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I'm looking at virtualising some of our infrastructure in order to allow for more resiliance and future expandability.

We have successfully virtualised on single servers with Direct Attached Storage and are now looking for a more future proof solution using a high powered host (or two) and a SAN (or two).

I'm thinking that the host machine will probably be an HP ProLiant DL360 G7 (all of our exisiting infrastructure is HP).

Unfortunately, I am new to the world of SANs. From what I can see, the Buffalo Terrastation III is all I would need in order to setup an iSCSI SAN for VMWare to use. However, I'm a little reticent to go that way as it's a bit too "entry level" for my liking. In particular I would be very keen for more redundancy, power, networking, etc. I'm also very aware that you "get what you pay for".

Therefore, can anyone reccommend equivalents from the big boys? HP/IBM? I have searched high and low on the HP site and seen many options but am struggling to work out if it is all the hardware I will need. Some options appear to need separate controllers from disk enclosures, etc.

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Lenovo? Are you sure you don't mean IBM? – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams May 17 '10 at 12:57
ha, good point! edited! thanks! – Robin Day May 17 '10 at 13:27

If you're concerned about resilience I'd avoid putting all your eggs in such a leaky basket as the Buffalo you mention - you want dual controllers and you need dual PSUs.

For iSCSI I'd recommend HP's MSA 2000i G2 and for FC their P2000 G3 - both of which can have dual controllers and PSUs and come with either 24 x 2.5" or 12 x 3.5" disks, plus extra disks can easily be daisy-chained for up to 99/149 disks - they support R0, R1, R3, R6, R10 & R50, support up to 512 LUNs of up to 16TB each plus built-in snapshotting.

I'm sure Lenovo/Dell do something similar too.

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I would actually took a very close look at software solutions. I mean reliable solutions - not something like Openfiler or iSCSI Cake. I would suggest you to google for such solutions as StarWind and Datacore. Actually here you are:

I'm using first one, but as I know Datacore is not bad too.

Mine solution supports all the backup features, that you need - snapshots, mirroring, HighAvailability, etc., and, as for me, it is pretty easy-manageable.

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From my experiences with software solutions, I would put Starwind, OpenFiler and FreeNAS all in the same basket - perfectly capable, but not brilliant. Same for Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 (with iSCSI tools) – Mark Henderson May 18 '10 at 11:22
Lefthand is pretty robust. – Chopper3 May 18 '10 at 13:50

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