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We are a small business that hosts our core product on a number of HP servers.

Our core production setup is

  • 1x HP DL380, high powered for a SQL Server Database
  • 1x HP DL360, mid powered for our core application server
  • 6x HP DL320, low powered for our front ends

We run our training / testing / support systems on a similar setup, the servers are just older and less powerful. Unfortunately this is now causing us issues as the system has grown beyond the capabilities of these older servers.

Upgrading these servers would be expensive and we believe that virtualisation is probably the way to go for the future. Locally we run a number of test / dev environments on ESXi using Direct Storoage on a couple of high powered DL360's and these are performing fairly well.

We're thinking that instead of replacing all of our test servers that we can implement an iSCSI SAN and one or two high powered hosts. Hopefully looking that when it comes to replace our live servers as well that we can just expand the virual environment to cope.

So my question is... Can anyone offer any advice on some suitable options? We have generally always been extremely happy with HP servers, all of our kit is currently HP, therefore our preference would be to stick with HP, however, I'm always happy to hear about other options.

I'm hoping that initially a budget of around 15-25k (GBP) would be suitable, this could potentially be increased if I had confidence that the system would pave the way for a cost effective upgrade of our live systems in the future as well.

I am new to SAN's and my only real experience is playing with OpenFiler on some old desktops. I think iSCSI should be suitable, but I've not done any research into how SQL server may perform. I've had a browser through HP's sites and see plenty of information about EVA, MSA, LeftHand, etc. However, from looking at all that, I don't see which options would be best and more importantly I don't know exactly what I would need to buy.

Any help, links, opinions would be much appreciated.


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to help you choosing the best choice in the HP product's you would take a look at the hp sizing tool wich runs on windows (sick!). i think it should help you choosing the best hardware regarding the budget you have. looking at what you said above, it wouldn't recommand you MSA SAN, letfhand are really powerfull but very expensive, i think a middle range EVA would suits you well. for vmware sizer here is the link : hp vmware sizer


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