Friday, 29 July 2011

iSCSI Boot Means Disk-less Hyper-V Failover Cluster Nodes

As we are digging into the iSCSI remote disk setups for our Hyper-V Clusters we are beginning to see some neat possibilities for its use.

The one drawback to iSCSI that we can see when we look at our current commodity cluster setup using the Promise VTrak Ex10sD RAID Systems is I/O bandwidth.

With our two node setup we have an aggregate bandwidth of 48Gbit/Second via the external dual quad 3Gbit/Second SAS connections per node.

With our need for an iSCSI target for our clustered VM’s backup needs we can see a small cost savings for our two nodes by eliminating the need for internal drive storage for the host Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 OS installation.

Since I/O needs for the host OS would be relatively low, hosting the OS storage on our iSCSI Software Target setup could be an option for us.

We will begin testing of this configuration once we have an HP ProLiant MicroServer set up to be the iSCSI Software Target.

Potentially, this setup would save the cost of two 15K or 10K SAS drives set up in each host node. The catch will be the cost savings versus performance costs. Once our testing has completed we will publish our results.

We are aiming this configuration test at our entry level 2 node commodity cluster which currently costs under $20K.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*Our original iMac was stolen (previous blog post). We now have a new MacBook Pro courtesy of Vlad Mazek, owner of OWN.

Windows Live Writer

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