Currently we use an iSCSI SAN as storage for several VMware ESXi servers. I am investigating the use of an NFS target on a Linux server for additional virtual machines. I am also open to the idea of using an alternative operating system (like OpenSolaris) if it will provide significant advantages.

What Linux-based filesystem favours very large contiguous files (like VMware's disk images)? Alternatively, how have people found ZFS on OpenSolaris for this kind of workload?


ZFS is perfect for this kind of setup primarily because of deduplication, assuming your ZFS host is somewhat decent in the RAM and CPU categories. If all you need is a filer based setup and your hardware is OpenSolaris compatible, I would strongly suggest you take a look at NexentaStor.

  • Is NexentaStor really "enterprise" ready? – mlambie May 18 '10 at 12:06
  • It is based on OpenSolaris, so if you were already considering that route, NexentaStor basically takes Opensolaris and wraps it into a nice, filer type package with a web interface. All the great things about Opensolaris that you would have wanted to use if you rolled your own are already there, and then some. It has a VMDC plugin that's optimized for ESX: nexenta.com/corp/applications/vmdc. Yes, I'd say it's enterprise ready. It's perfect for what you want to do. – churnd May 19 '10 at 10:51

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