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i have a NAS running physically on an old PC. I want to virtualize this nas on the same hardware to be able to host another small Linux server. I have done this before but there are two issues i want to "fix" this time around. So the main requirements for the hypervisor are as follows:

Need to have

1) SATA pass through on such a level so that the NAS can spin down harddrives without the hypervisor intervening. Yes, i know, servers shouldn't spin down but this is a home machine and i'm at work half of the day and electricity is expensive!

2) Presenting two physical drives to the FreeBSD guest VM just as they were before the migration so that it can continue running. The actual VM will be reinstalled of course, but it needs to be able to pick up old data through some kind of SATA pass through. Last time around i used ESXi and vmfs drives, now i want to keep the drives at the FreeBSN native format (SoftRAID).

Nice to have

1) GUI admin from Mac OS, native or web doesn't really matter.

My hardware

ASRock ALiveNF6G-VSTA mainboard http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=ALiveNF6G-VSTA

AMD Athlon64 X2 4200+

5GB of DDR2 RAM

1x500GB system drive

2x1TB data drives

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migrated from serverfault.com Dec 14 '10 at 17:50

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1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Need #1: HDs take about $5/year to run. I don't think any virtualization has APM passthrough for drives.

Need #2: Every virtualization technology does this. ESX, Hyper-V, Xen, KVM, QEmu...

Want #1: With only two machines, which presumably will be running constantly anyway, how much bother are non-GUI tools?

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Ok, i did a quick test. Machine draws 110W with all drives on and 97W with data drives off. I guess APM isnt needed then. But what about SMART? And which hypervisors can do physical drive pass through without vt-d? I don't think my mainboard can do vt-d. –  Maciej Swic Dec 14 '10 at 18:09
3  
Some hypervisors integrate SMART, others don't. I only know Hyper-V and QEmu on FreeBSD; both of which can do SMART. All the major ones do disk passthrough, with or without VT-d (which accelerates transfers for supporting hypervisors). –  Chris S Dec 14 '10 at 18:17
    
Thank you. I think i'll give Hyper-V a try then. –  Maciej Swic Dec 14 '10 at 18:21
    
Note that the free Hyper-V Server requires a separate machine with at least Windows Vista (and preferably Windows 7) to administer. (A full Windows Server install with the Hyper-V role can be managed locally, but Hyper-V Server is a “server core” install and requires remote management.) –  Sergey Vlasov Dec 14 '10 at 19:09

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