I've currently got 3 ESXi servers (free version), using direct attached storage. I want to move to shared storage, because direct storage is very limiting. There are about a dozen VMs, most are fairly low requirements (Exchange is the only one with much IO).
Unfortunately, budget constraints mean I can't get a proper SAN. Can't even get something reasonable off ebay.
Basically, I have two choices. One is a Netgear ReadyNAS 3200. I'm kind of against this, because it's only got 2 gigabit ports, and if you're using one of them for management, that leaves 1 port for all our VMs. Not good.
The other is to pick up a Dell server (such a a T410), fairly low spec, and then to get a quad port gigabit card, and put openfiler on this. For the same kind of price, I can get a dual core xeon, 4GB of RAM, and 6TB of storage (which is enough) on a RAID card, with dual PSUs.
Has anyone done something like this before? Can anyone comment on the performance I might get for this kind of setup?
And yes, I know you should have a proper (new) SAN, dedicated network, replication, etc, but that simply isn't an option. Thoughts?