Creating an iSCSI Target for ESXi with Starwind Virtual SAN for vSphere

For those of you that follow my blog closely, I want to apologize for my months-long absence from posting articles. Not only have I had a number of serious health issues over the last few months, but I also launched my own cloud hosting company, born out of my cloud consulting business, and it has kept me extremely busy. Hopefully, I'm going to be able to get back into posting regular articles here soon. But, for those that have been waiting, here is a much requested article: installing Starwind … [Read more...]

Building a Homemade SAN on the Cheap: 32TB for $1,500

One of the things I've been working on getting for my lab is a dedicated SAN/iSCSI box, and I was looking to build a quality, performing box, on the cheap. Although those statements usually don't go together, you can build a quality SAN for a reasonable price. For those of you following my blog, you know that a couple of months back, I built a cheap vCenter/iSCSI server using a low-power FM1 dual core Llano, and Starwind's SAN/iSCSI software (the free version). It performed great with IOPS in … [Read more...]

ESXi iSCSI/RAID/Disk Performance: Improving Through RAM Cache

When designing any kind of system, whether it be an ESXi lab or otherwise, disk performance can end up being a bottleneck. No matter how fast your processor, or how much RAM you have, if you have a ton of iowait, and your system is having to wait in line to write or read data from your drive or volume, then your system will be slow. Modern systems in need of extreme IOPS are turning to SSD arrays and SSD cards for performance, but even with the drastic reduction in price since their … [Read more...]