[CDBUG-talk] OT: iSCSI SAN question

Jesse Kempf kempf at rpi.edu
Tue Mar 17 22:38:43 EDT 2009

On Mar 17, 2009, at 9:27 PM, Patrick Muldoon wrote:

> On Mar 17, 2009, at 9:13 PM, Jonathan Franks wrote:
>> Hey folks,
>> I'm looking to build an iSCSI SAN. The trouble is that the pricing
>> coming in
>> from our vendors is in the 20-30K range and this just won't fly.
> I have both an Equal Logic and and a Netapp that do Iscsi.  We
> primarily use the Netapp for NFS,  and the EqualLogic for Iscsi.  But
> do have some iscsi targets on the netapp. But alas both of those are
> in the > $30K range :)
> On a somewhat related note, I've been less than impressed with iscsi
> performance with the FreeBSD software initiator. In our tests it has
> been horribly slow, and unstable.  We actually wound up replacing that
> box with an Box running CentOS, and it literally runs circles around
> the BSD solution.  Pity... ..

For what it's worth, this mirrors my experience. The FreeBSD iSCSI  
initiator is very not ready for prime time. The Solaris iSCSI target  
is the same (they didn't even get IPv6 address formatting right,  
which is specified in the iSCSI RFC). I can't speak to the Solaris  
initiator, but these are the only two OSes I'd seriously consider  
building a file server atop, and neither has inspired much confidence.

What are you ultimately trying to do? It may be possible to  
essentially build yourself your own Thumper-alike with [Open]Solaris  
and RocketRAID SATA controllers and big disks. Solaris isn't the  
nicest OS to deploy open-source software on, but ZFS is badass in the  
extreme and *everybody* talks NFS or SMB. And the nice thing about  
ZFS is that you can grow the disk pool as you get budget.


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