Setup Freenas on XCP-NG

Hi guys i need your help!
Installing a storage system with 《Freenas》 on a virtual environment, for example on an Hypervisor (XCP-NG) for a business (companies) its a good idea?
Tank you!

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Virtualized freenas is not the best idea. If you can avoid it, then avoid it.

yes i know ideally this is not a good idea. But, I work in a small company and it cannot afford to buy more than one physical server for its needs. Then, we need a physical server installed on a hypervisor and used virtual servers even for network storage (FREENAS)

Ouch, sounds like a tough position to be in. I haven’t tried it but it was a solution I had considered myself.

I found FreeNAS to be troublesome to set up. I’ve been watching it’s evolution ever since it started as a google code project, with great anticipation but my expectations so far, were not matching the results I have from it.
Some of my techy friends also had mixed feelings about it.
The topic is timely for me since I am contemplating the possibility of a small scale NAS for SOHO usage (again).

No,not a good idea for anything production.

Because at the end of the day, you’re at the mercy of the physical disk configuration/redundancy that the virtual disks that make up FreeNAS live on. If your physical redundancy goes south, then so does your FreeNAS array, no matter how you set it up.

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If you are going to run FreeNAS as a virtual machine you want to pass though a dedicated HBA to it. This way you are allowing ZFS to manage and control the disk which is the safest way to store your data.

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On the FreeNAS forums there is an entire post or section dedicated to virtualizing FreeNAS. Passing the HBA adapter directly to FreeNAS is recommended since ZFS really wants control of the disks. I’m aware following this posts that most have virtualized using ESXi. There are a lot of other pearls however within the posts so I would suggest looking at that as a resource.

Terrible idea; Freenas as a VM is nothing but trouble. Why not run a simpler setup - a Debian or Ubuntu VM and add Samba filesharing.

Guys, I seriously disagree with you on this one. I have several production virtualized FreeNAS setups with 0 issues, working for 4+ years. Very stable, just like running on the bare metal.

First thing: in my own experience FreeNAS is a mature software package. Tom uses it in production and also for his tutorial videos which are great by the way. While I know there are other hardcore enterprise storage solutions, consider the appeal of open source software that is totally free to use and of a big help to organizations or small businesses that cannot afford a proprietary (expensive) solution.

There are some key elements you need to consider when virtualizing:

  • HBA passed through to the FreeNAS VM via VT-d
  • boot virtual disk of FreeNAS should reside on redundant mechanical storage or SSD
  • make sure FreeNAS has plenty of hardware resources

I have production setups with XCP-ng + FreeNAS and also ESXi + FreeNAS. Working perfectly with no issues whatsoever. Remember that once the physical disks are passed through (via the HBA) to FreeNAS, all the magic is in the software. FreeNAS doesn’t really care if it’s running on bare metal or not.

What are your experiences with virtualized FreeNAS that you base your fears on?

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