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Drive configurations for enterprise-class virtualized array SANs

A reader wrote in asking expert Serdar Yegulalp if enterprise-class virtualized array SANs need any special configurations, or if the high spindle-count of the SANs would make up the difference. See how he responded.

Any recommendations for specialized configuration of drives for entities utilizing enterprise-class virtualized array SANs, such as the HP EVA 5000/8000? Will the high spindle count of these disk sub-systems make up the difference?
A large number of separate physical spindles should help, provided you have some way of insuring that each virtual machine's resources are allocated evenly across each. If you're using this to provision space for a group of virtual servers that are not going to all be hammering the SAN continuously -- i.e., if their behavior tends to keep them working in separate bursts -- there shouldn't be much of a problem. When starting up the virtual machines, for instance, give each one a couple of minutes to get up and running and finish most of its initial I/O load before switching on the next one; that way they won't all be competing for the array at once.

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