Having some issues with my Lab set-up and the convoluted iSCSI presentation I setup. It comprises a FreeNAS VM running on NAS storage that then has a VMDK attached running on the same NAS storage. This VMDK is presented as iSCSI to the ESXi hosts (Nested and Physical hosts), so it give the impression it is SAN to those hosts. I’m getting a lot of errors which cause the entire setup to freeze since the vCenter server is running on that storage. I’m moving it off to a Qnap NAS to see if it stabilises the iSCSI but since that Qnap is shared with general CIFS file services for my Lab and home networks, am not confident about having my vCenter using it long-term! Therefore, I have just bought myself, or rather bought Virtual Earthrunner, a Qnap TS-670 with 5x 3Tb Western Digital Red drives and a dual 1Gb NIC expansion to give me 4x NICs in total (1 for management and up to 3 for iSCSI). The unit support up-to 6 disks so I’m going to make use of the SSD caching option available on that particular unit to house an old 40Gb SSD I’ve got hanging around doing nothing to experiment with. With RAID5 this should give me a modest 12Tb usable capacity for my Lab network so my plan was to break this up into a small LUN for physical ESXi host, a small LUN for ISO storage and then 3 or 4 LUNs to present to the nested ESXi hosts and configure in a cluster to experiment with StorageDRS etc.
The main unit should arrive this week so I’ll hopefully have positive comments come next weekend. It’ll be nice to actually have a true iSCSI storage solution that should reduce load on the DL380 as well since I’ll not be doing everything through a VM on that host. I’m also planning to add an additional 32Gb RAM (64Gb total) and a quad-port NIC to expand to 8 ports so I can double up on storage and VM connections.
Since first publishing this article, the FreeNAS has experienced the same issue, but since moving my vCenter I don’t lose the complete environment.