Saturday, May 26, 2007

OpenFiler SAN software

I have been working on an eBook for LeftHand Networks for the past few months. The title is The Shortcut Guide to Exchange Server 2007 Storage Systems and it has been very interesting to work on. The first two chapters are available and it is free to download. In chapter 3 and 4, I had to have a iSCSI SAN running in my lab at home for some screen captures and testing. Unfortunately, I spent most of the last 3 months traveling, so I had to be able to take it with me, too.

Thanks to Juergen Hasslauer from HP for pointing me in the direction of OpenFiler! OpenFiler has a VMWare based machine you can download and this makes an excellent testing and lab environment. While the terminology is a bit different than I am used to dealing with (since I work with LeftHand, NetApp, and EMC SANs mostly), I had more fun than a geek should be allowed to have.

OpenFiler can act as a NAS (for CIFS/SMB and NFS clients) as well as an iSCSI SAN. I had a ton of fun just getting it configured and playing around with different configurations. Many of the features are just as powerful as SANs that you pay tons of money for including snapshot features! If you are looking for a simple (and free) solution for learning iSCSI, SAN, and NAS technology, give it a try.


At 1:08 AM, Blogger Bahir said...


Can you please tell me where and how to find ch3 & ch4 of this ebook. Do we have to pay for them, or it is lost somewhere ;)



At 10:52 AM, Blogger Jim McBee said...

Hi Bahir, chapter 3 is currently being edited and reviewed, it will probably be posted in about 2 weeks. Chapter 4 is right here in front of me on my laptop and about 50% completed. I expect to finish it this week and get it in the review cycle. Expect to see it in a month or so.

At 3:29 PM, Blogger Bahir said...

Hi again,
Thanks for the reply. This is a great news.
I'm currently trying to build a small lab on my notebook. I have only 1GB of RAM and by the looking at the configuration I need to simulate and 1 DC, 2 EX server and 1 Openfiler box, I wouldn't be able to achive that.
I knowe that openfile is requesting 256MB of RAM to behave well. For the other three Windows 2003 server, I would need to push the VM machine to use 128 or 175 MB each. This will leave me with 240MB for the host notebook to run!!!!
Any advice?



At 4:06 PM, Blogger Chris Buechler said...

FreeNAS is very much like OpenFiler, but personally I like FreeNAS a lot better. I was running OpenFiler for a while but replaced it with FreeNAS.

At 2:44 AM, Blogger Peter said...

Chris Buechler - The big difference between OpenFiler and FreeNAS is the permissions and security. FreeNAS has no permissions, either everyone can access a share, or no one can. OpenFiler integrates with Active Directory and allows very fine grained permissons and access control.


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