I'm waiting to build a scalable server that I can shove VMs onto with a NAS application as well.

These are my requirement that I have come up with so far (in descending order of priority)

  1. Reliable
  2. Can run VMs (so I can built Windows Server 2008 R2 / Debian on top)
  3. HDDs can be placed in one logical partition
  4. HDDs don’t need to be the same disk size / manufacturer etc.
  5. Performs some sort of redundancy
  6. Performs full redundancy

I've had a thought about using ZFS which would cover almost all my redundancy and NAS problems but because it would mean either FreeNAS/FreeBSD it doesn't really support my VM needs.

I could also run raid 1 on pairs of drives an then LVM over them but I can see that getting messy fairly quickly.

Is there a solution that will fit all my needs? or am I wishful thinking?

migrated from serverfault.com Jun 1 '11 at 1:15

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  • "and it is not about .. Running servers at home for personal use" - ServerFault FAQ. Also, what's wrong with running QEmu (the virtualization technology behind KVM) on FreeBSD? – Chris S Jun 1 '11 at 0:10
  • 2
    ZFS also runs on Solaris (and variants such as OpenSolaris) which means you can run VirtualBox on top. In fact ZFS was created by Sun for Solaris so it is the most mature, stable implementation. – Tom Shaw Jun 1 '11 at 0:12
  • How about using a server-class system that is suited to virtualization (redundant power, hardware RAID, etc.) using ESXi, and allowing one of the VMs contained within to serve files and meet the NAS needs? – ewwhite Jun 1 '11 at 0:26
  • @ewwhite: Make that an answer and mention NexentaStor, and you have my +1 – Tom Shaw Jun 1 '11 at 0:39
  • @Tom Shaw - NexentaStor is great and all, but only if you have a modest amount of OpenSolaris chops. We've run into a few situations where things have failed in a very odd way, and it was only by sheer luck that we got things running again. I can recover a linux server in a dozen different ways, but discovered very quickly that OpenSolaris was a very different ballgame. – EEAA Jun 1 '11 at 0:46

A good approach to this is to build a server-class system that is suited to virtualization (with redundant power, hardware RAID, etc.) using a hypervisor like VMWare ESXi. If you would like to serve file or have NAS functionality, you could allow one of the VMs contained within to serve files and provide that functionality.

  • +1 for recommending an actual server. -1 for recommending VMWare. – Cerin Jul 6 '11 at 17:21

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