USB3 Raid 1 on ESXi 6

    • OMV 2.x
    • USB3 Raid 1 on ESXi 6

      I was playing around with various NAS Distros and found OMV which is based on Debian which is a refreshing change from BSD. I had no trouble implementing the a USB3 drive pass through on my somewhat beefy ESXi server.

      I was wondering what the viability is of using usb3 external drives in Raid 1 or 5. I don't need break neck speeds, but I would like to be able to have 10TB of somewhat redundant storage.

      The Server should have at least 8 gigs of ram and near 2x2.9ghz i5 cores at this VM's expense.

      I would appreciate some feed back to someone who is more to the know if this is just a terribly stupid idea or the poor man's external array.

      To justify this system:
      ESXI is running on a low power i5 in a tiny case with a raid 1 on 2x 2.5 drives. The whole thing has a minimal power foot print and allows me to not implement multiple machines. I was originally going to make a separate FreeNAS computer, but I realized I had the CPU cycles and ram to spare on my virtual box.
    • Hi @macintoshme,

      I would recommend running OMV from local storage or an iSCSI target instead of USB3 based storage. I only use USB3 storage for backup purposes or snapshots. While you can do what you have mentioned, I think it would be better to use the onboard SATA/SAS or if you have a hardware/software raid controller support. USB3 could fulfill what you are trying to do but keep in mind the more you add to it the slower it may respond via files or applications accessing the data. Just my two cents on it and I could be wrong. I would go with a software raid if 1 to 4 users needs to access videos, etc. Anything above that I would suggest a raid hardware controller. Again these are just my preferences and you can adjust accordingly to meet you needs.
      ShadowZero -- OMV Fan since 0.3
    • I was running 4 external USB 3TB drives as a RAID5 setup with OMV. It was not very fast and it was VERY touchy about the USB cables and power cables being plugged and if I rebooted it sometimes wanted to rebuild everything but it worked and OMV had no problem identifying the drives and setting up the RAID5.

      It all boils down to what are you storing on this setup and how important is it for you? Is this mission critical data that you will be very upset if you lose it or is this a proof-of-concept box that you are building to play around with things.

      I'm not sure of the ESXi ability to 'pass-thru' the USB connectivity but if ESXi can pass the USB thru to the proper OMV VM you should be 'ok' to get everything going.

      I do agree with ShadowZero that I would recommend using local storage. I don't agree with hardware RAID controller being required. I have a 19 hard drives setup into 5 arrays all using software RAID and I have no problems with it. I do have a SAS controler but it does not have hardware RAID, just JBOD and OMV handles all my RAID setup.
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