So I have been contemplating buying a new USB drive to hold some virtual machines and ISO’s for work related stuff when I came across the Iomega IX series. Since my I.T. budget is smaller then most SMB’s I decided to ask the CFO (wife) what she thought of me spending 300 bucks on a “hard drive”. She didn’t complain too much (at least any more then normal) so Sunday we drove down to Micro Center to pick up an IX2-200 2TB (Raw) NAS/SAN.
My intentions for this device is for it to be my best friend when I’m setting up the solutions I design for our customers. On the projects I’ve worked on, I always run into a situation where I need an ISO for installing vm’s… or just a temporary virtual machine for management. Stuff that usually doesn’t require 1000 IOps or 100MBps of disk throughput… usually things that just need to be in place for management and stuff. Anyhow, keeping this stuff on my laptop seems silly sense its usually very large and is something that I don’t use everyday. At that point it was pretty obvious… a small NAS that supports iSCSI and NFS sharing (not to mention CIFS), and is able to be plugged right into the customers gigabit switch and doesn’t rely on my laptop… it was a no brainer!
Initial setup was super easy, I just inserted the CD into my PC and walked along with it. It took maybe 5 minutes to setup all together. I started exploring the web interface and it was very easy to navigate and to configure. I first created a share for ISOs and then found how to turn on the iSCSI target service. I then created a 250GB iSCSI target… the disks started to chatter like crazy (did I mention that if your setting this on your desk and hate noise its probably not for you?) as it appeared to zero out the partition…all 250GB. So since it seemed fairly slow I went and found some stuff to do and stopped back in like 3 hours and it was all finished. I don’t think it took nearly that long to complete, but I got busy and cant say exactly how long it did take.
For the ISOs folder I decided not to use an iSCSI target and do NFS instead, this is because with an NFS share, the device also shares it on CIFS, so I can easily access all my ISOs from my laptop as well as from ESX without having two copies on the device. SWEET!
Performance is a little lacking. Don’t get me wrong, it is pretty snappy for a two drive SATA SAN, but I guess I’m already used to those damn SANs with 16 SAS drives LOL. I have posted screen shots of HD Tune Pro results below which will detail read and write performance.
I did get a chance to load up a windows 2008 standard and datacenter VM on it today, along with a windows XP pro VM. Since I’m primarily a Network Design Engineer and dont get the chance to get out of the office for each install I will have to call this part one with the promise to post the results of how things go when I get a chance to use it in the field.
Images 1 – 6 are of the HD Tune Pro results. Image 7 is of a screenshot of how ESX see’s this things iSCSI shares… because of how it sees them I had no choice but to make the hostname of my IX2 “Celerra” 😉