Las Solanas Consulting

Storage Virtualization | FAQs & Discussions

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True Business Continuity: High Performance, Self-Healing Storage Goes Virtual

The Xiotech Emprise 5000 is a high performance, self-healing storage shelf. DataCore virtualizes it, offering Active-Active Stretch Clustering and a host of other advanced features. The two products are very complementary and represent a radical departure from the boring traditional 19" rackable SPOF approach to storage touted by most of the other vendors. Read on...

Business Continuity 4.8TB iSCSI SAN Solution with Tiered Storage

The recent acquisitions of the two leading independent iSCSI SAN appliance vendors by Dell [EqualLogic] and HP [LeftHand] have created a vacuum leaving many customers and their resellers looking for alternative solutions offering greater flexibility and needed scalability to meet growth and changing future requirements. If you count yourself among those looking for an alternative, look no further: we have your solution here. And if you're one of those looking for a better way to do SAN storage control, then click to read more...

Business Continuity iSCSI Scalable SAN Solution with Tiered Storage

In this cookbook, we will use two HP DL180 G6 Windows 2008 server to build a highly available, flexible and scalable iSCSI SAN Storage Appliance. The servers will run DataCore's SANmelody software package, which will turn them into dedicated storage controllers. SANmelody implements a rich feature set, including both iSCSI and Fibre Channel targets, Read/Write Caching, Thin Provisioning, Snapshots, Active/Active Synchronous Mirroring for Business Continuity, and Asynchronous Replication for Disaster Recovery. Read more...

The Industry's First 8Gb Fibre Channel SAN

Available and affordable. It's the industry's first 8Gb Fibre Channel SAN Storage Array, and you can build it using ordinary x86 servers, QLogic QLE2562 8Gb Fibre Channel HBA's and SAN storage processor software from DataCore. For this configuration, we use a Dell R900 server loaded with 15K RPM SAS spindles. [Read more...]

How To Migrate NTFS Volumes From A LeftHand SAN To Some Other Storage Array

Ask anyone who's been doing shared or "SAN" storage for more than a generation's worth of hardware and they'll tell you. The experienced storage admins know to ask the question, the inexperienced discover the pain after the P.O.'s been signed. "How are we going to get our data off the old array and onto the new?" In this white paper we detail a step-by-step solution for migrating NTFS volumes off a LeftHand storage appliance and onto another storage array. [Read the white paper...]

Last Access And Shared Storage - A Simple But Effective Performance Tweak

A brief discussion on why you should consider disabling "Last Access" updates in your Windows servers, particularly in a SAN environment. [Read more...]

Maximizing Storage Performance With VMWare ESX and Virtual Server Environments

Discusses best practices for configuring SAN or shared storage for virtual server environments such as VMWare ESX. Includes discussion of how many VMs per Datastore. [Read more...]

VMWare Tech Network (VMTN) Submitted Storage I/O Performance Benchmark Results

These benchmarks and spreadsheet are posted on the VMWare Tech Network site. Independent users ran IOMeter tests on VMs against their SAN storage arrays. While the results are not "apples to apples", they are interesting to review. [View PowerPoint Slides...]

STORAGE VIRTUALIZATION TOPICS

What is Storage Virtualization?

Storage Virtualization is the concept of completely abstracting the disk space used by your server data from the physical disks or "spindles". Storage Virtualization allows you to aggregate disks and LUNs from disparate systems into common storage pools. Different classes of storage from multiple vendors can be managed and exploited as a whole. [Learn more...]

Storage Pooling, Thin Provisioning and Over-Subscription Explained

Storage Pooling is an abstraction of physical storage resources from the logical volumes or LUNs published by a storage system. Storage Pooling is the very foundation of Storage Virtualization. [Read more...]

How to Convert a Server with Direct Attached Storage into a SAN Storage Array

Whether you are considering a server virtualalization project or just a refresh of your server hardware, here is a low-cost SAN storage consolidation solution that could save you thousands of dollars. [Read more...]

Will Storage Virtualization Degrade I/O Performance on my SAN?

That depends entirely on the virtualization implementation. Much has been written about the two common methods of implementing storage virtualization, "In-Band" and "Out-Of-Band". The arguments are generally limited to the concepts and not the actual implementations by the vendors. Caveat emptor. [Read more...]

How To Migrate NTFS Volumes From A LeftHand SAN To Some Other Storage Array

Ask anyone who's been doing shared or "SAN" storage for more than a generation's worth of hardware and they'll tell you. The experienced storage admins know to ask the question, the inexperienced discover the pain after the P.O.'s been signed. "How are we going to get our data off the old array and onto the new?" In this white paper we detail a step-by-step solution for migrating NTFS volumes off a LeftHand storage appliance and onto another storage array. [Read the white paper...]

VMWARE ESX SAN STORAGE SOLUTIONS

How to build a Business Continuity Solution with only 2 ESX Servers and SAN Virtualization Software

Overview and implementation details for building an ESX environment with integrated virtual SAN for a true Business Continuity solution. [Read the paper...]

A Cost-Effective and Elegant DR and Offsite Backup Solution For VMWare

Overview and details of a combined VM Backup, Offsite Backup and DR Facility employing Vizioncore's vRanger PRO and DataCore's SANmelody with Async Replication. [Read the paper...]

How Storage Virtualization can help you save Money on your VMWare Server Consolidation Project

This "Work in Progress" discusses how to implement High-Availability with VMotion when you can't afford a traditional SAN. It also discusses how some Storage Virtualization features augment capacity provisioning and availability in a Virtual Server environment. [Read more...]

Maximizing Storage Performance With VMWare ESX and Virtual Server Environments

Discusses best practices for configuring SAN or shared storage for virtual server environments such as VMWare ESX. Includes discussion of how many VMs per Datastore. [Read more...]

VMWare Tech Network (VMTN) Submitted Storage I/O Performance Benchmark Results

These benchmarks and spreadsheet are posted on the VMWare Tech Network site. Independent users ran IOMeter tests on VMs against their SAN storage arrays. While the results are not "apples to apples", they are interesting to review. [View PowerPoint Slides...]

CITRIX XENSERVER SAN STORAGE SOLUTIONS

Building A Virtual SAN for XenMotion

Overview and implementation details for building a virtual SAN for use with Citrix XenServers and XenMotion. [Read the paper...]

DISASTER RECOVERY TOPICS

DR and Asynchronous Replication - Tutorial and Best Practices

An overview of Disaster Recovery with a focus on the storage and data replication aspects. Includes an example using DataCore's AIM (Asynchronous IP Mirroring) products. [Read more...]

A Cost-Effective and Elegant DR and Offsite Backup Solution For VMWare

Overview and details of a combined VM Backup, Offsite Backup and DR Facility employing Vizioncore's vRanger PRO and DataCore's SANmelody with Async Replication. [Read the paper...]

HP SAN STORAGE SOLUTIONS

Business Continuity 4.8TB iSCSI SAN Solution with Tiered Storage

The recent acquisitions of the two leading independent iSCSI SAN appliance vendors by Dell [EqualLogic] and HP [LeftHand] have created a vacuum leaving many customers and their resellers looking for alternative solutions offering greater flexibility and needed scalability to meet growth and changing future requirements. If you count yourself among those looking for an alternative, look no further: we have your solution here. And if you're one of those looking for a better way to do SAN storage control, then click to read more...

Business Continuity iSCSI Scalable SAN Solution with Tiered Storage

In this cookbook, we will use two HP DL180 G6 Windows 2008 server to build a highly available, flexible and scalable iSCSI SAN Storage Appliance. The servers will run DataCore's SANmelody software package, which will turn them into dedicated storage controllers. SANmelody implements a rich feature set, including both iSCSI and Fibre Channel targets, Read/Write Caching, Thin Provisioning, Snapshots, Active/Active Synchronous Mirroring for Business Continuity, and Asynchronous Replication for Disaster Recovery. Read more...

How To Build A High Performance Fibre Channel SAN using an HP DL380 G5 Server

An example configuraton of a high-performance Fibre Channel SAN using an HP DL380 G5 ProLiant server. The objective is to create a scalable appliance with at least 3TB usable high-performance storage. The configuration should allow room for growth in capacity and/or features. The configuration should allow room for growth in capacity and/or features. [Read more...]

How To Build A Scalable Feature-Packed iSCSI SAN using an HP ProLiant DL380 G5 Server

In this white paper, we will configure a feature-rich, high-performance iSCSI SAN using an HP DL380 G5 server. The objective is to create a scalable appliance with 3TB usable high-performance storage, and a Tier-1 SAN feature set. The SAN should be capable of performing both synchronous mirroring for Business Continuity and asynchronous replication for implementing a Disaster Recovery site. The configuration should be scalable, providing for growth in capacity. [Read the paper...]

How To Build A High Performance, High Capacity Fibre Channel SAN using an HP DL580 G5 Server

An example configuraton of a high-performance, high-capacity Fibre Channel SAN using an HP DL580 G5 ProLiant server. With a nod to the EMC CX30-80, we build the machine to 480 SAS and SATA-II spindles for a total of 275 TB of raw storage, 10 4GB (or 8Gb) FC target ports and 4 NICs available for iSCSI, NAS, and/or Asynch Replication. The configuration includes all Tier-1 SAN features: Snapshots, Thin Provisioning, Synchronous Mirroring and Asynchronous Replication licenses. [Read more...]

How To Build A High Performance Fibre Channel SAN using an HP DL385 Server

In this example, we will configure a high-performance Fibre Channel SAN using an HP ProLiant server. The objective is to create a storage array with at least 1TB of high-performance storage, and at least 2 Fibre Channel ports. The configuration should allow room for growth in capacity and/or features. [Read more...]

How To Build A Low-Cost High-Performance iSCSI SAN using an HP ProLiant Server

In this example, we will configure a high-performance iSCSI SAN using an HP ML350 G4 ProLiant server. The objective is to build a scalable storage array with at least 2TB of storage and 2 iSCSI ports. The configuration should allow room for growth in capacity and/or features. [Read more...]

Can I Use Storage Virtualization Products with HP EVA Storage?

The answer depends primarily on the storage virtualization vendor's support for the EVA platform. For instance, with DataCore's SANsymphony product, the answer is a definitive "YES. You CAN use SANsymphony to virtualize ANY of HP's storage products. SANsymphony runs as a set of services on a standard Windows 2003 installation on common server hardware. From the EVA's perspective, SANsymphony is nothing more than an application running on a Windows server. [Read more...]

How To Build A Low-Cost Scalable iSCSI SAN using HP DL320s Servers and MSA60 Disk Enclosures

I've put together an example config of using HP kit to build a one-vendor solution using DataCore. The idea here is that you will be using HP hardware for servers, storage, etc. The storage management or storage controller becomes an application running on a standard HP platform. You could use just about any HP server and disk solution you choose — I just picked what looked like an attractive package for maximizing storage in a small footprint. [Read more...]

DELL SAN STORAGE SOLUTIONS

The Industry's First 8Gb Fibre Channel SAN

Available and affordable. It's the industry's first 8Gb Fibre Channel SAN Storage Array, and you can build it using ordinary x86 servers, QLogic QLE2562 8Gb Fibre Channel HBA's and SAN storage processor software from DataCore. For this configuration, we use a Dell R900 server loaded with 15K RPM SAS spindles. [Read more...]

How To Build A Low-Cost, Scalable H/A iSCSI SAN using Dell PowerEdge 840 Servers

I just took delivery of a couple of Dell PE840s. In this cookbook, I demonstrate how to turn them into iSCSI SAN Storage Arrays implementing Synchronous Data Mirroring (i.e. RAID-1). We also prove scalability by expanding our SAN storage using an MD1000 SAS shelf. [Read more...]

How To Build An Ultra-High Performance H/A Fibre Channel SAN using Dell PowerEdge Servers

In this example, we will build a turbo-charged Fibre Channel / iSCSI storage array or "SAN" using Dell servers. The objective is to achieve I/O performance equivalent to the so-called "Tier 1" Storage Frames, combined with High Availability — but at a fraction of the price of a Tier-1 solution. [Read more...]

IBM SAN STORAGE SOLUTIONS

How To Build A Low-Cost High-Performance iSCSI SAN using an IBM System x Server

In this example, we will configure a high-performance iSCSI SAN using an IBM System x (xSeries) server. The objective is to build a scalable storage array with at least 2TB of storage and 2 iSCSI ports. The configuration should allow room for growth in capacity and/or features. [Read more...]

How To Build An H/A iSCSI SAN with Synchronous Data Mirroring using IBM System x3655 Servers

In this example, we will build a scaleable iSCSI SAN storage array featuring Synchronous Data Mirroring for Extreme High Availability using IBM System x (a.k.a. xSeries) servers. [Read more...]

EMC SAN STORAGE SOLUTIONS

How to Implement Snapshots, Data Mirroring and Replication on Symmetrix and DMX storage without using BCVs, TimeFinder or RDF

Despite their unconventional start as an office furniture supplier, EMC made its name with their Symmetrix (a.k.a. DMX) product line. These Tier-1 SAN storage servers offer a rich feature set including snapshoting and data replication, not to mention performance tuning features. Unfortunately, those advanced features come at a significant price, both in licensing costs and capacity utilization.
[Read more...]

XIOTECH SAN STORAGE SOLUTIONS

True Business Continuity: High Performance, Self-Healing Storage Goes Virtual

The Xiotech Emprise 5000 is a high performance, self-healing storage shelf. DataCore virtualizes it, offering Active-Active Stretch Clustering and a host of other advanced features. The two products are very complementary and represent a radical departure from the boring traditional 19" rackable SPOF approach to storage touted by most of the other vendors. Read on...

SAN STORAGE SOLUTIONS FOR THE APPLE MAC OS X PLATFORM

How to Attach your Mac Mini or G4 Cube to an iSCSI SAN Storage Array

"Insanely Great!" In this cookbook, we describe a low-cost software solution for implementing an iSCSI SAN (Storage Area Network) for your Mac OS Clients. The cookbook includes complete configuration details with screenshots. [Read the paper...]

ISCSI & FC SAN STORAGE TOPICS

Do I Need Special iSCSI HBAs or an iSCSI Switch to implement an iSCSI SAN?

Absolutely not! A few vendors would like you to believe that you need a lot of special iSCSI "Infrastructure" to implement an iSCSI SAN. Nonsense. In most cases you can build your iSCSI SAN using standard Ethernet kit. That was the whole point of iSCSI in the first place. [Read more...]

Should I defragment SAN-based volumes?

This is a complicated question that cannot be answered with a simple yes or no. The objective of volume defragmentation is to improve I/O performance by reducing seek latency on an inherently slow physical medium: the disk drive or "spindle" as well as improve the performance of the File System. [Read more...]

Implementing Synchronous Data Mirroring Between FC SANs Using iSCSI Over Standard IP

[Read more...]

Fibre Channel, Ultra-320, SATA or SAS? Which to choose?

Work In Progress, A comparison of technologies and discussion of what's important... [Read the paper...]

Maximizing Storage Performance With VMWare ESX and Virtual Server Environments

A "Work in Progress". Discusses best practices for configuring SAN or shared storage for virtual server environments such as VMWare ESX. [Read more...]

Last Access And Shared Storage - A Simple But Effective Performance Tweak

A brief discussion on why you should consider disabling "Last Access" updates in your Windows servers, particularly in a SAN environment. [Read more...]

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