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What is the current OS of choice for Napp-it All-in-One?

Discussion in 'Solaris, Nexenta, OpenIndiana, and napp-it' started by DolphinsDan, Sep 24, 2013.

  1. DolphinsDan

    DolphinsDan Member

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    I'm looking to build one soon and wanted to see what people are using for a napp-it all-in-one system using ESXi 5.5 as the hyper-visor
     
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  2. 33_viper_33

    33_viper_33 Member

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    I'm running ESXI 5.1 all in one with success in a test bed and will be building a new server around February-March for the final edition. I'm using Openindiana with great success. installation is easy. Napp-it's guide works but I prefer the guide done on STH main website. Napp-it feels a bit clunky as compared to a professional level raid card's web management (using my Areca as a baseline) but works well once you feel your way around it. I'm still learning ZFS. I suggest paying attention to 40TB build, ZFS Raid-50 = 50% perf of Raid-0 thread. It’s a great for teaching how to optimize ZFS for speed. Once I free up an SSD, I think I'm going to attempt some of these suggestions and play with ZIL.

    I'm running:
    openindiana - for ZFS and ISCSI targets, (hosts 3 SSDs striped for very fast access utilized as ISCSI boot drives for media pc, desktop and VMs)
    Windows 2012 essentials - ISCSI for mass storage, client backup, AD, web hosting, etc.
    pfsense - router, dns server, antivirus, vpn, proxy, etc
    Ubuntu - mostly experimentation
    Windows 7 - downloads and experimentation
    Windows 2008 R2 - mostly experimentation

    I'm now starting to get into vCloud. I experiment so much it becomes a PITA to take the all in one box off line. This is one reason I purchased a dell C6100. I have gotten around it by keeping 2 pfsense VMs available on separate computers allowing for a simple network port swap to keep me up and running. My theory with Vcloud is to allow the pfsense box to migrate to an available server and reconnect to the WAN via Vlans. Not 100% sure I like this idea yet and I'm slightly worried about security. All things to research and experiment with.

    Overall, I'm happy with the way everything works. Speed rocks between VMs! Deployment is easy if you mess something up. Just make a virtual appliance as soon as you complete your basic install of a VM. Moving VMs between machines is easy using the virtual appliance import feature.

    Just to compare and get new ideas, what is your guide and end goals?
     
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    Last edited: Sep 24, 2013
  3. gea

    gea Well-Known Member

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    My suggestion for all-in-one is:

    - ESXi 5.5 (no 32 GB Limit among other highlights)
    - Storage VM: OmniOS (free Solaris fork, fast, stable and the absolute newest ZFS bits)

    - boot ESXi from USB stick or Sata disks (I prefer a pair of small 50GB SSD disks)
    - Install Storage VM to Sata (single disk or Raid)

    You can use any supported Raid adapter for ESXi and the local datastore (Storage VM)
    or you can use a Sata hardware Raid enclosure for 2 x 2,5" Sata disks. You can use the raid enclosure also to clone/backup boot disks

    Use LSI IT flashed HBA controller for your storage VM (best are LSI 9207 or 9211 or the similar IBM 1015,
    the last two should be flashed to IT mode while the 9207 is IT per default). LSI HBAs are absolute the best for ZFS.
    Use nothing else.

    Avoid hardware raid controller for ZFS
    Use ZFS raid and storage management features


    Auto-boot up your storage VM in first place and share the ZFS storage via SMB and NFS used by ESXi as shared datastore. ESXi offers two virtual nics: e1000 for best compatibility and vmxnet3 for best performance. The last may have stability problems on some configs. Both offer performance of multipls Gb/s on local transfers between ESXi and VMs.


    New:
    I will offer a preconfigured zipped OmniOS VM for download (today or tomorrow)
    After download, you must unzip and copy the folder to your local datastore via ESXi filebrowser and rightclick on the .vmx file within to add it to inventory.

    Thats all to run it Start and select copy when asked about the configuration.
    It includes an e1000 and vmxnet3 adapter in dhcp mode with ESXi tools (v 5.5) installed. root pw will be empty.
     
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  4. mrkrad

    mrkrad Well-Known Member

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    how's vaai working with (any) zfs servers? A good test would be a continuos das to das svmotion whilst defragging the vm and running prime95 (times 10) to stress it out hardcore.

    I get 9gbps easily with flow control disabled on E1000 :) trippy to see a gigabit interface going so fast!
     
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  5. vegaman

    vegaman Member

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    I'm still deciding if I'll run my new build on bare metal or in ESXi. Either way you want to set up the ZFS array(s) so you can access them on bare metal too - which really just means passing through the HBA.
    Since I'm doing an E3 build I'm capped at 32gb RAM though so I'm considering adding a second server to run the VMs at a later date.
    Another thing I've been wondering, I've ordered a 64gb SanDisk USB3 stick which is supposed to have impressive performance. Is there any way to put the storage VM on that as well as ESXi?
     
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  6. Patrick

    Patrick Administrator
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    gea - send me a note on the pre-configured version! That is certainly exciting news.
     
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  7. apnar

    apnar Member

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    Why not release it as an OVF (Open Virtualization Format)?
     
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  8. gea

    gea Well-Known Member

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    Hello Apnar
    i like to include some ESXi specific settings like two vnics (e1000 and vmxnet3) with vmware tools v 5.5 preinstalled.

    @Patrick
    Servethehome is the first place to announce it.
    Currently I have some problems with my new ESXi 5.5 test server that I must solve first
     
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    Last edited: Sep 25, 2013
  9. apnar

    apnar Member

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    I didn't mean to imply that you shouldn't keep ESXi specific configs, only that posting it as a single OVA file may be a much easier way for folks to download and import it as opposed to having to copy, untar, browse, import, etc. Not that that is hard to do that, but I assume you're aiming for a slightly less technical audience with a prepackaged build so anything you can do to make it easier is beneficial. OVF/OVA seems to be pretty much the standard way of passing around appliance type VMs (especially since the tar in ESXi doesn't properly support sparse files, unless they've fixed it in 5.5).
     
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  10. Patrick

    Patrick Administrator
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    Great news! I think this is going to go a long way. I wonder if I/ the STH or pfsense community could do the same thing on that side. Would be cool to just install ESXi and then fire up a complete environment for common AIO appliances.
     
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  11. gea

    gea Well-Known Member

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    Yes this is the case.
    I want to offer a solution, where I can say follow step one, follow step two and there is no step three. It just works.
    If you are an experienced user, install OmniOS with vmware tools and napp-it manually is not too complicated.
     
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  12. Patrick

    Patrick Administrator
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    How many downloads a day are you getting? Might be able to see if I can give you a US mirror (need to check what we have left.)
     
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  13. hagak

    hagak Member

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    Sorry if this is the wrong forum, but gea mentioned in his post that ESXi 5.5 has no 32GB memory limit?

    Does this mean that my free license of ESXi I can run it on a box with more than 32GB of memory? Cause the only reason I do not have more memory is because of this. Really need more memory for my ESXi box.
     
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  14. Patrick

    Patrick Administrator
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    Yes - the free version of ESXi 5.5 removed the 32GB limitation.
     
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  15. apnar

    apnar Member

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    pfsense already distributes a virtual appliance (as an OVA file :) ).

    https://doc.pfsense.org/index.php/VMwareAppliance

    Although it looks like they haven't released one for 2.1 yet. You can find 2.0.3 in the old directory of the mirrors:

    http://files.nyi.pfsense.org/mirror/downloads/old/pfSense-2.0.3-RELEASE-amd64.ova
     
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  16. Patrick

    Patrick Administrator
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    That was more of my point. Have a version on a current release. Seems like they are usually busy with new features.
     
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  17. gea

    gea Well-Known Member

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    Hello Patrick
    thanks for the offer. The file is quite small (2 GB) so transfer should not a problem. Maybe performance is not the best as I share via http. But if performance gets too slow, mirrors are welcome.

    I have uploaded a first trial version to napp-it // webbased ZFS NAS/SAN appliance for OmniOS, OpenIndiana and Solaris so others may evaluate as well. I currently have some stability problems with my testserver and ESXi 5.5 (5.1 was fine) so comments from others are welcome. I have published this forum for discussions.

    If you download the file, calculate some time for download, uncompress (I used 7zip) and upload the 30 GB to ESXi 5.5.
     
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    Last edited: Sep 26, 2013
  18. Patrick

    Patrick Administrator
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    Awesome! Keep me posted on what you need. I will give this a try this evening.
     
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  19. glasgow

    glasgow New Member

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    Upgrading to ESXI 5.5 has put me in an impossible situation. I upgraded my virtual hardware on a VM and now the windows vSphere Client can't manage the VM. I don't understand what VMWare is doing? Near as I can figure, the only way to manage a VM Hardware Version 10 VM is via the (not free) vSphere Web Client

    Arnt they just effectively killing off an entire generation of free home VM users
     
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  20. gea

    gea Well-Known Member

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    Upgrade from 5.1 and be happy that the 32 GB limit is gone-
    all other 5.5 features are paid features so do not upgrade the VM version.


    ps
    And yes, I would call it a bug (or a cheek) that the free vsphere client is able to upgrade the VM version without beeing able to manage it !!
     
    #20

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