2014
02.11

Dell, in cooperation with Microsoft, announced the release of their supported hardware for Windows Server 2012 R2 Storage Spaces and Scale-Out File Server.

image

Microsoft said:

Dell’s announcement is an exciting development which will help more customers take advantage of the performance and availability of virtualized storage with Windows Server.

Dell went on:

Microsoft’s Storage Spaces, a technology in Windows Server 2012 R2, combined with Dell’s PowerEdge servers and PowerVault storage expansion solutions, can help organizations like hosters and cloud-providers that don’t have the feature-set needs for a separate storage array to deliver advanced, enterprise-class storage capabilities, such as continuous availability and scalability, on affordable industry-standard servers and storage.

The HCL has not been updated yet, but it appears that. Dell has two appliances that they are pushing:

  • MD1200
  • MD1220: a 24 drive tray, similar to the DataOn DNS-1640

Dell has also published Deploying Windows Server 2012 R2 Storage Spaces on Dell PowerVault.

image 2 x clustered servers with 2 x MD12xx JBODs

So, one of the big storage companies has blinked. Who is next?

BTW, when I checked out the Irish pricing, the Dell MD1220 was twice the price of the DataOn DNS-1640. After bid price, that’ll be an even match, so it’ll come down to disks for the pricing comparison.

12 comments so far

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  1. Ask dell about their support for RDMA. We just purchased some R720s with the broadcom quad-port 10GbE NICs. Broadcom supports RDMA, but Dell does not. Official stance from Dell: we will not support RDMA in any fashion until next generation.

    • The only NIC manufacturers with RDMA support are Mellenox and Chelsio. They’ll happily support it for you.

      • I recently spec an r720 with the Broadcom 57800,i assumed by the information found on the dell cards page it supported RDMA:

        http://accessories.euro.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?c=uk&l=en&s=dhs&cs=ukdhs1&sku=540-11138

        Does it work but is not ‘supported’?
        Thanks

        • I just checked with Didier Van Hoye, a Dell Rockstar and Hyper-V MVP, and my source on all-things-Dell. It is “ready” for RDMA, but it does not work. Oh – it’s also Broadcom – check my guidance on how to get stable networking; you’ll see it says “do not use anything from Broadcom”.

          • Thanks Aidan, your blog has been a great resource for my project planning. I only pick the Broadcom cards for the RDMA support, I’m having trouble finding anyone in the UK who actually resell any of the cards you mentioned, will have to fire off a few more emails. As you said its not needed, just would have been a nice addition.

            Thanks Again, David

          • I know that there are distis in the UK that do sell Chelsio – our purchasers managed to find at least one. Buying Broadcom for RDMA is a WASTE OF MONEY because YOU CANNOT USE IT.

  2. Interesting as I remember that the MD12xx series didn’t support failover clustering in the past. I must readup on that.

    • I’ve also queried Dell on this, as this is different to every other Dell manual. So far it’s been a week with no reply except we are looking at it.

      The difference is on the MD12xx, it is not supported to connect a HBA to the out port on the EMM controller. MD32xx’s have multiple ports on each EMM to allow extra HBA’s to be connected (either same or different hosts).

  3. Remember folks, you don’t “need” RDMA for SMB 3.0, but it sure is nice :)

  4. Aidan, in a comment above you mention not to use anything Broadcom, can I ask why? Could you maybe give a link to a source with an explanation? We use Dell servers with Broadcom NIC’s a lot and don’t have any problems. Or maybe we have the problems but not see them as such?

    • The stuff I see I cannot share, but I see Broadcom come up over and over and over and over. I’m sure if you ask any Hyper-V MVP, they’ll agree.

  5. Broadcom especially when it comes to MPIO, Jumbo Frames, Teaming, iSCSI initiators – in fact anything that you’d need in a cluster is a minefield of dropped packets, disconnected NIC’s and vague event logs.

    I’ve been left in the unfortunate position where the previous guy bought a load of servers with additional Intel cards, but forgot to change the LOM from the default Broadcom.

    At an absolute minimum update to the latest firmware and drivers, it will eliminate flapping problems with switches and alleviate most other connectivity issues. If you can don’t team them (especially with BASP).

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