

 

From my perspective my (rough) plan seems a good way to utilise the storage in the hosts without too much of a hit on performance (lots of CPU and RAM).

 

Do you have any experience with 10GbE on the P4000 side?

5y53ng
Regular Advisor

Re: 20tb VSA Cluster - Running 2x VSA on one box?

Using the VMXNET3 you'll have 10GbE for the VSA and it is fast. I have 5GB RAM and 2 vCPUs allocated for each VSA, which works great. From a CPU and RAM perspective the workload on the host isn't anything unusual. In my experience your disks and RAID controller will have the biggest impact on performance. 

 

Otherwise, the only thing special I had to do was increase the VMFS heap size, which determines how much storage you can have open by virtual machines on a host. See this VMware KB HERE

 

The other consideration is node adjacency. You need to arrange the VSAs so that if you lose a server or need to reboot you don't take down the cluster. (assuming you'll have more than one host)

 

 

Paul Hutchings
Super Advisor

Re: 20tb VSA Cluster - Running 2x VSA on one box?

That's good to know :-)

 

We're using ESXi 5.1 (or whatever is around in September time) so heap shouldn't be an issue from what little I've read but thanks for pointing that out.

 

Design wise we'd be doing a multi-site with 3 physical sites (third for quorum) so we'd do what we do now which is bind particular nodes to each site.

cheazell
Advisor

Re: 20tb VSA Cluster - Running 2x VSA on one box?

We do something similar for our situation although I haven't yet added a second VSA to the same host. Kate Davis at HP indicated that there would be an increase to VSA capacity from 10TB last autumn and I keep a close eye out for any kind of announcement but as yet there hasn't been one.

 

For your 25 spindles how have you set that up on the array side to present to the VSA's? I've got the same and I'm curious.

 

 

5y53ng
Regular Advisor

Re: 20tb VSA Cluster - Running 2x VSA on one box?

2 luns raid 6. A small one to host esxi and the vsas, the remainder is allocated as one large vmfs to host the 10 vmdks attached to the vsas. (5 ea)

Sorry for grammar - via phone.
Paul Hutchings
Super Advisor

Re: 20tb VSA Cluster - Running 2x VSA on one box?

I've revised my current plan so rather than have 2x VSAs per node I'll have 4 nodes.

 

Ideally I can license these for Windows Datacenter so we have the added benefit of increasing our vSphere Cluster and our entire virtual environment vs. simply having 2 boxes providing some storage and having most of their CPU going unused.