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Old 01-28-2011, 08:55 AM
carlopmart
 
Default OT: Recommendations for a virtual storage server

Hi all,

I need to install a virtual machine acting as a virtual storage server under
CentOS 5.x (using kvm, xen, virtualbox or vmware). This virtual storage machine
needs to server storage to another ESXi server and at the same time to the host
where is installed.

This is due to the limitations of hardware I have available. Both hosts needs to
server several machines.

It is very important that the virtual machine consumes the least resources
possible (host has 5GB RAM and i need to run three virtual machines minimum,
including this storage server as a virtual machine).

What can be better solution: CentOS, NexentaStor, openfiler ...??

Many thaks.
--
CL Martinez
carlopmart {at} gmail {d0t} com
_______________________________________________
CentOS mailing list
CentOS@centos.org
http://lists.centos.org/mailman/listinfo/centos
 
Old 01-28-2011, 01:21 PM
Ross Walker
 
Default OT: Recommendations for a virtual storage server

On Jan 28, 2011, at 4:55 AM, carlopmart <carlopmart@gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> I need to install a virtual machine acting as a virtual storage server under
> CentOS 5.x (using kvm, xen, virtualbox or vmware). This virtual storage machine
> needs to server storage to another ESXi server and at the same time to the host
> where is installed.
>
> This is due to the limitations of hardware I have available. Both hosts needs to
> server several machines.
>
> It is very important that the virtual machine consumes the least resources
> possible (host has 5GB RAM and i need to run three virtual machines minimum,
> including this storage server as a virtual machine).
>
> What can be better solution: CentOS, NexentaStor, openfiler ...??

For such a small setup, I recommend installing ESXi on both machines and setting up a storage server on the ESXi box with all the storage.

Use NFS for your storage server. Disable ESXi memory ballooning/over commit for your storage VM otherwise you'll have memory contention between storage producer and storage consumers.

Your choice of OS depends on your experience level and needs. If your comfortable with Redhat Linux use CentOS minimal install, otherwise use OpenFiler. If data integrity is more important then performance use Nexentastor (if performance is more important then consistency disable ZIL, ZFS guarantees file system integrity, ZIL guarantees data consistency).

-Ross

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Old 01-28-2011, 04:25 PM
Les Mikesell
 
Default OT: Recommendations for a virtual storage server

On 1/28/2011 3:55 AM, carlopmart wrote:
> Hi all,
>
> I need to install a virtual machine acting as a virtual storage server under
> CentOS 5.x (using kvm, xen, virtualbox or vmware). This virtual storage machine
> needs to server storage to another ESXi server and at the same time to the host
> where is installed.
>
> This is due to the limitations of hardware I have available. Both hosts needs to
> server several machines.
>
> It is very important that the virtual machine consumes the least resources
> possible (host has 5GB RAM and i need to run three virtual machines minimum,
> including this storage server as a virtual machine).

What's the point of adding an extra virtual layer compared to an nfs or
iscsi share from the host (nfs if it is shared, iscsi if it is the VM
image store)? This seems like it would be more efficient if you run
exsi on the hardware with centos and the others as guests anyway.

--
Les Mikesell
lesmikesell@gmail.com
_______________________________________________
CentOS mailing list
CentOS@centos.org
http://lists.centos.org/mailman/listinfo/centos
 
Old 01-28-2011, 04:33 PM
"James A. Peltier"
 
Default OT: Recommendations for a virtual storage server

----- Original Message -----
| On 1/28/2011 3:55 AM, carlopmart wrote:
| > Hi all,
| >
| > I need to install a virtual machine acting as a virtual storage
| > server under
| > CentOS 5.x (using kvm, xen, virtualbox or vmware). This virtual
| > storage machine
| > needs to server storage to another ESXi server and at the same time
| > to the host
| > where is installed.
| >
| > This is due to the limitations of hardware I have available. Both
| > hosts needs to
| > server several machines.
| >
| > It is very important that the virtual machine consumes the least
| > resources
| > possible (host has 5GB RAM and i need to run three virtual machines
| > minimum,
| > including this storage server as a virtual machine).
|
| What's the point of adding an extra virtual layer compared to an nfs
| or
| iscsi share from the host (nfs if it is shared, iscsi if it is the VM
| image store)? This seems like it would be more efficient if you run
| exsi on the hardware with centos and the others as guests anyway.
|
| --
| Les Mikesell
| lesmikesell@gmail.com
| _______________________________________________
| CentOS mailing list
| CentOS@centos.org
| http://lists.centos.org/mailman/listinfo/centos

There are some advantages that I can see in that if your hardware dies you can migrate the entire host and disks over to another VMWare hosts.

If your NFS host is not H/A a loss of the host would take down the virtual machines too. Additionally, virtualization offers the ability to migrate the VM and disk to newer hardware somewhat transparently allowing you to take advantage of the latest/greatest/buggy tech.

Just my 2c

--
James A. Peltier
IT Services - Research Computing Group
Simon Fraser University - Burnaby Campus
Phone : 778-782-6573
Fax : 778-782-3045
E-Mail : jpeltier@sfu.ca
Website : http://www.sfu.ca/itservices
http://blogs.sfu.ca/people/jpeltier


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http://lists.centos.org/mailman/listinfo/centos
 
Old 01-28-2011, 04:33 PM
"James A. Peltier"
 
Default OT: Recommendations for a virtual storage server

----- Original Message -----
| ----- Original Message -----
| | On 1/28/2011 3:55 AM, carlopmart wrote:
| | > Hi all,
| | >
| | > I need to install a virtual machine acting as a virtual storage
| | > server under
| | > CentOS 5.x (using kvm, xen, virtualbox or vmware). This virtual
| | > storage machine
| | > needs to server storage to another ESXi server and at the same
| | > time
| | > to the host
| | > where is installed.
| | >
| | > This is due to the limitations of hardware I have available.
| | > Both
| | > hosts needs to
| | > server several machines.
| | >
| | > It is very important that the virtual machine consumes the
| | > least
| | > resources
| | > possible (host has 5GB RAM and i need to run three virtual
| | > machines
| | > minimum,
| | > including this storage server as a virtual machine).
| |
| | What's the point of adding an extra virtual layer compared to an nfs
| | or
| | iscsi share from the host (nfs if it is shared, iscsi if it is the
| | VM
| | image store)? This seems like it would be more efficient if you run
| | exsi on the hardware with centos and the others as guests anyway.
| |
| | --
| | Les Mikesell
| | lesmikesell@gmail.com
| | _______________________________________________
| | CentOS mailing list
| | CentOS@centos.org
| | http://lists.centos.org/mailman/listinfo/centos
|
| There are some advantages that I can see in that if your hardware dies
| you can migrate the entire host and disks over to another VMWare
| hosts.
|
| If your NFS host is not H/A a loss of the host would take down the
| virtual machines too. Additionally, virtualization offers the ability
| to migrate the VM and disk to newer hardware somewhat transparently
| allowing you to take advantage of the latest/greatest/buggy tech.
|
| Just my 2c
|
| --
| James A. Peltier
| IT Services - Research Computing Group
| Simon Fraser University - Burnaby Campus
| Phone : 778-782-6573
| Fax : 778-782-3045
| E-Mail : jpeltier@sfu.ca
| Website : http://www.sfu.ca/itservices
| http://blogs.sfu.ca/people/jpeltier
|
|
| _______________________________________________
| CentOS mailing list
| CentOS@centos.org
| http://lists.centos.org/mailman/listinfo/centos


I should add though that you will likely see a rather large performance penalty on the I/O side

--
James A. Peltier
IT Services - Research Computing Group
Simon Fraser University - Burnaby Campus
Phone : 778-782-6573
Fax : 778-782-3045
E-Mail : jpeltier@sfu.ca
Website : http://www.sfu.ca/itservices
http://blogs.sfu.ca/people/jpeltier


_______________________________________________
CentOS mailing list
CentOS@centos.org
http://lists.centos.org/mailman/listinfo/centos
 
Old 01-28-2011, 05:14 PM
John R Pierce
 
Default OT: Recommendations for a virtual storage server

On 01/28/11 1:55 AM, carlopmart wrote:
> Hi all,
>
> I need to install a virtual machine acting as a virtual storage server under
> CentOS 5.x (using kvm, xen, virtualbox or vmware). This virtual storage machine
> needs to server storage to another ESXi server and at the same time to the host
> where is installed.
>
> This is due to the limitations of hardware I have available. Both hosts needs to
> server several machines.
>
> It is very important that the virtual machine consumes the least resources
> possible (host has 5GB RAM and i need to run three virtual machines minimum,
> including this storage server as a virtual machine).
>
> What can be better solution: CentOS, NexentaStor, openfiler ...??
>
> Many thaks.


no way in H*** I'd run a storage server as a VM, especially if its
serving the same host as its hosted on.

storage should be rock solid infrastructure as any hiccups crash your
whole environment. get a IBM DS3524 or Dell MD3200i or something for
use as storage.



_______________________________________________
CentOS mailing list
CentOS@centos.org
http://lists.centos.org/mailman/listinfo/centos
 
Old 01-28-2011, 05:39 PM
Les Mikesell
 
Default OT: Recommendations for a virtual storage server

On 1/28/2011 12:14 PM, John R Pierce wrote:
>
>> I need to install a virtual machine acting as a virtual storage server under
>> CentOS 5.x (using kvm, xen, virtualbox or vmware). This virtual storage machine
>> needs to server storage to another ESXi server and at the same time to the host
>> where is installed.
>>
>> This is due to the limitations of hardware I have available. Both hosts needs to
>> server several machines.
>>
>> It is very important that the virtual machine consumes the least resources
>> possible (host has 5GB RAM and i need to run three virtual machines minimum,
>> including this storage server as a virtual machine).
>>
>> What can be better solution: CentOS, NexentaStor, openfiler ...??
>>
>> Many thaks.
>
>
> no way in H*** I'd run a storage server as a VM, especially if its
> serving the same host as its hosted on.
>
> storage should be rock solid infrastructure as any hiccups crash your
> whole environment. get a IBM DS3524 or Dell MD3200i or something for
> use as storage.

I don't think someone who is constrained by only having 5GB ram in a box
is likely to be able to buy new storage servers...

--
Les Mikesell
lesmikesell@gmail.com
_______________________________________________
CentOS mailing list
CentOS@centos.org
http://lists.centos.org/mailman/listinfo/centos
 
Old 01-29-2011, 04:19 AM
Nico Kadel-Garcia
 
Default OT: Recommendations for a virtual storage server

On Fri, Jan 28, 2011 at 1:14 PM, John R Pierce <pierce@hogranch.com> wrote:

> no way in H*** I'd run a storage server as a VM, especially if its
> serving the same host as its hosted on.

*Configuration* storage, such as /etc/ files, sure. Actual backup? No
virtualized host does that as well as the underlying virtualization
server. There are plenty of lightweight, robust backup systems, such
as rsnapshot and Amanda, which can be performanced tuned not to
overwhelm the resources of the server itself and whose installation
requirements are quite modest.
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http://lists.centos.org/mailman/listinfo/centos
 
Old 01-29-2011, 04:25 AM
John R Pierce
 
Default OT: Recommendations for a virtual storage server

On 01/28/11 9:19 PM, Nico Kadel-Garcia wrote:
> On Fri, Jan 28, 2011 at 1:14 PM, John R Pierce<pierce@hogranch.com> wrote:
>
>> no way in H*** I'd run a storage server as a VM, especially if its
>> serving the same host as its hosted on.
> *Configuration* storage, such as /etc/ files, sure. Actual backup? No
> virtualized host does that as well as the underlying virtualization
> server. There are plenty of lightweight, robust backup systems, such
> as rsnapshot and Amanda, which can be performanced tuned not to
> overwhelm the resources of the server itself and whose installation
> requirements are quite modest.

the OP wasn't talking about backup servers, he was talking about primary
NAS/SAN storage for his two virtual servers, having a VM on one of the
servers providing primary storage for both servers.
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Old 01-29-2011, 10:04 AM
carlopmart
 
Default OT: Recommendations for a virtual storage server

On 01/28/2011 03:21 PM, Ross Walker wrote:
> On Jan 28, 2011, at 4:55 AM, carlopmart<carlopmart@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> Hi all,
>>
>> I need to install a virtual machine acting as a virtual storage server under
>> CentOS 5.x (using kvm, xen, virtualbox or vmware). This virtual storage machine
>> needs to server storage to another ESXi server and at the same time to the host
>> where is installed.
>>
>> This is due to the limitations of hardware I have available. Both hosts needs to
>> server several machines.
>>
>> It is very important that the virtual machine consumes the least resources
>> possible (host has 5GB RAM and i need to run three virtual machines minimum,
>> including this storage server as a virtual machine).
>>
>> What can be better solution: CentOS, NexentaStor, openfiler ...??
>
> For such a small setup, I recommend installing ESXi on both machines and setting up a storage server on the ESXi box with all the storage.
>
> Use NFS for your storage server. Disable ESXi memory ballooning/over commit for your storage VM otherwise you'll have memory contention between storage producer and storage consumers.
>
> Your choice of OS depends on your experience level and needs. If your comfortable with Redhat Linux use CentOS minimal install, otherwise use OpenFiler. If data integrity is more important then performance use Nexentastor (if performance is more important then consistency disable ZIL, ZFS guarantees file system integrity, ZIL guarantees data consistency).
>
> -Ross
>

Thanks Ross. I had been thought about this solution. But, there is a problem: I need
to run two more VMs on that server and only has 5GB of RAM. AFAIK, NexentaStor
requires a minimum of 4GB of RAM.

But If I use nfs services to share disks: can I limit memory used by nfs process in
some manner??

Thnaks.


--
CL Martinez
carlopmart {at} gmail {d0t} com
_______________________________________________
CentOS mailing list
CentOS@centos.org
http://lists.centos.org/mailman/listinfo/centos
 

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