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N54L as a SAN


indy1979
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Hi all!

 

Picked up a N54L a couple months back and have had ESXi 5.1 on it since then. Now I am thinking about a new direction for this thing.

 

How's this sound for a setup:

 

N54L with 16GB RAM and modified BIOS

2 SSD drives in the ODD bay connected to the extra SATA ports running RAID1 and running Solaris

4 3TB drives configured in Solaris as RAIDZ

4GB QLE220 Fibre Channel HBA in the x16 slot (P2P back to MacPro running ESXi 5.1)

 

Thoughts?

 

Sam

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I have been playing with Storage Server 2012 to turn a N40L into a iSCSI target.

Mainly to have a device in my lab that I can centralize storage to and boot servers from.

Why are you using FC? Do you have the switches to support it?

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The current setup I have is an old server running FreeNAS (slow, I know) over Gb ethernet. There is some definite lag on the VMs when multiple machines are runnings. May be the network getting saturated or FreeNAS.

 

I figure FC because its something I need to learn. For right now, it's just the 2 machines, so I will be going point to point w/o switching. If I add another microserver, then I'll pick up an eBay switch.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Ok, so a little update.

 

I have installed Solaris 11 on an SSD connected to the ODD SATA connection on the MB. I couldn't get the eSATA port to be available for RAID on the SSDs, so there will just be one per server.

 

I have found that the Emulex LPe11000 and LPe11002 fibre channel HBA cards fit quite nicely. Solaris recognized them immediately and I was able to configure them as a FC target and present a LUN on them.

 

Only problem so far is that it appears that ESXi will not support a direct FC connection. I have to pick up a switch. Not a big deal.

 

Once the switch comes I'll update again.

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ESX needs to see a fabric.

There are lots of used switches out there.

Yeah, figured VMWare wouldn't make things easy...

 

I just picked up a Silkworm 200e FC switch with a few SFPs for $125, so they can be had for a good deal.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Awesome read, this has inspired me. Just picked up a LPe11000 on eBay (auction was ending 2 minutes after reading this thread  B) )

Gonna get myself another LPe11000 for my second N40L and play with some fibre!  ^_^ 

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