FreeNAS

I said a couple days ago that I had killed off OpenFiler and went with FreeNAS.  A couple of things changed since the post about getting OpenFiler working as a SAN.

I would like to be able to add a second VM Host and having external storage is pretty much essential for that to be practical.  So with this in mind, I went to Newegg and picked up an Micro-ATX Atom motherboard, small but nice case, some RAM, and a good Intel Gigabit NIC.  (Already had the drive I was going to use.)  I put that all together and went immediately to FreeNAS.

I installed FreeNAS 0.7.1 onto a USB stick (from the CD, didn’t use a second computer) and hooked everything up and tested it out.  It apparently worked since I stuck with it.  The USB boot was important because I didn’t have a 2nd HD lying around and it seemed like a huge waste.  Even if I did partition, I have no plans of even filling the dedicated drive, let alone the remainder of the OS drive.  OpenFiler doesn’t have this capability, so barring lack of functionality, FreeNAS was the way to go.

Now for my FreeNAS setup, I simply added the 250GB drive and since ZFS was an option, I just a single stripe ZFS file system.  (I wasn’t going to get any redundancy anyway so I figured no harm and potential upgrade path.)  I configured iSCSI (plenty of guides out there for that) and bada-bing, iSCSI hosted virtual machines.

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