FreeNAS Performance: Part 3

I recently storage-VMotion’d all of the lab home lab VMs over to FreeNAS based storage. It is an NFS share based on 4 10K 146G spindles configured for RAIDZ – deduplication is turned off, instead opting for lzjb compression. The physical specs of the FreeNAS host are the same as in this post. Keep in mind that there are several other VMs banging away at these 4 disks. That said, 75% write\25% read (75% random) is considerably … Read more…

FreeNAS Performace: Part 2

I should probably call this one “FreeNAS Performance: The REAL Test”…my previous performance tests were completely unfair to FreeNAS and I’d like to show what it can really do. So – what was wrong with the first tests? FreeNAS needs RAM for ZFS to do what it does best A single spindle just isn’t a good test for ZFS Didn’t do my homework on FreeNAS or ZFS FreeNAS needs RAM – more than 3GB … So … 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 Based Storage: Thoughts and local storage tests

It has occurred to me that all these comparisons are not exactly equal…while the VM configurations, test procedures, and testing hardware are all identical – there are certainly ways to improve performance…some methods could be applied to all comparisons (adding a storage controller card with battery-backed write cache, and several 15K SAS spindles), and some are specific to the software presenting the storage (using an SSD to house the ZIL and\or l2ARC – only applies … 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…

SnapMirror from FAS to StoreVault

First, a few warnings:   This is NOT supported by NetApp. At all. In any way shape or form. Using anything other than the StoreVault Manager GUI can cause data loss.   You have been warned – do this at your own risk!   First some background – setting aside the fact that FAS to StoreVault is not supported at all – lets go Back to Basics: SnapMirror –   Volume SnapMirror operates at the physical block level. … Read more…

Data Protection Manager 2010 – Backup to [empty] Disk

When I transfered most of my VMs over to shared storage, I didn’t really have the time (or money) to build a respectable storage environment. Needless to say there are some VMs that are stored on non-redundant storage….but most are on at least a RAID1 volume. It was at this time I decided to install Data Protection Manager 2010 and start getting things backed up. Obviously I will be using backup-to-disk as 1. no tape … Read more…