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 iSCSI NAS Suggestions or Whitebox 'NAS' 
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Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 7:41 pm
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Post iSCSI NAS Suggestions or Whitebox 'NAS'
I'm in need of advice & recommendations on how to proceed. Would be great to hear from folks who have personally implemented or are otherwise using whatever it is they're suggesting.

I've got one VM I need to keep up as long as possible. Its a production VM but I don't have a huge budget for hardware.
In order to take advantage of FT/HA/vMotion, I'd like to get a small NAS to serve as storage for both ESXi servers.

Can someone recommend an [inexpensive but reliable] NAS that
    is capable of creating an iSCSI target (right out the box or no special unsupported hacks!)
    has at least 4 bays
    offers RAID 5+ (or RAID-X, RAID ADG, RAID-DP etc)
    is under/right around $500
Note: I don't mind if it does not come with HDD's - I've got a few SATA's.

If such a device doesn't exist, the next option is a power sipping (not guzzling) home brew NAS. Has anyone successfully built their own small NAS (think shuttle PC size - space is an issue!) that does this for under $500? If the answer is yes, I'd like to know specifics:
    motherboard
    RAID controller (if hardware raid is not built into the motherboard; or did you go the software raid route?)
    OS (FreeNAS, OpenFiler, other?)
    any special 'gotcha's as part of the installation

Many thanks for your expertise and for taking the time to read this!


Last edited by Phylum on Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:26 am, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Oct 12, 2011 4:44 pm
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Post Re: iSCSI NAS Suggestions or Whitebox 'NAS'
I've include a list of devices that are supported with ESXi 4.1. They might give you some ideas. They're not supported with ESXi 5 but that might just be the case that testing hasn't been done yet.

Is this a high or low I/O VM?


Partner Name Model Array Type Supported Releases
Adaptec Snap Server 520 iSCSI ESX 3.5 U5 3.5 U4 3.5 U3 3.5 U2 ...
3.5 U1 3.5 3.0.2 U1 3.0.2
3.0.1



Adaptec Snap Server 720i iSCSI ESX 3.5 U5 3.5 U4 3.5 U3 3.5 U2 ...
3.5 U1 3.5 3.0.3 U1 3.0.3
3.0.2 U1 3.0.2 3.0.1



Adaptec Snap Server 730i iSCSI ESX 3.5 U5 3.5 U4 3.5 U3 3.5 U2 ...
3.5 U1 3.5 3.0.3 U1 3.0.3
3.0.2 U1 3.0.2 3.0.1



Adaptec Snap Server 750i iSCSI ESX 3.5 U5 3.5 U4 3.5 U3 3.5 U2 ...
3.5 U1 3.5 3.0.3 U1 3.0.3
3.0.2 U1 3.0.2 3.0.1



Buffalo, Inc TS-IXL/R iSCSI ESX 4.1 U1 4.1 4.0 U3 4.0 U2 ...
4.0 U1 4.0



Buffalo, Inc TS-RIXL/R iSCSI ESX 4.1 U1 4.1 4.0 U3 4.0 U2 ...
4.0 U1 4.0



Buffalo, Inc WS-RVL/R5 iSCSI ESX 4.1 U1 4.1 4.0 U3 4.0 U2 ...
4.0 U1 4.0



D-Link Systems, Inc. DSN-1100-10 iSCSI ESX 4.1 U1 4.1 4.0 U3 4.0 U2 ...
4.0 U1 4.0 3.5 U5 3.5 U4
3.5 U3 3.5 U2 3.5 U1 3.5




D-Link Systems, Inc. DSN-2100-10 iSCSI ESX 4.1 U1 4.1 4.0 U3 4.0 U2 ...
4.0 U1 4.0 3.5 U5 3.5 U4
3.5 U3 3.5 U2 3.5 U1 3.5




D-Link Systems, Inc. DSN-3200-10 iSCSI ESX 3.0.3 U1 3.0.3 3.0.2 U1 3.0.2 ...
3.0.1



D-Link Systems, Inc. DSN-3200-10 iSCSI ESX 4.1 U1 4.1 4.0 U3 4.0 U2 ...
4.0 U1 4.0



D-Link Systems, Inc. DSN-3400-10 iSCSI ESX 4.1 U1 4.1 4.0 U3 4.0 U2 ...
4.0 U1 4.0 3.5 U5 3.5 U4
3.5 U3 3.5 U2 3.5 U1 3.5




D-Link Systems, Inc. DSN-4100 iSCSI ESX 4.1 U1 4.1 4.0 U3 4.0 U2 ...
4.0 U1 4.0 3.5 U5 3.5 U4
3.5 U3 3.5 U2 3.5 U1 3.5
3.0.1



D-Link Systems, Inc. DSN-4200 iSCSI ESX 4.1 U1 4.1 4.0 U3 4.0 U2 ...
4.0 U1 4.0



D-Link Systems, Inc. DSN-5110-10 iSCSI ESX 4.1 U1 4.1 4.0 U3 4.0 U2 ...
4.0 U1 4.0



D-Link Systems, Inc. DSN-5210-10 iSCSI ESX 4.1 U1 4.1 4.0 U3 4.0 U2 ...
4.0 U1 4.0 3.5 U5 3.5 U4
3.5 U3 3.5 U2 3.5 U1 3.5
3.0.3 U1 3.0.3 3.0.2 U1 3.0.2
3.0.1



D-Link Systems, Inc. DSN-5410-10 iSCSI ESX 4.1 U1 4.1 4.0 U3 4.0 U2 ...
4.0 U1 4.0



D-Link Systems, Inc. DSN-6120 iSCSI ESX 4.1 U1 4.1 4.0 U3 4.0 U2 ...
4.0 U1



D-Link Systems, Inc. DSN-6420 iSCSI ESX 4.1 U1 4.1 4.0 U3 4.0 U2 ...
4.0 U1



Data Robotics, Inc. B800i iSCSI ESX 4.1 U1 4.1 4.0 U3 4.0 U2 ...
4.0 U1 4.0



Data Robotics, Inc. DRPR1-A iSCSI ESX 3.5 U5 3.5 U4 3.5 U3 3.5 U2 ...
3.5 U1 3.5



QNAP Systems, Inc TS-259 Pro iSCSI ESX 4.1 U1 4.1 4.0 U3 4.0 U2 ...
4.0 U1 4.0



QNAP Systems, Inc TS-459 Pro iSCSI ESX 4.1 U1 4.1 4.0 U3 4.0 U2 ...
4.0 U1 4.0



QNAP Systems, Inc TS-459U-RP/SP iSCSI ESX 4.1 U1 4.1 4.0 U3 4.0 U2 ...
4.0 U1 4.0



QNAP Systems, Inc TS-559 Pro iSCSI ESX 4.1 U1 4.1 4.0 U3 4.0 U2 ...
4.0 U1 4.0



QNAP Systems, Inc TS-659 Pro iSCSI ESX 4.1 U1 4.1 4.0 U3 4.0 U2 ...
4.0 U1 4.0



QNAP Systems, Inc TS-809U-RP iSCSI ESX 4.1 U1 4.1 4.0 U3 4.0 U2 ...
4.0 U1



QNAP Systems, Inc TS-859 Pro iSCSI ESX 4.1 U1 4.1 4.0 U3 4.0 U2 ...
4.0 U1 4.0



QNAP Systems, Inc TS-859U-RP iSCSI ESX 4.1 U1 4.1 4.0 U3 4.0 U2 ...
4.0 U1 4.0



QNAP Systems, Inc TS-x79 Series iSCSI ESX 4.1 U1 4.1

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Dave Mishchenko
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Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:52 pm
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Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 7:41 pm
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Post Re: iSCSI NAS Suggestions or Whitebox 'NAS'
David: Thanks for all the work you do here, the VM forums among [many] other places. You're a star.

Thanks for the response - it was a nice healthy list for me to check out pricewise but I'm curious, how did you craft your query on the VMWare HCL page to find NAS/SAN devices? (Well, I assume you did this there.)

I had previously found several devices that are within my price (sub $500) range but very few are 'VMWare Certified':
    Iomega 34549 StorCenter ix4-200d (on HCL!)
    Seagate STAR401 Black Armor 400 (Not on HCL but allegedly supported)
    Thecus N4100PRO, N2200XXX
    QNap TS-410, TS-412 and TS-419
    Synology DS411J, DS411slim,
    Netgear RNDU4000-100NAS, RND4000-100NAS
    Buffalo TeraStation TS-XE2.0TL/R5
    D-Link DNS-343
    LG N4B2N
    Patriot PCNASJV35S4

So I have to ask: While I understand that going with non-VMWare certified hardware is bad enough, are there any [major] concerns about going with one of these, or any other non-VMWare certified, NAS/iSCSI devices?


Its a relatively low I/O VM but it could go up considerably over the next year or so. Hopefully by then, if this project is a success, we'll be purchasing a better solution.
How can I determine thresholds for these devices, or any NAS for that matter?
What are some signs I've reached/exceeded the iops threshold?


Again, many thanks.


Thu Oct 13, 2011 2:46 am
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Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 7:41 pm
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Post Re: iSCSI NAS Suggestions or Whitebox 'NAS'
Other than the higher-end QNAP devices, do any other NAS' offer block-level replication between two devices? I'm not looking for an rsync solution - need real-time replication.


Sat Oct 15, 2011 8:56 am
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Post Re: iSCSI NAS Suggestions or Whitebox 'NAS'
I had pulled the list from VMware's HCL by just filtering on what I recall as some entry level options.

As to using non-supported SAN options I wouldn't be overly concerned. Backups (for any solution) would be a far higher priority. There are lots of people using options like Openfiler, FreeNAS or Starwind. I believe you can get block replication with Openfiler.

The reason for asking about your I/O requirements was that some of the options were limited to 2 disks. It doesn't sound like you'll need significant I/O so even a system with a few disks should suffice.

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Dave Mishchenko
VMware vExpert 2009-2013
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Now available - VMware ESXi: Planning, Implementation, and Security
Also available - vSphere Quick Start Guide


Sat Oct 15, 2011 9:06 am
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