HomeNAS : ZFS, Importation and the Unicorns of Hardware.

Discussion in 'Storage & Backup' started by devians, Dec 24, 2009.

  1. devians

    devians Member

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    UPDATE:

    The current plan is to run this hardware stack:
    - Supermicro MBD-X8STE-O Motherboard [$440, digicor]
    - Intel i7 920 [$350, Umart]
    - Supermicro AOC-USAS-L8i UIO 8 port SAS/SATA [$200, digicor]
    - Chenbro CK12804 Low Profile 28-port SAS Expander [$400ea, digicor, min buy 20]

    And install Solaris and virtualise using VirtualBox.

    The current conundrum is sourcing the Chenbro SAS Expander, its a real unicorn. If you know of a source, or can comment on the sanity of this build (ie if you know Solaris doesnt support X or Y), please pitch in :)

    OP:
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2010
  2. Bangers

    Bangers Member

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    Why are you focused on HyperV or ESXi on the physical and running a ZFS guest inside it?

    Run Solaris 10 on the hardware and use Virtualbox for Virtualization. You can also leverage Solaris Zones for small footprint Solaris guests (one for www, one for squid, etc).

    I'm running the same at home. Inside it I have 2x Windows 2008 R2 guests and 2 Debs. Solaris up top running 10 disks in a zpool mirror and RAIDZ. All with CLI from Solaris 10 and using VboxManage (well, I wrote SMF scripts but it's the same thing).

    Edit: Didn't see your last 2 questions;

    1. This not a recommended configuration.
    2. Single card with expander is fine. A solid setup would be one of the cheap Norco 24 bay cases and a couple expander cables to the front hot swap bays.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2009
  3. OP
    OP
    devians

    devians Member

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    If the recommendation is to use expanders, could you link to some products? Please keep in mind im not really interested in changing my case as that really skyrockets the cost involved.

    I'm just not particularly sold on the solidity of opensolaris as a host os, having run it previously and had quite a few problems. Plus how portable would a child os be in that situation. And is there any advantage to running solaris pure in this instance?

    How has your experience with virtualbox been? Whenever i start researching it it comes across as very... amateur and i get discouraged. Do you have any links to good articles on setting up and managing a child os?

    Keep in mind that this whole setup is going to be headless.
     
  4. Bangers

    Bangers Member

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    Although I see from a Windows point of view where your comments are stemmed from your thoughs/experiences are pretty invalid. Let's step back and understand SUN's technology suite. Virtualbox and OpenSolaris both run the development and Engineering for xVM and Solars Operating System. It might be a scary new technology to most people but it's extremely stock standard in the enterprise world. Feel free to comment on specific criteria on the "solidity" of OpenSolaris and maybe I can answer them but let's not forget it's the OS in the real world. Let's not get off-topic, but very few other OS's come close to it in regards to stability and platform support.

    Virtualbox is just as if not more reliable than VMW and most definitely than MSFT. You can use there import/export features of both the competitors as an example, of the aggressive release cycle currently implemented in Virtualbox.

    Headless is the norm, we're not in the Windows world here. When you live in the Solaris world it's the preferred way to do everything. 9600-N-1, SC and SSH are all you've ever need (maybe a Null terminated DB8 cable if you're running pre 2003 servers).

    No offense, I got a feeling than some of your thoughts/comments were coming from fruitless forum posts. Hopefully this can enlighten you to the possibilities of Solaris. You will run into problems running it on generic x86, but it's an enterprise OS after all. But nothing someone who's switched on can't figure out and fix.


    >> Do you have any links to good articles on setting up and managing a child os?
    http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/3.1.2/UserManual.pdf
     
  5. OP
    OP
    devians

    devians Member

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    ok lets run with this. Opensolaris with virtualbox for virtualisation of children.

    The remaining questions become:
    - is the current hardware list compatible (pretty sure it is)
    - Is there a good SAS expander card out there that isnt a completely new chassis?
     
  6. MrSmoke

    MrSmoke Member

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    what about xen?
     
  7. OP
    OP
    devians

    devians Member

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    what about it?
     
  8. MrSmoke

    MrSmoke Member

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    instead of virtualbox or esxi? Wait, havnt really looked into it. Is it free? lol
     
  9. OP
    OP
    devians

    devians Member

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  10. downforce

    downforce Member

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    That MB (X8STE) is a nice board, built a workstation PC with it for a client, they are availble in Aus (the suppliers site is currently down for maintenance). It's also certified with ESX. Just have a look on the VMWare HCL.

    Just take care of what CPU cooler you use as the common 'performance' ones overlap the first PCIe16 and RAM slot once you add fans (TRUE/U12P etc).

    Chenbro is available from the same supplier so can't see if they are available.

    EDIT: Overzealous posting!

    ESXi4 does support RDM, but it's not recommended, for one reason, that guest wont even boot if the drive goes missing. I currently have a linux guest accessing some drives via RDM perfectly fine, but not with any management, just raw disks.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2009
  11. OP
    OP
    devians

    devians Member

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    downforce thats really interesting, what supplier sells this stuff in aust?

    should i be able to get away with the default cpu cooler? if i 'upgrade' it at all it will be for something quieter.
     
  12. downforce

    downforce Member

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    Digicor is one of them, might be more around. If you need help, let me know.

    Yeah, the default should fit, was just a word of warning if you use a 'large' CPU cooler, basically one that's bigger than the CPU area of the motherboard.
     
  13. 3t3rna1

    3t3rna1 Member

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    Check out the latest dev build of OpenSolaris - De-Duplication with compression is very nice. Stable version should be out 2010.2 I think.
     
  14. OP
    OP
    devians

    devians Member

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    So i have a quote from digicor

    Supermicro AOC-USAS-L8i UIO 8 port SAS/SATA
    228.80
    Motherboard
    456.50
    Chenbro CK12803 28port SAS Expanders (1 ext input, 1 ext output, 1 int input, 4 int output)
    473.00

    The 12803 is the lesser cousin of the 12804, its 4 internal ports rather than 6. Looks like its more expensive too because of the external ports :|

    Unfortunately they cant get in a 12804 in quantities under 20, but they're priced at $375ext GST. What a pain, they're ideal and priced reasonably but only in bulk amounts.

    So i suppose the sas expander i will have to import. Not sure where to buy in the USA however.
     
  15. downforce

    downforce Member

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    Are they inc or ex tax?
     
  16. Stanza

    Stanza Member

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  17. davros123

    davros123 Member

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    Was that for the 2 cards....if so, it's a great price, so I assume it's for 1.

    FYI - I paid $290USD for 2 (incl. shipping) from the ebay guy :) Arrived today (~7 days from buying).

    It's good to buy local though.
     
  18. DavidRa

    DavidRa Member

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    I know the guys at TechBuy quite well. They tried the HP SAS expander with a non-HP RAID controller (Adaptec I think - supports expanders) and it would not work. Worked fine with the HP P410 RAID controller though, so YMMV. Maybe talk to your local parts store (not the MSYs of the world, the TechBuys/AusPCMarkets) about getting the 12804 through them?
     
  19. downforce

    downforce Member

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    Digicor is the wholesaler for Chenbro, so they'd be getting it from them as well, unless they direct import, in which case you might as well import from EU/US yourself.
     
  20. OP
    OP
    devians

    devians Member

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    The only way this would be advantageous is if they were willing to cop the min buy of 20 to sell me just one


    I had a look at the HP expander, and im pretty sure it wont work, it looks like its designed to work with hp stuff only.

    those prices are inc tax, but the $375 for the chenbro was without, so it would be ~$407.5 with tax i'd assume.

    I think if digicor cant do a single card for me i will just have to find somewhere reputable in the USA to buy from. suggestions welcome?
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2010

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