Suggestions for block storage platform


Active Member
Jan 26, 2022
I've used my "roll your own" system for providing block storage to ESXi hosts using the iSCSI target daemon on CentOS for about 8 years now, but I'm looking to roll out a new physical box and would like some advice on alternatives.

Where this system lets me down is:
  1. There is no good storage tiering system. I tried several alternatives over the years, but discarded all of them because they all caused the underlying storage to become unavailable if the SSD cache failed in any way.
  2. When I started, I used real hardware RAID (LSI cards with battery backed cache) because software versions didn't seem ready for primetime.
  3. Because of both of the above, it's not as scalable or as inexpensive as I'd like for the performance I get.
The requirements:
  1. I don't want a fully-packaged system that includes both hardware and software. I want to build from parts, since I have chassis with plenty of drive bays and plenty of HBAs and RAID cards, along with a reasonable amount of core parts (motherboard, CPU, RAM, NICs). What I don't have, I can buy (like Optane). So, I really want software recommendations.
  2. I only care about storage...I have compute taken care of with ESXi managed by vCenter and don't want to move it to another platform. I have no problem using an "all-in-one" software that doesn't require me to use its compute system to provide storage to other systems.
  3. The software needs to be at least very cheap ($100/node or so), with no pricing based on total storage. Free is of course better, and I'd prefer open source, but high-quality closed-source freeware beats average open source.
  4. In the long term, it would be nice to be able to scale horizontally, so that multiple nodes could be controlled via a single interface. It would also be useful if I could use spare controllers/disks on my compute nodes as storage in the same system.
Other than those requirements, I really have no pre-conceived ideas, and haven't investigated anything yet.


Not affiliated with Maxell
Mar 2, 2019
TrueNAS core or scale and you could mirror your SSD "cache" SLOG drives to add higher availability.
  • Like
Reactions: nabsltd


Well-Known Member
Mar 6, 2014
TrueNas Core now, migrate to Scale when its ready?
(Ready as in scaling out works via gui and perf issues are fixed. More mature in the end)
  • Like
Reactions: nabsltd