Freenas 8.0.1, VMWare VSphere 5 (ESXi) and iSCSI

Filed Under (Storage, VMware VSphere 5) by Just An Admin on 06-10-2011

The test hardware

We recently completed the build of our ‘do it yourself’ NAS storage, using Freenas 8.0.1. To put this new setup to work we purchased a secondhand HP DL360 G5 with the following specs:

HP DL360 G5
2 x Intel Xeon 5335 2Ghz processor
24GB internal memory (4×4, 4×2)
P400i SAS cache controller, 256MB with Battery Backup
6 x 73GB 15K SAS disk in RAID6
2 x 1GB LAN interface

With this used hardware we have a dedicated test server we can use to put our Freenas Storage through all different kinds of test. We installed an internal 2GB USB stick in the DL360 and installed VMWare VSphere 5 (aka ESXi 5) on the box and configured or tweaked nothing besides the basic network settings. Read the rest of this entry »

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Project: Building a cheap NAS, part 6

Filed Under (Storage, VMWare ESXi 4) by Just An Admin on 04-10-2011

It has been a while. Due to ‘other activities’ we had to put our FreeNAS server project on hold. But we are here again and have found a nice and cool spot for our server in the Server Room. Good thing, because the noise is killing.

SASUC8I in ‘IT’ mode

When looking for a good controller for our setup, we came across several posts advising to use the SASUC8i controller in ‘IT’ mode aka Initiator/Target mode, especially when using a ZFS file system. In general, it is referred to as a non-RAID mode of operations for your LSI 1068e based controller. This allows software direct access to all the connected disks, instead of the logical RAID set that is defined. Although i have seen only good responses to the IT mode operation of this controller card, there have been few reports of I/O failures when querying SMART values rapidly (ref: here). In general this is a very good choice controller for a broad range of operating systems, including FreeNAS. Read the rest of this entry »

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