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Anyone have any experience with SQL over iSCSI on Equallogic boxes?

We've currently got a dedicated Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 server that's quickly running out of disk space. The server is hammered 24/7 pretty much and unfortunately requires a lot of IO to keep running smoothly.

We're considering purchasing a Dell Equallogic PS6010 and get some 10GbE equipment to handle it. I've seen all the Dell promo videos showing snapshots and SQL-Aware functionality and their reps keep sending me whitepapers and statistics, but does anyone have any real-life experience with such a scenario? (I'm guessing this is quite common in larger datacentres)

If so, how did you find the deployment and throughput/IOPS? 3323 IOPS keeps getting thrown around as its maximum performance, but has anyone found anything close to that in the real world?

marked as duplicate by Mark Henderson Oct 8 '12 at 3:54

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  • I just noticed my own question is almost an a dupe (just more wordy) of one from a while ago, so feel free to vote to close as dupe! – Mark Henderson Oct 19 '10 at 9:41

@Farseeker, First I'd like to note that these views and comments are of my own accord and not driven in anyway by Dell. I work for Dell in the EqualLogic engineering team and I specialize in SQL Server integration. The question you pose around IOPS is pretty open ended because a 1Gb infrastructure can handle 3323 IOPS as well as a 10Gb infrastructure. The question you need to think about is what does your IO look like? Is it prmarily read or write, large or small IO etc. This will determine if you need to consider 10Gb or not.

If you simply want to know if an EqualLogic environment can handle 3323 IOPS then the answer is yes but in order to really size your environment for the right type and # of arrays you would need to know the following: total IOPS (which you do), IO type (sequential/random), read/write mix, and size of average IO. This will give a better idea of your workload and how to successfully build a solution to meet it's needs. With this information your Dell sales rep should be able to run the numbers through their sizing tools and give you more clear answer.

Are you aware of Dell TechCenter? There's a lot of resources there and it's a community type site where you can reach out to other professionals as well as Dell technologists through the forum. The url is: http://www.delltechcenter.com/

  • Thanks Darren. I've been speaking with Dell a bit more over the last 24 hours, and after running some perfmon counters they sent us on our SQL servers I've submitted them to their storage guys and they're going to analyse them. We only have the budget for one Equallogic to begin with. Thanks for your advice though, I'll check out that techcentre link. – Mark Henderson Oct 19 '10 at 21:59

@Farseeker, you might find this Dell Whitepaper to be helpful in your research:

Deploying Microsoft SQL Server 2008 DSS Systems using Dell EqualLogic 10GbE iSCSI Storage

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