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Install FreeNAS in VMWare Workstation for Time Machine backups - and other questions

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charlien

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I built a Windows 2008 r2 server with lots of 1t and 2t drives with 16g of RAM. I use it for a couple functions but would really like to add the function of backing up several MACs running Snow Leopard and one running Lion. I am considering running FreeNAS under VMWare workstation.

First question - do I need a nightly build of FreeNAS 8 for the Lion user? Was 7.2 passed over?

Second question - I understand how to do a basic install of FreeNAS in VMWare but am not sure how to set up my storage pool. I figure I need either to set up 3 separate drive pools each around 750gig or one 2t pool and limit it to files no larger than 750gig. Can someone help point me in the right direction? Is this where iSCSI comes in? I have read about it but don't understand it.

Are there other considerations I need to address? Any advice is appreciated.
 

jgreco

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I built a Windows 2008 r2 server with lots of 1t and 2t drives with 16g of RAM. I use it for a couple functions but would really like to add the function of backing up several MACs running Snow Leopard and one running Lion. I am considering running FreeNAS under VMWare workstation.

First question - do I need a nightly build of FreeNAS 8 for the Lion user? Was 7.2 passed over?

Second question - I understand how to do a basic install of FreeNAS in VMWare but am not sure how to set up my storage pool. I figure I need either to set up 3 separate drive pools each around 750gig or one 2t pool and limit it to files no larger than 750gig. Can someone help point me in the right direction? Is this where iSCSI comes in? I have read about it but don't understand it.

Are there other considerations I need to address? Any advice is appreciated.

AFP for Lion works in the *current* nightly builds (r7584 works, previous didn't). It does not work in any released code due to the netatalk issues. No idea about 7.2, sorry, but best guess is "not available."

iSCSI is for serving files using the Internet SCSI protocol. It makes your FreeNAS look like a big SCSI device - over an IP network. You probably do not want or need this unless you already know why you need it.

If your problem is just that you need a larger FreeNAS volume in order to store the backups, FreeNAS will allow you to concatenate or stripe drives with both UFS and ZFS, but ZFS has the downside that it requires lots of memory. Both of these techniques will allow you to store files larger than 750GB as they make a single virtual drive out of several physical devices (which in your case are
virtual VMware devices). So you could take three 1TB drives and make them into a 3TB volume, and it'll just work (until one of the underlying drives dies). Other combinations are possible, including using ZFS RAIDZ to protect your backup data.
 

charlien

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Jul 29, 2011
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Thanks for the reply. I have plenty of RAM so I think I will go the ZFS route. This may be more of a VMWare question but...Do I make large virtual drive using one of the physical drives or do I directly connect to one of them?
 

jgreco

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I don't quite get your question. You want a large drive and you have three small drives. In FreeNAS (no vmware), you take the three disks and make them into a single volume. For VMware, you have to create those three small drives first. I don't know how it works in VMware workstation, though.
 
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