Back in November, I wrote about the transition to iSCSI and NFS, along with a need for a new storage array. Turns out I ended up purchasing a new storage array and RAID card as a “Merry Christmas” to me gift.
I ended up purchasing the Sans Digital TRM8-B. It’s a nice 8 bay SATA/eSATA enclosure. Asides from the horrible blue LED in the rear, it performs quite nicely with quiet sounds and hot swappable drives. To support the enclosure I picked up a HighPoint 3122 RAID eSATA card w/ 128MB cache. Add to the mix a pair of 1TB WD black drives, and now I have 1.8TB of storage.
The performance has been good. I easily get 125MB/s in Linux VM’s and around 70-80MB/s for Windows (my connect is only 1Gb/s to the filer). What was not good was the performance of the iSCSI software I used.
I tried almost every Linux iSCSI you could find. IET, tgt, Linux-iscsi. They all had poor performance and where buggy. vSphere is pretty picky about its iSCSI software. I ended up going with ISCSI-SCST. It works great! It works nicely with ESX 4.0, plays well with my Windows backups. If you are looking for a good, solid Linux iSCSI solution, this one appears to be it. These guys have done it right too!
I migrated my iSCSI server into a VM, and the performance has remained consistent too. The Filer is now configured purely to serve NFS to the ESX hosts, but any iSCSI go through a CENTOS/RHEL 5.4 VM. A lot easier this way. And guess what? It just works.