Open Source NAS – Openfiler Update

Open Source Storage
The online debate over Open Source storage options is fast and furious. The two common names that keep popping up are FreeNAS and Openfiler. Do a Twitter search for either and you will have an afternoon full of reading.
I evaluated Openfiler (see April 7 post for Openfiler info) and have not looked back. The first box I installed as NFS storage has been running for 54 days with no data loss or corruption. The only issue at all has been the failure of one of the on-board Ethernet ports. My second box installed as iSCSI storage has been in production for thirteen days.

Hardware breakdown (retasked servers – nothing new was purchased):

filer1: Dell PowerEdge 2650, dual Intel Dual-Core Xeon 2.4 Ghz CPU w/512KB cache, 4GB RAM, dual on-board Gigabit Ethernet ports, (1) Maxtor Atlas 10k 74GB harddisk for Openfiler system, (4) Seagate Cheetah 10k 146GB harddisks for shared storage.

filer2: Dell PowerEdge 2850, dual Intel Quad-Core Xeon 2.8 Ghz CPU w/2.00MB cache, 4GB RAM, dual on-board Gigabit Ethernet ports, dual-port Intel PRO 1000 NIC (for iSCSI), (2) Maxtor 15k 74GB harddisks in RAID 1 for Openfiler system, (3) Seagate 15k 146GB and (1) Fujitsu 15k 146GB harddisks for shared storage.

Filer1 reports used physical memory of 97% while filer2 reports 8% physical memory in use. This is interesting as filer2 has a much higer load at this point. IRC chats, blogs and forums suggest Openfiler likes all the RAM it can get its hands on.

Plan Moving Forward
I will continue to use filer2 as iSCSI storage for two VMware ESX 3.5 servers. Planning to rebuild filer1 with additional RAM and add Intel PRO 1000 card. May convert storage to iSCSI for Citrix XenServer evaluation.

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