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  • 1.  Best way to share slow storage via VM?

    Posted Jan 31, 2011 10:53 PM

    I have a couple od cheap and kinda slow NAS boxes I need to share the data from.  These run 4x7200RPM SATA drives in a RAID 5 on non-redundant power.  The direct sharing NAS feature is not providing the security I need, so I want to put them behind a real OS.  Now my question is about squeaking the closest thing to native performance out of these guys.  I can run them NFS or ISCSI.  Should I create an NFS or ISCSI datastore on each of them and create a virtual disk on that datastore?  Or should I just build a small Windows VM on fast storage and connect direct ISCSI back to the NAS boxes.   Does that make sense?  So do I mount the NAS boxes in ESX or inside the WIndows VM for best perf and reliability?



  • 2.  RE: Best way to share slow storage via VM?

    Posted Jan 31, 2011 11:10 PM

    Isolate the NAS devices on their own subnet or put the management and storage behind a virtual firewall.



  • 3.  RE: Best way to share slow storage via VM?

    Posted Feb 01, 2011 12:12 AM

    just do a back to back between the host and the NAS device. like the above advise creating a new isolated management network purely for NAS would do.



  • 4.  RE: Best way to share slow storage via VM?

    Posted Feb 01, 2011 05:02 PM

    I planned to do that, but my question was about how to present the storage to the VM.  I could either:

         1) Connect the NAS to the ESX hosts via ISCSI, build a VMFS datastore on the NAS and then create a virtual disk to present the storage to the VM.

         2) inside the virtual machine itself, use a software iSCSI initiator to connect directly to the NAS.

    Either way the VM will have it's system partition (2008 r2) on faster, more robust storage.



  • 5.  RE: Best way to share slow storage via VM?

    Posted Feb 01, 2011 05:29 PM

    Now I think I understand. This isn't about network security it is about Windows file access security For the best performance I would test each method. Each storage device will have it's strengths. Presenting the storage directly to the OS via iSCSI will mean you do not have the benefits of VMware snapshots and anything that depends on them.