Archive for the ‘ Storage ’ Category

Nexenta QuickTip: Get a real root shell

The Nexenta folks have spent a lot of energy making Nexenta “idiot-proof”.  You really can do almost everything you need from the web based GUI.  There’s a few more things you can do from the character based Nexenta Management Console (NMC).  Sometimes, though, you may want a shell… Read more

ZFS? Why you should care about ZFS?

zfs_logoThere’s a lot of buzz about the Zettabyte File System from Sun Oracle, which has been included for a while in both Solaris and OpenSolaris.  (Distributions based on Opensolaris like Nexenta have it.  Also some BSD distributions have it).

In general, file systems are not exactly glamorous.  HFS?  UFS? VxVM?  Who cares.  It’s a file system, right?

ZFS has some serious juicy goodness.  Personally, I think as time goes on, you’ll see more and more ZFS (or at least ZFS-like file systems) used on production servers, especially file servers.  Like NexentaStor.

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More on Nexenta

Here’s my $0.02 on Nexenta. (Based on my use of the free NexentaStor Community Edition, 3.0.2.

To summarize: Good stuff!  If you are looking for storage appliance software, try Nexenta first. Maybe you’ll luck out and Nexenta will like your hardware. If not, run Openfiler.

The Nexenta Community Edition is free to use. They do make you register it. That’s a bit of a hassle, especially if you fat-finger the key (“Is that an I or a 1?”)

The Nexenta load is no harder than, and arguably easier, than loading Openfiler.

Nexenta goes faster that Openfiler.  Nexenta goes faster than my $25,000 Dell/Equallogic PS5000E.

I’m working on a step by step how-to for loading Nexenta.


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Filers? We don’t need no stinkin’ filers….

03-21-06_alfonso-bedoyaI know that it seems sometimes like adding filers to the mix may be extra complication, but it really does add a lot of value.  There’s good reasons that enterprise shops don’t do local storage.

Basically in ‘real’ businesses, they don’t buy servers with hard drives in them.  At all.  No drives at all.  They do everything on SAN.  Even boot from it. Read more

Need inexpensive iSCSI? Try NexentaStor!

NexentaStor 3.0 Main Dashboard

NexentaStor 3.0 Main Dashboard

I’ve been using Openfiler for a long time now, but I’m always open to alternatives.  Recently I stumbled across NexentaStor, which is a software product you can load on your servers to make them into filers, like Openfiler.  NexentaStor is available both in an Community Edition, as well as a relatively inexpensive Enterprise Edition, which comes with all the bells and whistles like built in block level replication. Read more

How to make a volume in Openfiler larger

If there’s one things that disks do well, it’s fill up and run out of room.  My Openfiler iSCSI volumes always seem to be filling up as the virtual machines that live in them grow or I make snapshots.

If there is free room in the volume group that a volume is housed in, it’s very easy to make a volume larger with Openfiler.  See my updated Openfiler wiki pages for some notes on this.

Openfiler reboot issue

A default install of Openfiler 2.3 has an issue when rebooted.  On a default installation of Openfiler 2.3, clients cannot use iSCSI target disks after a reboot.  In other words, it’ll work fine until you reboot it.  This has been discussed at some length in Openfiler forums, and has an open bug filed against it.

Also note that it has nothing to do with using XenServer. The iscsi-target service will not properly restart after a reboot, period, whether you are using XenServer as a iSCSI client against the Openfiler target or not.

I added a section to my “Openfiler: The Missing Manual” that discusses what this looks like and how to fix it.

Openfiler holds its own in tests against dedicated storage appliances

I have access to a couple of different storage arrays, so I decided to see if Openfiler lags them significantly in performance.  Turns out Openfiler does just fine.  In fact, against a Dell/Equallogic PS5000E entry level array, my Openfiler install (running on a Dell 6950) is faster serving up storage for XenServer storage repositories.  It’s a very simple test, and benchmarks always lie, but in a real world test, Openfiler on a Dell 6950 is faster than a Dell PS5000E iSCSI array.

Next up:  Openfiler against NetApp.

Install and usage notes for iSCSI with Openfiler

I’ve been doing a lot of work with Openfiler, a well regarded Open Source Storage Appliance Software package. With Openfiler, you can take “any old” server you have laying around and make a iSCSI, CIFS or NFS file server easily and quickly. Here are my notes on getting Openfiler installed and working for iSCSI. Read more

Hands-on with a Dell/Equallogic PS5000E iSCSI array

I lost a drive in my iSCSI array, so I snapped a few pics as I replaced the drive.  If you’ve never seen what using an array looks like, read on…



(It’s the black 3U on top, the HP gizmo is a tape library…)

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