I have had 2 physical ESXi boxes (HP Proliant Gen8) running 5.5 for a while now and would like to try and explorer the advantages that shared storage brings. I have a spare HP N36L - would this be sufficient for me to use as a shared storage box? Ideally I'd like to remove my hard drives from the 2 ESXi boxes and store them in the shared storage box.
What methods do you guys recommend that would improve my shared storage hands on knowledge, and give me the most 'corporate' like setup? I've heard of FreeNAS, OpenFiler, Starwind etc but just not too sure which road to venture down. iSCSI? NFS? Why one over the other?
Are there any caveats I should be aware of?
Majority of shared storage are supported by ESXi. It depeneds on your requirement, when and what to use. For more ifnormation, see https://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-51/index.jsp?topic=%2Fcom.vmware.vsphere.mscs.doc%2FGUID-7291B20B-33..., https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-Validated-Design/4.1/com.vmware.vvd.sddc-design.doc/GUID-E30B7051-..., https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-vSphere/6.5/com.vmware.vsphere.mscs.doc/GUID-7291B20B-33A6-4E9C-A0...
Honestly I am not fan of physical shared storage any more and usually what I do is to deploy some sort of virtual shared storage (VMware VSAN, EMC ScaleIO, HPE Store Virtual).
I agree. Virtual shared storage is an optimal approach for small-sized deployments. I typically use either ScaleIO or the free version of StarWind, but I've read that DELL/EMC will be discontinuing it as a software only option: https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/03/01/dell_stops_swonly_sales_of_scaleio_virtual_san/ . Also, I've heard that StarWind is finally getting ready with their improved Free Linux VSA for vSphere. Meanwhile, you can find more info regarding the product on their website: https://www.starwindsoftware.com/starwind-virtual-san-free