Storage upgrade

Discussion in 'VMware, VirtualBox, Citrix' started by Cape, Jan 5, 2019.

  1. Cape

    Cape Member

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    Hey,
    I'm finding myself a bit outside my depth and looking for some advice. My current setup consists of a single node, running ESXi 5.1 (vAncient, I know), with a single HDD data store. This has been serving home networking duties and light development tasks well for a long time, but to be really usable I've determined I need more storage.
    So, I'm just about to finish up building a disk shelf which will add some much needed storage capacity, and now need to start thinking about how to actually use all the new space, and finding myself with some analysis paralysis. The shelf will have 16 disks and be connected via a LSI 9200-8e.
    First, what would be the best way to expose the disks? My guess would be to just do a passthrough of the HBA to a VM (running what?) and expose it back to ESXi via iSCSI or NFS? Are there other options I should consider?
    Storage will both be used for VM disks, but the bulk will be for file shares. Could/should this difference be handled by this VM with the HBA, or should that better be a separate VM that serves as a file server?

    I'm also hoping to add another hypervisor node soonish. How, if at all, would that affect the best approach? The node having the HBA will be a SPOF, reasonably, but outside of fancy multipath capabilities, do I have any alternatives? I'll probably have to upgrade the networking at that point too (currently only have 1 GbE switching)...
     
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  2. cheezehead

    cheezehead Active Member

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    I'm running the something similar on a few boxes booting esxi6.7 off thumb drives. There is a single small SSD (datastore) for FreeNAS with the HBA getting passed through. VM's are using iSCSI connectivity.
     
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  3. gea

    gea Well-Known Member

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    A virtualized ZFS SAN appliance is also my suggestion.
    I prefer Solarish based appliances as ZFS is origin there with best of all ZFS integration and RAM needs are lowest.

    I would also use NFS instead of iSCSI. As fast but much simpler and you can
    use NFS + SMB on the same share with the option to use Windows previous versions to access snaps.

    If you like iSCSI, Solarish comes with an enterprise class iSCSI (Comstar)
    Configuring Storage Devices With COMSTAR - Oracle Solaris Administration: Devices and File Systems

    NFS also automounts storage on ESXi bootup
    See my solution for whom i offer a ready to use ZFS ova storage template
    https://napp-it.org/doc/downloads/napp-in-one.pdf
     
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  4. Cape

    Cape Member

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    Thanks for the replies! I went with a FreeNAS install for the first trials, at least (I'm barely literate with BSD:s, I would be completely unable to do any troubleshooting on Solaris).
     
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