Windows 7 Streaming: Media on an External Drive

In an effort to preserve some functionality of not having a dedicated Media Center PC (see this post for more), I have a Windows 7 VM with media streaming enabled. What does that mean? It means that any DLNA enabled device can see my media library and stream its contents. I recently needed to add more storage space to said VM, and in doing so moved all media to the new E:\ drive. Then the problems … Read more…

FreeNAS Performance Part 1: NFS Storage

EDIT 1/8/2013: This post should be titled FreeNAS: The performance you will get when you don’t allocate enough RAM, or enough disk resources. These results are not a true representation of what FreeNAS can do. Here’s a better example: FreeNAS Performance Part 2 Following the Microsoft iSCSI VS. StarWind iSCSI, I would like to also compare another option that offers FreeBSD based network storage – FreeNAS. It supports AFP, CIFS, NFS, iSCSI and has a … Read more…

Software iSCSI Targets: Part 2B – StarWind, Multiple VMs

Part 2B: 3 VM IOMeter load on a StarWind iSCSI datastore. Same procedure as previous testing – Complete install time: 32 minutes, 39 seconds – 3.5 minutes faster than the Microsoft iSCSI target software. Here’s the setup: Here’s the CPU\RAM of the iSCSI server during OS install: Just as previously, RAM is allocated to cache and CPU is heavily utilized. Here is the network utilization during OS install: The utilization graph looks strikingly similar to … Read more…

Software iSCSI Targets – Part 2a: MS iSCSI – Multiple VMs

In Part 2 of this series, we will look at the performance of the Software iSCSI targets under a heavier load – more specifically, 3 server VMs. While this may not seem like very much load, keep in mind that the backend storage is still just a single 7200RPM spindle, and all networking is over a single 1GbE link. All of the hardware from test 1 is the same, but here are the specs for … Read more…

StarWind iSCSI vs. Microsoft iSCSI – Part 1

*NEW* StarWind V8 [BETA] is here!! and it looks VERY promising!! For┬ásome small to medium sized businesses and even some home power users, shared storage is a must-have. Unfortunately, standard high performance SANs carry with them a hefty price tag and a massive administrative overhead – so an EMC or NetApp filer is often out of the question. What is the answer? Turn an everyday server into an iSCSI storage server using iSCSI software target … Read more…