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  1. #1

    Clustered VM Storage

    I'm currently running a proprietary SAN solution, and while it works well I'm inclined to go with a clustered storage solution when I run up against the capacity of my unit next year.

    The problem is that my knowledge is out of date. It used to be that more spindles --> better IOPS, which matters for database applications. Now that we're in the world of SSDs it seems like all that has changed.

    So I'm looking for your experiences, and any advice you've got. Right now I need to decide on hardware vs software, and then choose a platform:

    • By default I looked at CacheCade (or comparable) RAID controllers with a mirrored SSD for cache and a pile of multi-TB SATA drives sitting behind it because it seems that's the best of both worlds. Reading is suggesting that I can do about as well doing this in software with ZFS. If I go with a software solution, what am I really giving up?
    • Clustering is the next hurdle. I've got some experience with Open-E and their active/active clustering solution looks interesting. I've also been playing the NAS4Free, and it looks like it incorporates HAST which should offer an acceptable active/passive solution. Then again, I could build a pair of Linux/FreeBSD servers and use DRBD/HAST and friends to build failover as well. Right now I'm leaning toward NAS4Free if the failover doesn't take more than a couple of seconds, but I've got no experience

    So who wants to set me straight?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    In terms of the SSD caching technologies, you can do this in software quite easily, as long as you do the math on how much SSD capacity would make sense as a backing cache to your spindle storage. Below is a list of just a few (and the most popular) projects doing this on Linux:

    What you'd lose is much the same as Software RAID vs Hardware RAID. You would be transferring the same data across the bus using the host CPU to manage caching. Fast bus and ample CPU would generally negate this.

    I don't know much about the technologies you've listed for replication however GlusterFS and Ceph are also very interesting projects. The largest issue with them, I'd say, is that they are quite complex and the learning curve is huge.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    North Hollywood, CA
    Depending on your platform you can run vSAN with in VMware.
    I have it running in production with my VDI.

    As a test with 3 servers each server with 4x 1tb ssd's pulled a server off almost no issues. Desktops on that host migrated over but all the data was sound.

    Its a lot cheaper then dropping for a new SAN.
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  4. #4
    If money is not an issue I would advise looking into the enterprise clustered storage technology that NetApp sells (Clustered Data OnTap). If you're extremely concerned with database speed then you should look into Fusion IO Technologies.
    To assume perfection is merely a display of ignorance.

  5. #5
    What is the cost of that Clustered Data Ontap?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Have you looked at Pure Storage?
    Andrew Wataszko - [email protected]
    Quartet Service Inc
    Cloud Services | Support Services | Technology Management Programs

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by digitalvalley View Post
    What is the cost of that Clustered Data Ontap?
    Well If you're looking for a redundant solution for a large enterprise a dual stack setup would suffice (dependent upon your storage capacity requirements). This would include two 42u cabinets; each would have a filer costing about 100k (new from NetApp) which would manage the drive array. The rest of the cabinet would be filled with disk shelfs containing a combination of sata/scsi/ssd drives of your preference (adding to your 100k cost at a cost of approx. 500 drives x $100-1000/drive). The two cabinets paired together would be redundant so that one filer could serve data from both 42u cabinets in the event one fails. Keep in mind though, this is only an enterprise storage system and only acts as a SAN (providing block level storage) to your performance servers.
    To assume perfection is merely a display of ignorance.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Quartet-Andrew View Post
    Have you looked at Pure Storage?
    I may be wrong, but the last time I checked with them they wanted $10/GB usable, not raw (they claimed they have a 5-1 dedupe ratio, so 10tb raw becomes 50tb usable so they bill on that?). IIRC, the entry level units were hundreds of thousands?

    Or am I recalling a totally different setup?
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