7 Homelab Ideas | Why You Should Have A Homelab

Why You Should Have a Homelab In 1998 my friend Meredith gave me a RedHat Linux CD.  I spent hours each day experimenting with Linux–I loved it.  2 years later I’m in a room with 30 other students at a University applying for the same computer lab assistant job–I’m thinking my chances are grim.  Part-way … Continue reading “7 Homelab Ideas | Why You Should Have A Homelab”

Benchmarking Guest on FreeNAS ZFS, bhyve and ESXi

FreeNAS 11 introduces a GUI for FreeBSD’s bhyve hypervisor.  This is a potential replacement for the ESXi + FreeNAS All-in-One “hyper-converged storage” design. Hardware Hardware is based on my Supermicro Microserver Build Xeon D-1518 (4 physical cores, 8 threads) @ 2.2GHz 16GB DDR4 ECC memory 4 x 2TB HGST RAID-Z, 100GB Intel DC S3700s for … Continue reading “Benchmarking Guest on FreeNAS ZFS, bhyve and ESXi”

ZFS Dataset Hierarchy | Data Hoarder Edition

ZFS is flexible and will let you name and organize datasets however you choose–but before you start building datasets there’s some ways to make management easier in the long term.  I’ve found the following convention works well for me.  It’s not “the” way by any means, but I hope you will find it helpful, I … Continue reading “ZFS Dataset Hierarchy | Data Hoarder Edition”

FreeNAS Mini XL, 8 bay Mini-ITX NAS

Catching up on email, I saw a Newsletter from iX Systems announcing the FreeNAS Mini XL (the irony).  On the new FreeNAS Mini page it looks just like the FreeNAS mini but taller to accommodate 8-bays. Available on Amazon starting at $1,500 with no drives. Here’s the Quick Start Guide and Data Sheet. The pictures show what appears to be equipped … Continue reading “FreeNAS Mini XL, 8 bay Mini-ITX NAS”

VMware vs bhyve Performance Comparison

Playing with bhyve Here’s a look at Gea’s popular All-in-one design which allows VMware to run on top of ZFS on a single box using a virtual 10Gbe storage network.  The design requires an HBA and a CPU that supports VT-d so that the storage can be passed directly to a guest VM running a ZFS … Continue reading “VMware vs bhyve Performance Comparison”

FreeNAS 9.10 on VMware ESXi 6.0 Guide

This is a guide which will install FreeNAS 9.10 under VMware ESXi and then using ZFS share the storage back to VMware.  This is roughly based on Napp-It’s All-In-One design, except that it uses FreeNAS instead of OminOS. This post has had over 160,000 visitors, thousands of people have used this setup in their homelabs and small … Continue reading “FreeNAS 9.10 on VMware ESXi 6.0 Guide”

Best Hard Drives for ZFS Server

Today’s question comes from Jeff…. Q. What drives should I buy for my ZFS server?  Answer: Here’s what I recommend, considering a balance of cost per TB, performance, and reliability.  I prefer NAS class drives since they are designed to run 24/7 and also are better at tolerating vibration from other drives.  I prefer SATA … Continue reading “Best Hard Drives for ZFS Server”

FreeNAS vs. OmniOS / Napp-It

       2015-01-07: I’ve updated this post to to reflect changes in FreeNAS 9.3.  I’ve been using OpenIndiana since late 2011 and switched to OmniOS in 2013.  Lately I started testing FreeNAS, what drove me to do this is I use  CrashPlan to backup my pool but recently Code 42 announced they’ll be discontinuing … Continue reading “FreeNAS vs. OmniOS / Napp-It”

Intel DC S3500 vs S3700 as a ZIL SSD Device Benchmarks

I ran some benchmarks comparing the Intel DC S3500 vs the Intel DC S3700 when being used as a SLOG/ZIL (ZFS Intent Log).  Both SSDs are what Intel considers datacenter class and they are both very reasonably priced compared to some of the other enterprise class offerings. Update: 2014-09-14 — I’ve done newer benchmarks on … Continue reading “Intel DC S3500 vs S3700 as a ZIL SSD Device Benchmarks”