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I would like to build a new smallish VMware cluster - only two nodes will ever be used.

I have previously seen references to shared direct attached storage. That would dramatically push down the price point. Instead of going with an MSA2000 or a LeftHand SAN can the HP MSA70 be used in this fashion? Any caveats I need to be aware of?

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Well, the HP StorageWorks MSA70 is an older product. It's since been replaced by the HP StorageWorks D2700.

Either way, both products are meant to be used as direct-attached storage to an individual server, or cascaded from a SAN unit like the P2000.

You have some options, though. I build storage servers that connect to such an enclosure (using NexentaStor), then share the storage to VMWare hosts via iSCSI or NFS. You could also look into a SAS-based HP P2000 G3 unit, which can provide direct-attached SAS connectivity to up-to four servers.

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After a week of telling me to put NexentaStor on a box instead of getting a pair of P4500s, you neglect to recommend it in this answer?!?!?!?!? –  MDMarra Feb 23 '12 at 20:10
"I build storage servers that connect to such an enclosure..." –  ewwhite Feb 23 '12 at 20:14
Just poking fun :D –  MDMarra Feb 23 '12 at 20:16
Thanks ewwhite. I built out a couple Linux iSCSI targets as well.. Was hoping for a cheap server grade hardware solution. I'm not partial to the SAS interface. Looks like either a P2000 or a MSA2000 may be in my future. –  Tim Brigham Feb 23 '12 at 20:55
P2000 G3 is the current SAS/iSCSI/FC product from HP. If you have a spare server, you could connect it to the MSA70 or D2700 and service storage via NFS/iSCSI. I recommend NexentaStor for that, but Linux also works (just not as well). –  ewwhite Feb 23 '12 at 20:58

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