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We are a small business with about 30 users but thrive new technologies. I have been planning a brand new VMWare install for months now. I have a, hopefully, simple question for anyone.

potentially relevant hardware configuration:

-2 ESX servers with ESX 4 update 1 (essentials plus)

-1 Dell (EMC) AX4-5i SAN full of 420GB 15k SAS drives

-redundant MSTP gigabit switch toplogy

My Dell SAN purchase included a remote install. This includes carving up the LUN's, configuring them for iSCSI availability, and optionally connecting your existing servers to their designated targets. Dell is making their installation process sound like many customers have their ESX servers ready to go before the scheduled SAN remote install. I was initially planning on having the SAN installed and ready to go before I proceeded installing/configuring ESX on my 2 servers. I figured it would be best to have the SAN available to connect to during the ESX installation process.

Is there any reason to go one route over the other? Any brief comments would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!


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up vote 2 down vote accepted

If the hosts are ready, they can be linked up to the SAN once it is configured. The ESX installation is very quick and straightforward, so all the remote installer will require is a host to work with once the SAN is ready

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You don't actually specify the connection to your SAN datastores until ESX is installed and running on your hosts, so you can happily go ahead and install ESX on your hardware, and get everything setup (aside from storage), then once you add your SAN datastores you can start creating VM's.

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You're going to be much better off looking at Nexenta on SuperMicro hardware. I've just built a 40TB redundancy SAN with 2TB of SSD's - we turned away from Dell due to cost and their ridiculous "framed" and "unframed" technology argument! I would also recommend Citrix XenServer - we have over 50 servers running on our Xen's it's smooth and a fraction of the cost of VMWare - plus you're in and ready for XenDesktop/XenApps when you're ready for it - HDX streaming of desktops is awesome!

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dude, he's bought this stuff already. – Chopper3 Feb 23 '10 at 11:28
@MutabiMan - And this answers the – MDMarra Feb 23 '10 at 12:49

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