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imemyself 05-16-2006 09:42 PM

Suggestions on iSCSI server
Hello, I'm thinking about building a cheap (in comparison with the non-DIY options)iSCSI storage server to play with at home. I'm wondering if anyone who is more of a hardware person than I am could comment on how well this setup would work.

Here is what I'm looking at:

I've not worked with hardware RAID, rackmount servers, AMD stuff, or iSCSI outside of VMware, so I don't have much firsthand knowledge about this. I'm hoping to run this server on CentOS 4, probably installed via PXE. My iSCSI initiator will also be running CentOS 4, though Windows and other Linux servers will probably need access in the future. Speed is not absolutely critical, but I don't want it to be significantly slower than access to local drives. I plan on the target running the iSCSI Enterprise Target.

I have a few questions:
First, how big of impact would not using Jumbo frames be? The Tyan mobo has two GigE ports, but as far as I can tell, neither of them support Jumbo frames.

Second, I'm wondering about where to use LVM. Would it be as difficult as it seems like it would it be to resize volumes if I had LVM on both to target and the initiator?

actual filesystem                    }
LVM logical volume                    }
LVM volume group                      } Client/Initiator
LVM physical volume                  }
iSCSI device via iSCSI initiator      }
LVM logical volume                    }
LVM volume gorup                      }
LVM physical volume                  } Server/Target
local hardware RAID device            }

And third, if I wanted to expand the size of the RAID array to 750 GB via 4x250 GB drives in the future, would it be reasonably easy to accomplish? Shutting down the target down is fine.

So, is there any suggetions or comments that you guys have, in addition to my questions?



BSchindler 05-20-2006 06:47 AM

While your configuration would work, I think you have starved it for memory, especially if you will have any number of connections access storage simultaneously.

Personally, I have a dozen servers at home and generally prefer to build in cases rather than 1U server boxes. If I plan for 500GB of storage 3x250 in Raid 5), I almost always wind up putting in another 500 - 1024GB (I have video on demand servers and send HDTV to a number of clients).

I would look at
This board supports 8 SATA drives and lots of memory. This way you can start out small and build up as needed (careful with your Power Supply).

You can use the on board raid to start and later upgrade to PCI-X raid controller as the need presents itself. I have personally not used this mobo before and would check support for raid under Linux first.

imemyself 05-21-2006 04:15 PM

OK, thanks for your suggestions. I'll look into that. :)

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