Posts Tagged ‘freenas’


In-the-Lab: VSA Shoot-out

March 17, 2009

We’re cooking with gas over the next two weeks, making performance contrasts using similar resource build-outs of:

  1. FreeNAS (0.7 nightly build)
  2. OpenFiler 2.3
  3. NexentaStor (1.1.5 dev)
  4. SunStorage (VSA)

All configured as VSA’s under ESXi with pass-thru access to local attached storage. Why do this? ESX provides some supervisory analysis that makes quick lab analysis easy. Also, VSA storage is a 2009 killer-app and absolutely necessary for targeted micro-deployments.

These are not indepth storage studys, but an out-of-the-box analysis of what to expect and where to spend your time=money. Stay tuned…


Update: FreeNAS and ESX 3i

February 9, 2009

NOTE: There seems to be a known problem with local pass-through RDM and LSI Logic SCSI controllers related to this post. FreeNAS running on ESX Server 3i using virtual disks from VMFS storage does not exhibit a failure problem, although the logging issue remains.

FreeNAS (0.69) and VMware ESX Server 3i (ESXi) would seem like a good “free as in speech” pairing for low-end virtualization. Unfortunately, the reality is not a good one. Mine’s not the first problem with FreeNAS and VMware.

FreeNAS’s iSCSI target and VMware ESX Server 3i (update 3) get along fine until you push the connection between them. Initially, ESXi finds the target, formats it and appears to be working fine: you can even create some light-weight VM’s on the allocated storage. However, it’s when copying VM’s from one storage array to another where things go wrong. 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 ?