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VMware reveals more VSAN nodes

Cisco, Dell and Fujistsu having a waft and the clock is ticking

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VMware launched its virtual storage area network (VSAN) back on March 6th and promised hardware partners would reveal their “VSAN Ready Nodes” within 30 days.

At the time, Virtzilla announced Cisco, Dell, Fujitsu, IBM and Supermicro would all be on its list of approved suppliers.

Almost four weeks later and only Dell, Fujitsu and Cisco have actually revealed a node, leaving Big Blue and Supermicro on the sidelines for now. April 6th is a Sunday, so you've got a week, guys!

As expected, Dell has tossed its PowerEdge 620 and 720 into the mix. The former is a $US1,699 beast with 14 disk slots and two processor sockets. The latter is a 2U machine capable of holding 16 2.5” drives or eight 3.5-inchers, starting at $1,689.

Cisco's entry-level VSAN node option is the C220 M3 Rack Server offering eight disk slots for $2,397. Netzilla has also cooked up the 24-disk, 2U C240 from $2,584.

Fujitsu's effort is the PRIMERGY RX300 S8, a 16-disk, 2U unit it doesn't price online.

We played around with Cisco and Dell's online configuration tools and feel that configuring the servers listed above for duty as one of the three nodes required to get VSAN working will reach around $30,000 per node (a little less for the C220 because it has fewer disk slots). Plus $2,500 per server for a VSAN licence.

That means about $90,000 to build a small SAN with a capacity of a few tens of terabytes, a price that won't have conventional array vendors losing huge amounts of sleep. Yet a glance at array vendors' price lists (here's NetApp's for the State of New York and here's one from EMC as a PDF). At a glance, the cost of a new, fully-populated, disk drawer is not far from the cost of a new VSAN node. And the latter is a server you can use for other stuff at a price almost certainly rather lower than the new wave of hybrid server/storage kit.

That means this it's game on in VSAN-land, even before IBM and SuperMicro show their hands. ®

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