cjells
Contributor
Contributor

Entry level storage for home lab

Hi , what is everyone using for storage for a "home lab"?  I need to purchase a solution that fits a home budget. I just need some form of shared storage so that I can have two ESX hosts.  Anything like an entry level NetApp would be way too much.  I was thinking of just an NFS server on Linux , but don't know where to start for hardware and which Linux to use.  It would have to be something with a decent amount of hard drive space and preferrably capable of  some kind of RAID.

Another idea is to use a VSA, but again I would need a decent amount of hard drive space and would need a recommendation for type of hardware and OS.

I would be running EXSi 4.1 on the ESX hosts

  Any ideas?

Thanks!

0 Kudos
17 Replies
depping
Leadership
Leadership

I like devices like the Iomega IX4 / IX12, also the upcoming Drobo B800i or B1200i.

idle-jam
Immortal
Immortal

have a look a readynas. http://www.readynas.com/?p=3030

LunThrasher
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Mate if you don't already have a login to now.netapp.com, create yourself one and download the dataontap 8 simulator. With that you can setup a Netapp SAN with all options for testing purposes. It's what I run at home. Have a look at this, I have 4 virtual machines installed all Windows 2008 Server and I get 80% dedupe rate. Run it all as a VM on Solid State and you'll be laughing. Enjoy.

If you need any help setting it up I've written some tutorials which should help you http://www.sysadmintutorials.com/tutorials/netapp/

Tutorials for System Admins www.sysadmintutorials.com
0 Kudos
alefestaedist
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

I like Iomega as suggested by depping, but in case why you do not "re-use" a phisical machine through freenas ?

http://www.freenas.org if it is a lab enviroment it helps you to use nfs,iscsi storage easily.

alex

0 Kudos
cjells
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks, I have looked one of these up (The Iomega IX4) and think I get one for a few hundred bucks.

  This would probably work fine. I iike the features it offers.  Even an IX2 would work actually, and be very cheap but not have much storage.

0 Kudos
cjells
Contributor
Contributor

I like this idea. Do you have an idea on what NetGear model  to buy and price? Thanks

0 Kudos
cjells
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks,  I like this suggestion as I have to work with Netapp on system builds and would like to know its capabilities better.  So far, I havent been able to download the simulator even though I have a NOW account. Not sure why yet - I am looking into it.

This solution would be ideal for what I need to do. When you say install as a VM on solid state,  I am having a hard time understand the physical environment. This would be an external USB drive, perhaps 1 TB? How would this be physically connected to the system to process IO's?

Thanks

0 Kudos
cjells
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks, I will check out the requirements for freenas. My problem is that I don't have a physical machine to re-use. I would have to purchase hardware. That said, I could probably use older hardware for something like freenas, but the hardware would have to have some amount of storage capacity. I am looking for something like 500 GB but could probably use less. 

0 Kudos
ats0401
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Before you buy the IX4, do some research and some googling on this model.

I almost bought one, but I found post after post of people having problems with it locking up or rebooting when any type of heavy load was put on it.

I ended up getting this unit instead

http://www.qnap.com/pro_detail_feature.asp?p_id=182

It blows the IX4 away in regards to performance as well, check out this comparison of a ton of NAS devides, the QNAP is near the top.

http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/component/option,com_nas/Itemid,190

0 Kudos
cjells
Contributor
Contributor

Also, I see that the Data Ontap Simulator download is available for Linux only. It looks like it has been Tested on Red Hat Linux 7.1 through 9.0, SUSE 8.1 and 8.2. So I would need a physical server to install Linux on that has some networking capability and install this Simulator on this Linux box? Where does the storage come from? The connected USB SSD?

The link to the tutorial shows a basic netapp setup and an install of the Virtual Storage console. Is that what you were referring to? Or the Data Ontap Simulator? Is the idea of the turorial  to show how to configure NetApp once the simulator is installed? I would appreciate any additional information as to what version of Data Ontap Simulator to download, what hardware and OS to install it on, and how does the SSD device fit into the picture,  etc.

Thanks!

0 Kudos
cjells
Contributor
Contributor

Another great option. Looks like these are not too pricey and have excellent performance. I think I would need the TS-239 Pro II, according to vmware hcl.

Thanks

0 Kudos
ats0401
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

yes the TS-239 Pro II is the one I ordered.

Keep in mind it does not come with drives, you will have to buy those separately.

So it is more expensive then the other options but worth it IMO.

0 Kudos
LunThrasher
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Hi CJELLS

I'd download the latest version 8.0 7-mode. This is an ISO file (it includes the operating system), it's designed to run either directly on a physical computer or you can run it as a virtual machine within vmware workstation. I run mine within vmware workstation. You first boot the ISO and follow the prompts to install. The storage can be physically attached i.e. IDE or SATA (normal or SSD) or if you are running a virtual machine in vmware workstation you can run it off on a usb drive.

Once the ISO file has installed you will be presented with the wizard. Follow the guide here to complete the setup http://www.sysadmintutorials.com/tutorials/netapp/netapp-basic-setup/

After the setup is complete you'll want to experiment and test different settings that's where this guide will come in handy (CLI Pocket Guide)

http://www.sysadmintutorials.com/tutorials/netapp/netapp-data-ontap-cli/

Tutorials for System Admins www.sysadmintutorials.com
0 Kudos
cjells
Contributor
Contributor

OK, now I understand, thanks very much for the information! I'll give it a shot.

0 Kudos
cjells
Contributor
Contributor

David, how did you get the Filer View web page to work? I have spent many hours trying to get this work, reinstalled, installed on a Linux box, installed the 8 version, it just doesnt work. Everything else on the filer seems to work, just no filer view. No one on the Netapp simulator forum seems to know.

Thanks

0 Kudos
LunThrasher
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Firstly can you ping the ip address you assigned ?

Secondly check in the cli that you have the following:

options httpd.admin.enable on

Tutorials for System Admins www.sysadmintutorials.com
0 Kudos
cjells
Contributor
Contributor

Yes and yes

Thanks

Sent from my iPhone

0 Kudos