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Building NAS for new server

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
So I just finished building a server for Folding@Home and virtualization (Build log in signature). I was originally going to buy a bunch of hard drives and just throw them into the new server, but from what I have been reading that may lead to a bottleneck for the hard drives. I am now looking into building a NAS is a good way to prevent this bottleneck.

I have been building this for a personal learning experience and also as test lab for various things I am running at my internship (was given an MSDN subscription and my boss basically told me have at it)

Questions:
  • What is the cheapest way to do this?
  • What is the pro/con over SAN?
  • Would a NAS be able to handle a large amount of virtual machines say 30?
  • Could I convert a C1100 to a NAS server?
  • Could I just run a virtual machine on the current server with FreeNAS and use my servers SAS ports?

On a completely unrelated matter how many virtual machines could I run on the server I built? I plan on switching the RAM at some point in the future to registered ECC and slowly adding ram. I am hoping this server can run more than say a C1100, otherwise I could have saved some money. tongue.gif
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post #2 of 5
30 VMs? What kind of I/O are you looking at? How much disk space do you need?

It sounds like a job for SSDs... or tiered storage.
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post #3 of 5
You should never run FreeNAS as a virtual server - FreeNAS doesn't need huge requirements, mine consist of a Sandy Bridge Celeron DC, 8GB memory and 7X 2TB Drives, you're mostly going to be bottlenecked by gigabit speeds (I read / write ~130MB/s which is a full saturation of a Gigabit port) with a RaidZ2 setup.

As for the amount of virtual machines your other setup can run, it really depends on what type of machines you're planning on running and how much resources you plan on dedicating to them. for O/S (such as Win 7) i'd usually suggest 2 cores + 2GB memory per.
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post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckieHo View Post

30 VMs? What kind of I/O are you looking at? How much disk space do you need?

It sounds like a job for SSDs... or tiered storage.

I just kind of threw a number out there. 30 VMS for experimentation purposes. I honestly have no idea how many I will actually create, but I am just want to be prepared in case I do hit such a mark. I have been doing a lot of work with SCCM, so I plan on playing around with that and also I am going to create a VPN gateway--probably hamachi--so friends and family can access the network. I will probably allow them to have access to their own virtual machines if they so choose.

I would plan on pretty high IO and as far as disk space I was thinking a couple terabytes. I am not completely certain all the projects I will use it for, but I have been doing some programming for work/fun. It would be nice to have some redundancy though and for the filestore to be accessible by any device.

Pardon my inexperience. This is part of why I am wanting on this adventure! I have weird hobbiestongue.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by appleg33k85 View Post

You should never run FreeNAS as a virtual server - FreeNAS doesn't need huge requirements, mine consist of a Sandy Bridge Celeron DC, 8GB memory and 7X 2TB Drives, you're mostly going to be bottlenecked by gigabit speeds (I read / write ~130MB/s which is a full saturation of a Gigabit port) with a RaidZ2 setup.

As for the amount of virtual machines your other setup can run, it really depends on what type of machines you're planning on running and how much resources you plan on dedicating to them. for O/S (such as Win 7) i'd usually suggest 2 cores + 2GB memory per.

They will be used for a whole range of things from work to leisure. I am also not sure the best way to run folding@home (Which uses any free CPU power) in a virtualized environment.
Edited by Kitler - 10/10/13 at 2:32pm
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post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitler View Post

I just kind of threw a number out there. 30 VMS for experimentation purposes. I honestly have no idea how many I will actually create, but I am just want to be prepared in case I do hit such a mark. I have been doing a lot of work with SCCM, so I plan on playing around with that and also I am going to create a VPN gateway--probably hamachi--so friends and family can access the network. I will probably allow them to have access to their own virtual machines if they so choose.

I would plan on pretty high IO and as far as disk space I was thinking a couple terabytes. I am not completely certain all the projects I will use it for, but I have been doing some programming for work/fun. It would be nice to have some redundancy though and for the filestore to be accessible by any device.

Pardon my inexperience. This is part of why I am wanting on this adventure! I have weird hobbiestongue.gif
They will be used for a whole range of things from work to leisure. I am also not sure the best way to run folding@home (Which uses any free CPU power) in a virtualized environment.

Folding@home will only see "idle" CPU for the virtual machine its installed on, so for example VM1 has 4 cores only 1 is in use, Folding@home will try to use the remaining 3 cores to 100% regardless of if another VM is trying to use it
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