So, I'm building a home/personal NAS. My plan is to expose both SMB fileshares for sharing files/media between hosts, but also to carve an iSCSI target LUN out of it for use by VMWare as a datastore. I want to use ZFS (software RAID) so that means I'll either be using FreeNAS, Solaris Express, or OpenIndiana.
My question is basically: How much horsepower do I need? Obviously I/O is going to be my bottleneck but I want to be sure that I am not limiting my I/O because of a slow processor or chipset.
So far the hardware plan is to use an Intel i3 and motherboard with one of the H87, Q87, or Z87 chipsets, a SAS controller (JBOD, no RAID) and if budget allows, I'm also hoping to get an SSD for the ZFS L2ARC and ZIL.
Does anyone think I could get away with an Intel Atom or cheaper/less-capable processor/chipset than the i3 and [HQZ]87 listed above?