[CentOS] OT: Recommendations for a virtual storage server

Sat Jan 29 19:24:09 UTC 2011
Ross Walker <rswwalker at gmail.com>

On Jan 29, 2011, at 6:04 AM, carlopmart <carlopmart at gmail.com> wrote:

> On 01/28/2011 03:21 PM, Ross Walker wrote:
>> On Jan 28, 2011, at 4:55 AM, carlopmart<carlopmart at 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??

What OS are the VMs?

If they are windows, then I'd just use Microsoft SBS and run all services off one box then instead of multiple VMs.

If they are Linux, think about using a container based solution like OpenVZ.

5GB is only enough memory to run 1 or 2 VMs.