Posts Tagged ‘ESXi free iSCSI’


Installing: Xtravirt Virtual SAN

February 10, 2009

Today we’re looking at the Xtravirt Virtual SAN Appliance (VSA) solution for use with VMware ESX Server 3. It is designed to be a simple to deploy, redundant (DRBD synchronization), high-availability iSCSI SAN between two ESX servers. We are installing it on two ESXi servers, each with local storage, running the latest patch update (3.5.0 build 143129).

Initial Installation

XVS requires a virtual machine import: either using Converter or manual process. We follow the manual process. We used the command line to convert the imported disk into a ESXi-compliant format:

vmkfstools -i XVS.vmdk -d thin XVSnew.vmdk
rm -f XVS.vmdk XVS-*

After conversion, you have a 2GB virtual machine (times two) ready for configuration. We removed the legacy ethernet and hard disk that came with the inventory import. Then add the “existing” disk and new Ethernet (flex) controller.

We then added a 120GB virtual disk to each node using the local storage controllers: LSI 1068SAS (RAID1) for node 1 and NVidia MCP55Pro (RAID1) for node 2. Node 1 and 2 are using the same 250GB Seagate ES.2 (RAID edition) drives. Read the rest of this entry ?


Installing FreeNAS to USB Flash: Easy as 1,2,3

January 21, 2009

I don’t want to get too deep into a re-hash of how to install FreeNAS onto USB flash (or “thumb”) drives – there is a wealth of community information in that regard. However, any time I come across the same simple question so many times in one week I have to investigate it more thoroughly.  This week, that question has been “have you tried FreeNAS?”

Anyone familiar with the fine m0n0wall project (and off-shoot pfSense) will instantly recognize the FreeBSD appliance approach taken for FreeNAS. The look-and-feel is very M0n0wall-ish as well. In short, this is a no-nonsense and easy-to-install appliance-oriented distribution that covers the basics of network attached storage: CIFS, NFS and iSCSI. Given that M0n0wall and pfSense both virtualize very well, I have no doubt the VMware appliance version performs likewise.

1, 2, 3… NAS

That said, let’s quickly run-down a 1, 2, 3 approach for booting FreeNAS to hardware from USB drive… This is a run-from-ram-disk appliance, so the size of the USB storage device is minimal: about 50-60MB. Since I am still testing the Tyan Transport GT28 system, I will catalog my steps for that platform: Read the rest of this entry ?