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Former Member

I-SCSI or Fibre Channel for SAP on ESX ?

Hello,

i have 4 ESXI Hosts with 2-6 vmware machines. Every machine contains a NW 2004s system (test, demo, education) with 8 GB ram and MaxDB database with 50-100 GB. Today the machines run with local Harddisk, but we plan to buy a SAN. I prefer a low cost fibre channel solution on basis of

Infortrend EonStor S16F-R1840 (RAID-System) and Qlogic SANbox 5800 V (SAN Hardware), but our central it administrator wants a solution based on 10 Gb i-scsi.

I read several blogs and articles, but im am really unsure which technology we should use.

Greetings

Heiko

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3 Answers

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    Former Member
    Sep 20, 2010 at 03:12 PM

    Hi Heiko,

    I can't speak for the iSCSI side but we have found that we need to run our VMWare instances on Fiber Channel instead of SAN based SATA storage. The speed differences we found were critical and led to moving from the slower storage to the faster storage for just our development systems alone (all other systems were already on FC).

    I hope that is helpful.

    Thanks!

    J. Haynes

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    • Former Member

      As from I know, the iSCSI doesn't need special connection media, just cooper cable and ethernet card.

      So for virtual machine, it's a viable option because you can use vmNetwork.

      iSCSI also allow for double teaming and SAN redundancy, providing high availability system.

      Regards,

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    Former Member
    Mar 09, 2011 at 01:33 PM

    I think this comparison between FC, iSCSI and NFS can be helpful. The application is MS Exchange.

    [VMware vSphere 4: Exchange Server on NFS, iSCSI, and Fibre Channel|http://www.vmware.com/resources/techresources/10038]

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    Former Member
    Mar 14, 2011 at 01:42 PM

    We have our entire VMware landscape running on iSCSI SAN's, including SAP, Exchange, File/Print services. Before we went this direction we tested what our needs were to determine which option would best meet our needs. We found that the iSCSI solution would more than cover our requirements. Couple this with the fact that iSCSI uses copper, infastructure costs would also be lower.

    We are relatively a small shop, approx 200 users on 3 ESX hosts with 35 VM's, so the iSCSI option was a good fit for us. I would recommend trying to find what your requirements are for performance on the SAN, this will help you determine which technology to go with. In our case both cost and performance were in the favor of iSCSI and that is the direction we went and have had no problems. Hope this helps.

    Jared Powell

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    • Especially on SAP systems the performance is a very important criteria when selecting the hardware.

      As far as I know the efficency of iSCSI is lower than the efficency from FC technologie. Because of this and some other reasons I would always prefer Fibre Channel. Especially for SAP systems...

      Regards, Bernd