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we are planning to install an ESX v4.0 server. we will have a iSCSI SAN. my question is is it ok to install the HP P4000 as a virtual machine inside an esx server or it's better to install it in seperate server outside ESX server. i asked becouse i heard in a training video from training signal that its required to installed the iSCSI server out side ESX

thank you

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2 Answers 2

The VSA "version" of the P4000 is a Virtual Machine so it has to be installed on an ESX Host - the P4000 series main product line generally refers to the physical storage arrays that are detailed here.

I suspect that the training in question was implying that if you want to use the VSA to provide shared storage for an ESX cluster (e.g. to support VMotion\HA etc) then it would be better to run the VSA on a separate ESX environment. This is reasonably safe advice but the VSA (and Lefthand architecture in general that the P4000 is a descendant of) should be installed with multiple instances distributed across independant physical nodes providing "array" level redundancy so HP can honestly say that running the VSA within a cluster that it provides storage to is not a problem. It is certified by VMware as a supported shared storage solution too so VMware are also happy to support it. My biggest concern with Lefthand\P4000 VSA implementations is performance, you should take some time to ensure that your planned design and config will deliver what you need.

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Here's my .02:

  1. The VSA VM will have to be the first one powered up, because your VMs will be located "inside" the VSA.

  2. Performance may be an issue. Don't buy until you test thoroughly. They give out those VSAs like candy if you ask nicely.

  3. If you must consider something low priced, and while you are testing that VSA performance, maybe check out openfiler and freeNAS. They can be bare-metal installed and will give you a lot less of a headache if you run into problems and need to troubleshoot.

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