Monday, November 2, 2009

OpenSolaris with Linux usability?

Well, you read it. My good colleague suggested this for a storage appliance

ZFS, nice... When they include dedupe, even nicer! Now I've just gotta remember what other alternative storage platforms are out there...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Distributed Resource Scheduler

I'm getting to grips with this today... I'm a little excited and a little disappointed... So that's what all the fuss is about? Ok, to be fair... I've only have two hosts and a not very many guests running. I'm trying to get all my idle operating systems to generate some load so DRS will make it's recommendations. Screenshot above, recommending me to shift a VM to my other box... I've not figured out HA just yet.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

VMotion, open source NAS, NFS rantings

Got VMotion working after a few teething problems with mounted CD/iso images on my guest OS. Now, the real problem was actually this: The guest-mounted iso's where stored on a NFS share, not shared by both ESX hosts. 

Anyway. Using lefthandnetworks iSCSI appliance (in a VM of course) to host the shared storage of my guest worked very well. It was so easy to set up. Unmounted the iso's and VMotion worked a treat. It missed two pings when migrating using high priority.

My setup is a bit cheap at best (and I've purchased a gigabit switch, just waiting for delivery); for storage networking I have two NICs and two subnets in my Windows PC, and each of my ESX hosts attached to one, and mounted the same NFS share. Since ESX mounts it using different IP addresses, each host does not consider it the same storage... I've since then, bridged the NICs (Windows terminology) and everything is on the same subnet, fixed the NFS shares on each host, meaning I should be able to VMotion guests that have mounted an iso.

After becoming familiar with lefthandnetworks iSCSI appliance, I've become aware of two other interesting free NAS filer projects, they be:

To cut it short, OpenFiler is claiming to be opensource but charge for the documentation, it's Linux based. FreeNas is 100% open source, more mature, BSD based... During my battles with Windows Services for Unix NFS implementation (I can't work out how to force async writes, and it doesn't work well with SATA drives, I read a lot) I also read that NFS on BSD type *nix performs better than Linux - lots of people complaining about sluggish performance of Linux NFS servers.

My primary interest in NFS is to do with it's potential as shared storage for VMware - with the advent of 10Gbit networks, NFS becomes a viable alternative to FC and iSCSI. But only if it's not sluggish... It is said NetApp's NFS implementation is excellent and very fast - and right enough, ONTAP is based on FreeBSD.

I know it's sad, but I'm really excited about getting the NetApp/ONTAP simulator up and running.

All the very best

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Messing about with iSCSI

i had some time at work today, and figured I'd check on some of the groups I'm subscribed to in Linkedin... A well informed chap in the IT Core Infrastructure group, mentioned he used Open Filer, from well... I will defo take a look. On the home front, I've setup my lefthand iSCSI appliance on vmware server, but I'm probably going to get the ESX version as my workstations disk is too slow. But I have managed to install Windows 2003 in a VM using the shared iSCSI storage. It's a little too easy sometimes.

Annoyingly, now also (see earlier post on MS virtual server) vmware server is using a funny (unstable) web interface that didn't work well with any of my browsers. I uninstalled vmware server 2 and got the latest edition of 1, and it's flawless... Thank God they keep earlier versions available.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sorted. Second DL380 in the house.

I was a little suspicious when I was on my way to Maidenhead to pick up my bargain server on Saturday at 7am... Traffic was a breeze, didn't even bother with all my smart*rse shortcuts through Fulham & Hammersmith. When I won it, I first email seller to ask if he wants cash or paypal. He didn't respond. 24hrs later I was contacted by an ebayer who had also bid on his items, but communication hadn't worked out and he never got his stuff (a server presumably). Bless him. I decided to pay up with Paypal immediately after reading this email, to force the seller into the deal and to avoid the seller saying oh you didn't pay. It worked. If you don't what to do: RAP.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1

I need to run some VM's outside my DL380 and thought I'd give Microsoft Virtual Server a go. Got the latest download, set it up, and installing Windows Server 2003. It's come as far as formatting 20% of the hard disk and now stuck for 5 minutes with no indication is might continue. Less impressive than VMware version 1, which I used on Windows NT about a decade ago. VMware never let me down, not even in those days. But this MS VS, beggars belief... Remote management through an ActiveX control in IE! It is worse than Raritans remote console software! 

Setup is formatting... Forever stuck at 20% under MS Virtual Server latest edition