Re: Intel S3420GPLC / Socket 1156 Build
Apologies for the delayed reply, hectic at work.
Background - I built this system to replace a standalone OpenSolaris server, which I was using as a file server and for VirtualBox. Since OpenSolaris is dead and I cant afford paying Oracle $1000/ socket/ year for patches, I needed something else.
So the box, and specifically the storage configuration.
- configured to boot ESXi 4.1 U1 off the internal USB socket (4GB flash disk)
- SASWT4I has RAID firmware, 2 x 40GB laptop drives configured in RAID-1
* this serves as the 'base' drive for the SAN VM boot disk, which runs OpenFiler 2.99- 2 x SASUC8I with JBOD firmware configured as passthru to the OpenFiler VM (16 ports total)
* also holds temporary/ non-production VMs and ISOs
- On-board SATA controller configured as passthru to the OpenFiler VM (6 ports total)
Actual disks are:
- 16 x 1TB disks attached to the SASUC8I's, configured as a 15-disk RAID-6 software array + 1 hot spare under OpenFiler (md0).
- 6 x 2TB disks attached to the onboard controller, configured as a 5-disk RAID-5 software array + 1 hot spare under OpenFiler (md1).
md0 on OpenFiler VM has 2 iSCSI LUNs:
- first exported to ESXi for 'production' VM storage (1TB)
- second exported to a WHS 2011 VM (remainder, storage volume)
md1 on OpenFiler VM has 1 iSCSI LUN:
- exported to same WHS 2011 VM (8TB, backup volume)Note - this is a non-optimal solution, since all production VMs are on the iSCSI volume, so ESXi cant see them until the OpenFiler VM starts. Even then, I have a custom boot script that forces the ESXi to do an iSCSI HBA re-scan after the OpenFiler VM starts. This is required, else ESXi will not see the volume and won't be able to process auto-start/ auto-stop settings. This can be avoided if I host all the VMs on the RAID-1 volume, but my drives are too small.
Why WHS backed by OpenFiler? Because I actually really like how brain-dead WHS is - makes management of users/ shares/ streaming etc easy. As for OpenFiler, I'm ditching that for OpenIndiana as soon as it stabalizes. Want my ZFS back - volume configuration would be identical, except I'd use RAIDZ, RAIDZ2, and COMSTAR for iSCSI.
Performance-wise, I can't complain. File copies to/ from the WHS 2011 shares saturate my GigE network (actual transfers of 100MB/s
+. The Intel NICs are used for actually serving traffic, while the DGE-530T is vmkernel/ management only (skge driver is a bit flaky under load, so decided to relegate it to light duty).