Tag Archive: HDD

New Lab / NAS

Far too long since the last post. Let’s hope this will be the start of them picking back up again!

I have been experiencing some performance issues and need to have a bit of a re-shuffle of the servers/network (my vCenter appliance has stopped working, SQL is being slow etc). I have some production stuff running and don’t want to take everything offline for long so decided to build a new environment then migrate stuff.

I wont be changing much; 

Old NAS; Synology DiskStation 1812+ w/
-4x 3TB WD Green in Synology Hybrid Raid (SHR) : Main data store for Movies, PVR Recordings, ISOs, Photos etc (CIFS & NFS)
-2x 256GB OCZ Vertex4 SSD in RAID0 : Virtual machine storage (NFS)
-2x1gbit LACP to switch
Old ESXi Host; SuperMicro X8SIL-F w/ Xeon X3470 & 16GB RAM running VMWare ESXi v5.1
Old switch; Linksys SRW2024W

New NAS; Snology DiskStation 1813+ w/
-3x 4TB WD Red in Synology Hybrid Raid (SHR) : Main data store for Movies, PVR Recordings, ISOs, Photos etc (CIFS & NFS)
-3/4?x 250GB Samsung EVO 840 SSD in RAID0? : Virtual machine storage (NFS/iSCSI?)
-3x1gbit LACP to switch dedicated to main data store
-1gbit to switch dedicated to VM storage
New ESXi Host; SuperMicro X8SIL-F w/ Xeon X3470 & 32GB RAM running VMWare ESXi v5.5
New switch; Cisco SG200-26 (separate vm storage traffic on it’s own VLAN/subnet)

You’ll notice a bunch of questions marks around the new Virtual machine storage volume. I’m currently debating which disk configuration to use and which storage protocol. I’ve always used NFS as it seems much simpler but understood iSCSI to be the better option (especially with the Synology supporting VAAI hardware acceleration). But despite this, i’ve been reading that NFS seems to outperform iSCSI.

Additionally, if I go iSCSI I will try using 2x1gbit ports and enabling multipathing / round-robin. If I go down the NFS route I don’t think LACP will provide any benefit as the IP hash from a single ESXi host to the single DiskStation will always use the same link?

I have 4 of the EVO SSD so am initially creating a 2 disk RAID0 volume using NFS and an identical volume using iSCSI. I can then try running some like for like comparisons/benchmarks to determine which configuration to use going forward.

I will provide an update shortly.

Didn’t find any info on how to achieve this from google so knocked up a quick video:

Forgive the amateur-ness! It’s amazing how a 60second task takes 5minutes when trying to stay “on camera”.

The steps I note on the video:

1) Pop the front cover off by levering from the “hitachi logo”
2) Undo the 2 screws now exposed
3) Pop the top off
4) Remove the 6 screws now exposed
5) Remove the disk/rails etc
6) Remove the 6 screws from the rails
7) Slide the disk out

Currently the cheapest source of a 3TB drive seems to be from inside this Hitachi XL3000 available today @ scan.co.uk for £107.98 inc VAT http://www.scan.co.uk/products/3tb-hitachi-xl3000-0s03093-35-external-desktop-hard-drive-usb-20-black


Further to my earlier post getting the AB IPBox 900HD up and running with Sky+ HD: https://tickett.wordpress.com/2011/06/23/ab-ipbox-9900hd-with-sky-hd-uk/

I had a bit of trouble initializing a large HDD (320GB worked… 1.5TB didn’t) so here’s the workaround:

Telnet into the box and issue the following commands (make sure you replace the /dev/sda if fdisk –l identifies your drive with a different path and 1400GB with a figure slightly smaller than the size of your disk):

fdisk –l
fdisk /dev/sda
mkswap /dev/sda2
swapon /dev/sda2
mkfs.ext3 /dev/sda1

The mkfs.ext3 command formats the disk and will take quite a while on larger disks (there may be a quick format option but I wasn’t in a hurry)

Once the box has rebooted your HDD will be mounted at /hdd – you need to make a folder /hdd/movies reboot again and you’re good to go!


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