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iSCSI Server Build?

Poll Results: OS?

 
  • 25% (1)
    OpenFiler (justfity answer)
  • 75% (3)
    FreeNAS (justfity answer)
  • 0% (0)
    Other (justfity answer)
4 Total Votes  
post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hello,

I intend to rebuild my file server. I currently run OpenFiler (on a 775 P4) with software RAID1. The performance is bad, especially boot times :-(

I'm good with Unix and want to use FreeNAS this time, please vote in poll.

Will be used for the following tasks:

iSCSI server for Xen, only a few VM's with low I/O (main use)
SMB File shares (several computers)
TimeMachine target (1 computer)

I have the following:
2 x 1TB Caviar Blacks (will be configured in software RAID1/ZRaid)
650W PSU
Case
Optical Drive
Flash Disk (for running the OS)
Server grade Intel NIC
Other misc. bits.

I'm buying:
Intel CPU Pentium Dual Core G530 - LGA 1155
Asus P8H61-M-LXV3 Intel Mainboard - LGA 1155
2 x Kingston DDR3 4GB PC-10600/1333 CL9 Value Ram

Net cost to me will be $150

What do we think...
Edited by dushan24 - 4/17/12 at 7:01pm
    
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post #2 of 14
What do you need 8GB of RAM in a file server for?
post #3 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by RussianGrimmReaper View Post

What do you need 8GB of RAM in a file server for?

I think he's going to store the Xen VM-related stuff on this separate PC via iSCSI which would most likely mean a lot of disk activity (or not?) which probably means more RAM is better. If I had to guess. Also the other purposes. And for a $150 total bill...why not?

I was just going to contribute that the optical drive seems like a waste of space and power these days. Convert it to a USB drive and only turn it on the few times a year you need it. That's what I've been doing for a few years now. Very rarely do I realize I need an optical and don' t have it. Just store everything as ISOs - certainly have the storage smile.gif

Sorry for the tangent...
 
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post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RussianGrimmReaper View Post

What do you need 8GB of RAM in a file server for?

ZFS eats RAM.
    
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post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the responses guys.

But I'm more after suggestions about the hardware. Specifically the CPU, I'd like to hear from people running BDS/FreeNAS.

I know ZRAID needs a lot of RAM, but what is the recommended amount of CPU power for good performance, from my research a dual core SB Pentium should be fine but...
    
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post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Come on, 83 views and 2 replies...
    
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post #7 of 14
@OP

If you look at ZFSBuild there's a wealth of information about ZFS. It's running on OpenSolaris (I think) and the environment is massive, but the information is still quite pertinent and you can mentally scale it down to your needs. Start with the oldest posts first. smile.gif

Bear in mind something with the iSCSI target: since an iSCSI device can be formatted like a regular block device, you may end up losing the benefits of ZFS/RAID-Z if you format the iSCSI target as NTFS or some other non-ZFS filesystem. It might be better to use NFS rather than iSCSI to store your virtual machine disk images.

You'll have to do more research on this to confirm. There's a lot of people using ZFS on [H]ardForum - might be worth asking around on there.
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post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by parityboy View Post

@OP
If you look at ZFSBuild there's a wealth of information about ZFS. It's running on OpenSolaris (I think) and the environment is massive, but the information is still quite pertinent and you can mentally scale it down to your needs. Start with the oldest posts first. smile.gif
Bear in mind something with the iSCSI target: since an iSCSI device can be formatted like a regular block device, you may end up losing the benefits of ZFS/RAID-Z if you format the iSCSI target as NTFS or some other non-ZFS filesystem. It might be better to use NFS rather than iSCSI to store your virtual machine disk images.
You'll have to do more research on this to confirm. There's a lot of people using ZFS on [H]ardForum - might be worth asking around on there.

Thanks, that's very interesting. I will look at it tomorrow.
    
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post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dushan24 View Post

Come on, 83 views and 2 replies...

Bump.
    
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post #10 of 14
Just to clarify, you mentioned "poor boot performance" as the issue; is this that it takes a long time for the iSCSI server to boot? or are VM's having issues booting?
Edited by trueg50 - 4/23/12 at 3:54am
    
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