SAN HA storage software options

tonyscomp

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Oct 5, 2021
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We have a hyper-v HA cluster which hosts around 70 Windows VM's across 5 nodes. We store the VM's on a supermicro server with a lot of SSD drives in and a Windows OS, these are replicated using Veeam to another supermicro server with a similar number of SSD drives.

We'd like to make the SAN HA by live replicating all the data across both SANs continuisly, so if SAN A goes down, SAN B will take over

I understand there's a lot of software options available, some open source, some free, and others very expensive. We do want high reliability, we also don't want something too complicated or time consuming to maintain, but can this be achieved on a small budget/free?

I'd appreciate any advice from others who have managed to build a similar SAN HA set up in a production environment
 

cesmith9999

Well-Known Member
Mar 26, 2013
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Are you running datacenter SKU? if so, then you can do this with Storage Spaces Direct.

you may also want to look at StarWind.

Chris
 

tonyscomp

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Oct 5, 2021
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yes we run windows datacentre on the hosts and windows standard on the SAN's. I havent read great things about S2D so would prefer to use something else. we're also not looking for a vSAN, we'd like to keep the SAN seperate to the hosts.

I'm aware of starwind, I'd like to find out what other low budget/free options others are using
 

tonyscomp

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Oct 5, 2021
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We have a windows hyper-v cluster. we're looking to provide a HA SAN to the the windows hyper-v cluster
 

BoredSysadmin

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Mar 2, 2019
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We have a windows hyper-v cluster. we're looking to provide a HA SAN to the the windows hyper-v cluster
I get it. Windows Cluster with a Files role will server the SMB3.0 storage for your Hyper-V VMs
 

tonyscomp

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Oct 5, 2021
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I get it. Windows Cluster with a Files role will server the SMB3.0 storage for your Hyper-V VMs
Thanks BoredSysadmin, I hadn't considered SoFs as I just assumed it was S2D and couldn't be used on separate hardware. I will look more into this

A few questions about SoFs if you wouldn't mind

  1. will this allow us to also scale our storage array adding more storage servers and increasing capacity when necessary?
  2. Can we use Windows Server Standard OS on the storage servers and Datacentre on the compute nodes to keep costs down?
  3. Can we create multiple RAID5 arrays using our SSD disks, and combine these to a single data store for our VM's? We have 24 SSD drives in each server, so we were thinking 8 x RAID5 arrays
  4. How reliable is SoFs?
 

NISMO1968

[ ... ]
Oct 19, 2013
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www.vmware.com
You can use Windows Server Standard on the storage controller nodes, but this means you have to have sort of the shared storage back end for it. Back in the days it was Clustered Storage Spaces, JBODs and all stuff like that. Unfortunately CSS doesn't work anymore (unreliable with the most recent WS2019 software updates, Microsoft is aware of the issues but say they have no budget for the QA of the outdated products & technologies), and you need to have Datacenter license to deploy S2D thing.
 

BoredSysadmin

Active Member
Mar 2, 2019
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afaik, You don't have to have to use the shared storage back end as newer clusters can do it without shared storage and rely on the replication.
Microsoft clusters aren't my favorite tech, to be honest, but it will work as advertised as long it's designed and implemented correctly.
 

LaMerk

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Jun 13, 2017
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We do want high reliability, we also don't want something too complicated or time consuming to maintain, but can this be achieved on a small budget/free?
I'm aware of starwind, I'd like to find out what other low budget/free options others are using
Starwind has free version - Software Defined Storage for the HCI • StarWind Virtual SAN ® Free . It is managed only with PowerShell but can be monitored with GUI. And certainly, only community support.

We use starwind’s commercial version for cluster of 3 nodes – it just works. Updates comes couple of times in a year, so no much time consumed to apply them. Free version was also considered, but decided, that storage is not worth saving money on it. I tried free version during the evaluation: it works same way as commercial, configuration is more difficult without GUI, but is not a rocket science.