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Boner Buffet
Feb 16, 2006


I hate sales people. I want to get pricing on some lefthand gear, but I don't want to listen to any of their spiel, or get follow up calls only to have the person get pissy when I remind them we're a public school and everything comes down to dollars, not necessarily doing things the proper way. I don't want to talk to a reseller either. All I want to know is how much it costs.

Are there any resources available which might have this information available without having to talk to someone or does it pretty much come down to having to put up with sales people?

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Boner Buffet
Feb 16, 2006


Maneki Neko posted:

I'll send you the numbers I've seen, but you don't seem to accept emails/pms. :)

I didn't realize that I had email turned off. I turned it on. No PM because I'm a cheap bastard who never purchased it. :)

Thanks!

Boner Buffet
Feb 16, 2006


Thanks fellas. What I'd really like to do is have an iSCSI SAN, 2-4 TB. I'd like to host a modest amount of vmware guests on it hosting primarily file shares, home directories, and groupwise email for the staff numbering 250-300. Then I'd like to do it all over again with a completely redundant SAN at one of our other schools in some sort of fail over configuration. Being able to do snapshots and have some sort of monitoring dashboard is something I'd like as well.

My problem is I can't even get anyone to listen to me about doing this and getting away from bare metal machines for our critical data without having some semblance of a dollar figure attached to it. I have to approach this rear end backwards from how most normal people would approach it.

Boner Buffet
Feb 16, 2006


rage-saq posted:

Pick a big number and get them to approve that, then show off how good you are by coming in under budget!

I might be better off saying it's cheap and ending up over budget. Otherwise I'm likely to get this response: :frogout:

I'll look into the CDWG route. I do have a rep and he's generally pretty good.

Boner Buffet
Feb 16, 2006


Has anyone noticed any price drops on Lefthand gear since HP swallowed them up; price drops that would enable a broke rear end school district to seriously consider going that route?

Boner Buffet
Feb 16, 2006


Does anyone have any experience with the HP P4300 G2 SAN starter kit? Thoughts? Has HP screwed up the Lefthand units or are they still a good option for an iscsi SAN? I'm looking into virtualizing a large chunk of our physical machines. We only have one server running one mssql database and no Oracle. It will mostly be for our GroupWise system and network file storage, along with the odds and ends boxes that are just wasting electricity.

I got pricing and it was more than I was expecting. Then again, I have no real basis for my expectations.

Boner Buffet
Feb 16, 2006


Skipdogg, thanks again for the info.

I have macro design question. I'm planning to virtualize a large number of our physical machines with ESXi 4.1, migrating away from Netware in the process and going totally Suse Linux. I'll be using our SAN(most likely the HP P4300) as the data store for all of the Virtual Machines.

Currently we're using Novell Cluster services for file system access and GroupWise. I plan to keep that in place. The cluster nodes will be virtual machines and I'll carve up part of the SAN into LUNs which I can then present to the cluster nodes as shared storage.

I'll leave as much space as possible unallocated in the event that a migration to Exchange or something else pops up down the road.

From a high level, does anything sound off base?

Boner Buffet
Feb 16, 2006


Misogynist posted:

Your organization's dedication to Novell

ha, I was going to say that. It's not a dedication, rather it's what we have and until they completely implode there's nothing we'd gain from making a lateral move over to equivalent MS products other than migration invoices.

Boner Buffet
Feb 16, 2006


Has anyone here had any experience with HP's VSA(virtual storage appliance)? We're probably going to move forward with a basic P4300 7.2TB SAN. The guy who is the admin for the local vo-tech school has the same unit, but has two and replicates data from the active to the passive each night at a DR site. I'd love to do that but it was hard enough to convince everyone on one SAN, 2 would be close to impossible.

VSA and an HP server with a bunch of storage seems like it would be a cheaper option. The active SAN will host VMWare data stores and half a dozen iScsi LUNS for non VMWare HA cluster resources.

I'm not looking too much at performance for a DR site, because in the case of a disaster, we're only looking to bring certain services/servers online, not everything.

Boner Buffet
Feb 16, 2006


Sorry, I wasn't clear with my post. He has two units all together. One active, and one that has the data replicated to it once a day. It's not a true HA but rather an offsite copy of the LUNs(volumes in Lefthand-ese I believe) in the event of a true disaster or data loss. This is also accepting that we'd lose whatever data was created or changed between the catastrophic data loss and the last replication.

The piece I really need to dig into is how I would then make that DR site live. I'm thinking a third VMWare host would be at the DR site and we'd bring the most critical virtual machines online. I work at a K-12 school district so downtime doesn't mean millions of dollars in business being lost every second of downtime. Automatic fail over is not a concern. However, having a relatively straight forward and documented plan to cut over to a DR site is what I'm looking for, even if that cut over takes a couple of hours to get going.

Thanks for the info though. I wouldn't expect any single volume to be larger than 2TB or combined, be more than 10TB, seeing as we're only going with 7.2TB starter kit anyway on the primary SAN.

Just because, here's a crappy visio diagram of what I'm thinking of:

Boner Buffet
Feb 16, 2006


it's ok because the floor has a drain and sump pump.

Boner Buffet
Feb 16, 2006


I plan on using migrating our old Netware based cluster to Linux, so in addition to serving up datastores for vmware, the SAN will be offering up iscsi luns directly to those virtual machine based cluster nodes, so I don't think that would work for me.

Also, we're probably going with the Essentials Plus bundle from VMware, which might not have all the bells and whistles including SRM, but I have to dig into it to be sure.

Boner Buffet
Feb 16, 2006


Thanks for the feedback. Manual Intervention is fine assuming it's something that can be properly documented and done by a trained , again, even if it takes an hour or two to get up and running.

There would have to be a real disaster like the building burning down or being pulled into the gamma quadrant through a wormhole for me to go to the redundant box, which is why I'm looking at VSA as a cheaper alternative over a second P4300 which may never have to be put into production.

Boner Buffet
Feb 16, 2006


Great, thanks for the tips. Actually, I didn't even think of just using free ESXi at the DR site, which would free up a host if I ever want to add a third host to the 2 host production vmware cluster I'm planning. The essentials plus bundle is up to three hosts, two cpus per host, and six cores per CPU I believe, so burning that third host for a DR site seems like a waste to me.

Boner Buffet fucked around with this message at 12:41 on Jan 6, 2011

Boner Buffet
Feb 16, 2006


Mausi, I'm not sure I'm following this:

quote:

EVERY time you deviate from your production kit at the DR site be drat sure you know the impact.

The production SAN wouldn't be at the DR site, unless that's a typo.

Overall, after reading a little more about VSA, it seems like it's not exactly what I was thinking it was. It seems to be geared for vmware, not just to duplicate the P4000 series SAN on cheaper hardware.

I'm not just using the production SAN for vmware data stores. I'm going to have iscsi luns on it that three or four cluster nodes will be talking to. Those cluster nodes will happen to be virtual machines, but the critical data they "serve up" will be located on basic iscsi accessible luns...nothing to do with vmware directly.

Boner Buffet
Feb 16, 2006


After reading it in that context, it makes sense now.

The local inside rep at HP refuses to call me back despite leaving multiple messages. I think it would be worthwhile looking to an outside source to help me out with this, especially if I can't get anything from HP.

Boner Buffet
Feb 16, 2006


I dropped an email to a vmware rep who has been helpful in the past. I'll give my CDWG rep a shout too. It's funny you mention that because I've read people say to stay away from CDW in these cases. However, I'm not in the market for a huge rear end fibre channel san spending a quarter of a million dollars which might have been the context of those posts.

Thanks for suggestion.

Boner Buffet
Feb 16, 2006


When I say introduce myself and say I'm from a K-12 school district the excitement of potentially large sales dissipates rapidly. Our CDW rep is good because he knows we're not spending any money on anything extra and doesn't bother pushing us. Some vendors and vars don't get that local school districts around me don't have the money to buy whatever they're trying to sell.

The decision making process is basically like this. How much? Just about nothing else matters.

Boner Buffet
Feb 16, 2006


I started to spec up a server to run the VSA software on. We're a Dell server shop, so I figured I'd stick with them. I've asked for a quote for an R710 with embedded ESXi 4.1, the free one. I'm looking at doing a simple RAID5 SATA 7.2k array. Since this would be DR and only the most critical services would go live, I'm guessing using SATA isn't a horrible choice in this case. No oracle or mssql except for a small financial package using mssql, which has 10 users at the most at any one time. GroupWise(no laughing) and all of our Novell file servers would be brought online too. 32GB of RAM. Anyone see anything completely wrong with that hardware setup?

Also, our Dell rep has a bad habit of ignoring what you write in an email. I gave him the equote# and asked to change the support options and to NOT give me the promotion pricing he mentioned. So, he gives me a quote with the wrong support option and with the promotion pricing.

Boner Buffet
Feb 16, 2006


szlevi posted:

take a look at those sweet-priced R715s - they come with 12-core Opterons, for the same price you can get 24 core in a node... and R815s are only 2-3G away and up to 2.2GHz they come with 3rd and 4th CPU included for free, making it 48 cores total per node. :)

Unfortunately, the VMWare bundle we're going to go with only allows licenses for up to 6 cores per host.

Boner Buffet
Feb 16, 2006


Mausi posted:

The core limitation is a bit of a red herring as the vast majority of x86 virtualization work done runs into memory ceilings long before cpu, the notable exception to this is stuff like 32bit Terminal Services.

I'm not entirely sure why I wrote "unfortunately" anyway, since I'm only going to have 2 processors with 2 cores each anyway in my hosts...

Boner Buffet
Feb 16, 2006


HP makes getting competitive pricing, at least with the lefthand units but probably with all their storage, impossible. Butt hurt VARs refuse to give me quotes because they're not the preferential partner on the project and I can't make a purchase without competitive quotes. I hate VARs.

Boner Buffet
Feb 16, 2006


Speaking of lefthand, for those with a p4300/4500, how do you set up the NICs on your equipment? Do you bond the nics on each shelf/unit?

Boner Buffet
Feb 16, 2006


So you did the adaptive load balancing then. I'm debating whether to do that or just go with LACP bonding to one switch. Switch one is a cisco 4507 while switch two is a 2960G. I wonder if there is any performance difference between the two options.

Boner Buffet
Feb 16, 2006


Has anyone installed the Fail Over Manager for an HP4000 series? The only download I could find for the latest FOM(9.5) was a zip file, but the docs say nothing about a zip containing a couple VMDKs and an OVF.

I may be under the incorrect assumption that to install the FOM, you create a new VM on a single ESX host, and that keeps quorum between SAN cluster members.

Boner Buffet
Feb 16, 2006


Just figured out what an OVF file is and what it does. I'M LEARNING.

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Boner Buffet
Feb 16, 2006


Intrepid00 posted:

The FOM does indeed keep quorum. Don't however put it's storage in the SAN or it won't be operational if one is list. You also only need to use it if you don't have 3 or more regular boxes as they would be better to run the manager.

When I install it the installer created the VM from start to finish, I just had to set the drive to use. I used the Hyper-v one though so the process of setting it up is probably diffrent.

Thanks. I put it on the ESXi cluster, but just on the local data store, not the SAN itself. After it was installed and configured, I screwed up the networking config on one of the P4300s, but the whole storage cluster didn't go offline, so I guess it's doing its job.

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