FreeNAS as hypervisor host

NeverDie

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Jan 28, 2015
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Well, technically, FreeBSD will be the hypervisor host. Anyhow, starting with FreeNAS 10 (which leverages FreeBSD 10), Bhyve (part of FreeBSD 10) is available as a hypervisor. The guy running FreeNAS stated at the end of his "State of the Union" youtube video on FreeNAS that FreeNAS 10 will have Bhyve for doing VM's.

So, when that day arrives, does that mean that if I were to choose Bhyve instead of ESXi or Microsoft Hyper-V as the hypervisor, then all the angst that currently exists around passing drives to FreeNAS using VT-D or as raw disks or whatever will finally be behind us? i.e. VM's can at last access properly managed ZFS storage via iSCSI or the like without all the usual bolded-and-underlined warnings about the configuration being "experimental-only" and "not for production"?
 
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Joel

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Jan 30, 2015
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Well, since bhyve is considered a "Level 2" hypervisor, I'd be comparing it against VirtualBox (which FreeNAS already supports) instead of HyperV/ESXi. I'd be *very* interested if it could support VT-d & USB passthrough as then I could drop a video card & other bits in my NAS and then replace two other physical machines. Regardless, given the L2 status, the presentation of drives to your ZFS host of choice will be a non-issue.
 
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Joel

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As an update, I'm going to go down this road (NAS as HTPC) by switching from FreeNAS to PC-BSD running XBMC (they haven't ported Kodi yet). PC-BSD still supports jails and PBI plugins though it's a bit more cumbersome to set up. Once working it should be transparent though.
 

RTM

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Jan 26, 2014
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Well, since bhyve is considered a "Level 2" hypervisor, I'd be comparing it against VirtualBox (which FreeNAS already supports) instead of HyperV/ESXi.
I would not put too much emphasis on virtualization "levels", since it is usually just a function of how many features the operating system has other than virtualization.
Case in point is HyperV as you mentioned, by this standard it is also a "level 2" hypervisor, because it can be added as a role to a newer windows (server) install, the same holds for Xen and to a lesser extent KVM.

In my opinion bhyve should not be compared to virtualbox, it is probably not defined anywhere but from my POV Virtualbox == Desktop virtualization, in the sense of running test/development environments where as bhyve should be realistically usable in production environments.
Of course bhyve being a relatively new technology might mean that it is not quite "production" ready as some of the alternatives, but that is only a matter of time.
 

Baddreams

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Mar 15, 2011
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I would not put too much emphasis on virtualization "levels", since it is usually just a function of how many features the operating system has other than virtualization.
Case in point is HyperV as you mentioned, by this standard it is also a "level 2" hypervisor, because it can be added as a role to a newer windows (server) install, the same holds for Xen and to a lesser extent KVM.
Yeah, it's added as a role, but after you reboot Windows is now a guest.