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  1. #1
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    iSCSI for primary storage?

    I've read some hosts talking about using iSCSI for primary drive space on shared / VPS nodes. I understand the reasoning behind this (redundancy, offload I/O to another server), but isn't there a big performance hit unless you're running a fibre or 10GbE network? I can definitely see the performance not being an issue when we're talking about cases like storing backups. But if you're mounting, for example, your cPanel /home tree over iSCSI, wouldn't you see horrendous latency from I/O?
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by FRH Lisa View Post
    I've read some hosts talking about using iSCSI for primary drive space on shared / VPS nodes. I understand the reasoning behind this (redundancy, offload I/O to another server), but isn't there a big performance hit unless you're running a fibre or 10GbE network? I can definitely see the performance not being an issue when we're talking about cases like storing backups. But if you're mounting, for example, your cPanel /home tree over iSCSI, wouldn't you see horrendous latency from I/O?

    Not necessarily, IOPS are more important than throughput... so an array with SSDs over 1Gbit will out perform a local 4xSATA RAID array in most cases. You can also use bonding and combine multiple 1Gbit connections to increase the throughput of a server with minimal cost.

    We've used iSCSI 1Gbit before on smaller VPS nodes (e3-1230s) without any issue... if you're running dense nodes though you'd probably need multiple bonded 1Gbit or upgrade to 10Gbit at that point. Currently our free hosting service runs off of an HP SAN all using bonded 1Gbit connections and haven't had any issues in the past few years we've been doing it.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by [x10]Corey View Post
    Not necessarily, IOPS are more important than throughput... so an array with SSDs over 1Gbit will out perform a local 4xSATA RAID array in most cases. You can also use bonding and combine multiple 1Gbit connections to increase the throughput of a server with minimal cost.
    Interesting. I just assumed that the GbE link would introduce a massive amount of overhead compared to local storage, and that I/O would suffer as a result.

    We've used iSCSI 1Gbit before on smaller VPS nodes (e3-1230s) without any issue... if you're running dense nodes though you'd probably need multiple bonded 1Gbit or upgrade to 10Gbit at that point. Currently our free hosting service runs off of an HP SAN all using bonded 1Gbit connections and haven't had any issues in the past few years we've been doing it.
    Thanks. We use 1230s for our VPS nodes ourselves, all with local RAID 10, but we're kicking around an idea for shared that's going to be a LOT easier to implement with off-server storage.
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