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Lab - SAN results

Well, decided I had wasted enough time hemming and hawing on what to do for lab storage, so it's done.

A VSA-style storage setup will offer more flexibility, but since I want this host to be somewhat permanent I've decided to go from just adding storage to two ESX hosts to a dedicated 'perma' ESX host. This host is spec'd with the following:
  • Core i7-950/24GB/Supermicro X8SAX-O (lots of PCIe and PCI-X slots)
  • iStarUSA D-400-6-ND case (6 external 5.25" slots)
  • PC Power & Cooling 500w PSU
  • 4x1TB WD Caviar Black (RAID10 for my larger datastore)
  • 4x IcyDock MB994SP-4S SAS/SATA hotswap bays
  • 2x PERC 6i RAID cards w. fanout cables and BBU kits
  • 16x IBM 2.5" 73GB 15k SAS drives (two RAID10 arrays for the 'fast' datastores)
  • 2x PRO1000MT quad NICs (PCI-X)
This host will run my 'home' VM environment and will never be subject to wiping or messing about. Kind of a lab 'production' environment for VMware and Microsoft lab work. The lab 'lab' environment will be the other three i5-based hosts.

It's costing more than initially anticipated, but it should last a long while.

And a final note on SSD - I was not prepared to deal with the entire RAID set dropping and requiring replacement, especially at $180 a pop.

Tonight I pick up the rack, PDUs, and UPSes!


  1. Hi,
    I'm in the process of spec'ing my own lab, and found your blog and am pulling pieces out of it.

    Question about this server's setup. Since this is going to be ESX and SAN, am I figuring correctly that you're doing PCI Passthrough to the cards to a couple VMs?



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