VMware on FreeNAS the RIGHT way

I see a lot of posts on the FreeNAS forums asking about performance for VMware\Hyper-V or any other hypervisor using FreeNAS as the backing storage for virtual machines. Then I see the specs of the systems those people are looking to build or already have built and I frown a bit. First, let me say that FreeNAS is more than capable of handling the task of storage for your home virtual lab – if you … Read more…

StarWind SAN V8 – Beta Initial Testing

Last Friday, 9/6/2013, StarWind released a beta of version 8 of their core SAN product – iSCSI SAN. This version has been in the works for several months – it includes what appears to be a major rewrite of the core storage code as well as a simplified management console. The core includes: All previous beta features are now supported and standard – RAM cache, dedupe, etc LSFS – log-structured file system  – groups random … Read more…

StarWind iSCSI SAN V6 Released

Although it has been available for about a month, the next major release of the StarWind iSCSI target is here! Some of the biggest features include (taken from here): High availability: – 3-node HA configuration. Synchronous mirroring between 3 nodes of an HA storage cluster. Such storage architecture ensures higher uptime and higher performance compared to a 2-node HA configuration. – HA device nodes manager. You can add, remove, or switch nodes of HA cluster … 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…