First of all I should add some context to the setup detailed in the first post. It's not final by any means. It's a middle step in my (yes, very messy and inefficient) design process. Some of the components (like the server NICs and switch) are from different steps in the process so they may not make sense together.
I've just reached a point where I need more information about some of the technology from people with personal knowledge. When I left IT I was dealing with G3 Proliant DL servers and just a 1GB fiber backbone. Virtualization hadn't really gotten down to our level. Obviously SANs weren't a thing for us either. I have a lot of catching up to do still. I haven't even started on reading the documentation for the SAN (probably FreeNAS or NAS4Free) or virtualization software.
Normally at this point I would probably still have at least a week of full time research left before going back to the beginning and building the design from scratch. Like I said, it's a chaotic process. Thankfully DC is the rare place I feel confident I'll find someone to point me in the right direction and save days. The more critical anyone wants to be, the more useful it is for me.
To ensure smooth network traffic and good throughput I'll be putting either 2 or 4 port Intel server NICs in all the machines, including the SAN.
That's not going to give you what you're after. Teaming 4 NICs won't give you a 4Gb pipe for single transfers. It will give 4 1Gb pipes to 4 different transfers. If you want maximum speed across the backbone, go either fiber or Cat6a 10Gb copper.
Now I have to figure out the SAN hardware. Ideally I'd be using 2.5 inch SAS drives but they're just too expensive. Instead I'll be going with 3.5 inch SAS, Seagate Constellation ES specifically. They're designed for storage arrays and have a 5 year warranty. I'll be using either 1TB or 2TB drives in a RAID 6 configuration and a hardware controller with at least 512MB of BBWC. It will be either 6 or 7 drives which is more than Seagate recommends (they say up to 5) but I don't see that being a problem.
RAID6? ...That's even overkill by my standards. The 2.5 drives are cheaper to run, so go with 2.5" 7,200 Nearline SAS drives to save cost and still get the 6GB transfer speeds.
The Constellation drives are nearline SAS - well actually I think that's all the 2.5 inch models and everything 2TB and up for 3.5 inches. Admittedly I did minimal research and signigicantly less comparison shopping.
I think it's time to back up a little bit and make myself a logical map of the servers/services and clients I'm going to have. It occurs to me that, considering my limited experience with VMs, I may be completely off about the hardware requirements. Eliminating a server could drastically improve my storage budget, making 2.5 inch drives perhaps a viable option. And the more I think about it, the more I think I'd be crazy not to go with RAID 10. If I happen to end up with a server equipped with a good RAID card, is there any argument for using it instead of software RAID 10?
I think I know enough now that I should make a logical diagram of the servers/services and clients that will be on the network. Then I can try to sort out how to best host them as virtual machines and, potentially, what I don't want to virtualize. I'm still kind of stuck in the world where you were concerned that certain services run from different physical servers.
I suspect for my network the only serious consideration should be avoiding physical resource bottlenecks. Until I can estimate resource demands only wild overestimates are safe. I intend to overshoot my needs, but by a foot or 2, not a mile. I have a feeling when I see all the pieces together I'll at least be able to formulate the problem better.
I hope that's an enclosed cabinet...because rack systems do tend to be very loud ... And hot. Make plans for keeping the thing cool.
It's enclosed and actually not terrible looking for an office. It even has a smoked glass window in the door. I wouldn't have considered an open rack, even with just a few servers. The company that hired me to be their first network admin had the brilliant idea that I could work from a table in the server room. It only had one cabinet, nowhere near half full, but the back door was off, the room was (literally) an old supply room with no serious cooling. It was loud, but damn was it hot!
Soundproofing shouldn't be too hard. For the noise level I'll be dealing with, acoustic foam inside the cabinet should be good enough. Otherwise I have it set up with walls or surfaces on 3 sides which could all get the same treatment.
For the moment, cooling is a series of escalating measures I may have to use. My office has nearly 9 foot ceilings and there's a ceiling fan positioned at a good height and distance to circulate exhaust heat from the top of the cabinet. There's a vent a couple feet in front of it, and all the ac/heat vents in the house have individual dampers. In a worst case scenario the window in front of it would get a window AC unit. Of course that introduces the noise problem again.
On one hand it would have been nice to get a 21u cabinet instead, but my only actual option was a 12u cabinet on wheels and it looked like cooling would be a problem. It certainly wouldn't be helped significantly by the ceiling fan.