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VMware Solutions Discussions

Best way to size/design Vsphere 4.1<->NetApp network fabric


Had a question for the Netapp/VM Gurus out there..

I'm looking for information/tools/anything that would assist me with gathering data on an existing Vsphere 4.1 enterprise plus environment (with current VM host server storage on local server disk array) in order to properly design the pipe between my host and a NetApp filer over NFS.  I'm trying to find out just how much bandwidth I need for the storage end of things...whether 1GB pipes are enough long-term, 1GB won't get in my way or do something oddball like minimize bandwidth for hosts down to 1GB behind the scenes even if I trunk the ports, or whether I should be looking at 10G copper.   I'm leaning towards the 10G as this system needs to remain in use for 5-6 years, but I don't want to make a decision until I see some definite numbers to see i this is a reasonable necessity.

Right now I'm getting a mix of information, and would really like to see the facts for myself so I can see just what we're utilizing now and be able to do some predictions on future growth based on our current infrastructure use.

Any information would be appreciated!




Very good topic, i never found the answer to this relative simple question : "Above how many IOPS 1Gb NIC teaming is insufficient and you should go for 10Gb ?"


I don't think there is a definitive answer on this. It's going to depend upon the number of hosts you have, VMs that are running and their storage I/O demands. In our medium-sized environment here we have gigabit on the hosts and 10GbE on the Netapp side. Beware that even if you use port trunking your maximum throughput will be limited to the speed of any single port because of the way port-channeling works.



Maybe I should rephrase this question as - what's the max IOPS you can push through a single gig link..

Yeah, I'm sort of planning for what you mentioned - the max throughput being limited to the speed of any single port'.   But, I'm not really looking to guess what my IO demands will be, I have active VMs, and if I find out they'll be fine in this configuration, my worry is 3 years down the road when we want to virtualize desktops and expand the system and are still all playing traffic cop on 1G ports on the filer.

I'm looking at 1GB on the NetApp side...the 2040 model...that's what worries me a bit, heading into a new model up is a big jump to the 3210 just to get a 10G port.


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