Following a recent upgrade to my home lab, my storage now looks like this:
- A unified SAN capable of providing both block (iSCSI) and file (NFS/CIFS) data.
- Eight disks:
- 2 x SSD
- 6 x SATA
- Two discrete RAID groups:
- a 400GB (usable capacity) two disk mirror
- a 1.2TB (usable capacity) four disk parity stripe
- Both RAID groups have dedicated 20GB flash read caches.
- LUNs can be configured to support compression and/or deduplication
- Copy on Write (COW) snapshots for all filesystems and LUNs
- Support for replicating filesystems and LUNs to a second SAN
All sounds pretty funky. Must be expensive right?
Actually, the above is all achieved using a very cheap HP Microserver running VMware ESXi and the Nexenta virtual storage appliance. I've assigned the Nexenta VM 4GB RAM, but it would happily use more for it's L1 read cache.
The HP Microserver has 4 x SATA disks (2 x 1TB and 2 x 500GB) with a single 60GB SSD disk.
The Nexenta virtual machine is then assigned VMDK files. The first RAID group is a mirror: one VMDK file on SATA disks 1 and 2. The second RAID group is a RAIDZ parity stripe: one VMDK file on SATA disks 1, 2, 3 and 4. The flash read caches are 20GB VMDK files on the SSD.
The compression, deduplication, snapshot and replication features are provided by the ZFS filesystem.
This is a pictorial representation of the configuration:
And this is what it looks like physically:
Oops. No, that's the NetApp at work. But functionality-wise they are quite similar (obviously the vastly more expensive NetApp is much faster!).
This is the real physical hardware (on the far right, next to the ML110 and ML115):