Openfiler iSCSI Share For CPS – Update

Original Post: Open Source Technology As Business Solutions: Openfiler – Symantec CPS Destination

We quickly noticed an issue with the iSCSI connector not automatically re-connecting the drive mapping when either the Openfiler server or the CPS server was rebooted. After some troubleshooting and most testing failed to resolve this issue, this project was scrapped in favor of using an Ubuntu NFS share as a backup2disk target.

Next step will be to test an NFS share as a CPS target.

Openfiler – Symantec CPS Destination

I have been testing Openfiler 2.3 iSCSI as a Backup Destination for Symantec CPS 12.5 using Microsoft software iSCSI initiator as the connector. It is working great! I am using Cisco Gigabit switchports with jumbo frames enabled and the performance seems to be fine. Getting ready to add some additional servers to really test the load.

Key Point: in the MS iSCSI config, MAKE SURE the auto-connect on reboot box is checked.

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.

PXE For Fast Openfiler Installs

While looking for info on how to install Openfiler on an old Dell 715N (headless NAS) I stumbled upon the following blog entry: Installing Openfiler 22 On Dell 715N
Except for minor editing of the tftpboot default file the instructions worked fine. If you have enough free diskspace, copy the ISO to the PXE server hard drive as this will make it work much faster. However, connecting the ISO from the ESXi client worked great as well. I was able to prove that this works for any network device that will PXE boot.
My current set up is this: PXE server running as a ESXi virtual machine connected to the second NIC on the ESXi box. This port serves DHCP to the device that you intend to load Openfiler (or any other image) to.

What I used for /tftpboot/pxelinux.cfg/default:
label 5
serial 0 115200 0
default serial
kernal openfiler/vmlinuz append vga=normal initrd=openfiler/initrd.img –console=ttys0,115200n8 test ramdisk_size=8192

Download VMware ESXi (FOR FREE!): ESXi

Original posting for PXE_Installer-Recovery: PXE_Installer-Recovery ScreenShots

Torrent for PXE Server Image: PXE_Installer-Recovery_1.0.tar.bz2