Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Windows 7 with ZFS on top - NexentaStor and Widows 2008 R2 as VMs

This entry isn't in any way a performance oriented test , rather please treat it as a simple proof-of-concept DIY.

1) Software used in the set-up :

Host system / CIFS Client – Windows 7 Professional 64bit SP1

Virtualization software – VMware Server 2.0.2 (I absolutely adore this piece of software for home use, works with Windows and Ubuntu , stopped my distro-hopping and re-install addiction)

VM iSCSI Initiator – Windows Server 2008 R2 Evaluation Copy

VM ZFS iSCSI Target / CIFS – NexentaStor Enterprise Edition 3.0.4 45day trial

Benchmark tool - ATTO Disk Benchmark

Detailed list of a hardware - , some of the hard-drives have changed so I've attached a screen dump of my Device Manager plus my quite complicated partition set-up.

stands for LinuxMintDebianEdition, my favourite (at the moment :-) ) GNU/Linux distro, 64bit Debian Testing based rolling distribution with all the codecs universe may need - .

Disk0 – 150GB WD Raptor with Perpex see-through window – LMDE Swap Partition and Windows 7 “Program Files” space plus I've added here second page file for Windows 7 as the SSD was quickly running out of space. Home to all VMs.

Disk12TB Hitachi backup drive , copy of the data from other drives - solved in various ways

Disk2 -160GB WD VelociRaptor - LMDE /boot and main / partition

Disk3 – 2TB Hitachi data drive, media, current data , ISOs

Disk4 – 32GB Mtron SSD – Windows 7 install , 4GB free space :-) , only OS and drivers

2) VMs properties

Windows Server 2008 R2

Simple clean install without any configuration changes.


I've used three HDDs , 5GB each with default / auto partitioning configuration, the other two I've left for CIFS / iSCSI ZFS space. It's not tuned or tweaked in any way, clean install with GUI-only super quick single volume NAS/SAN configuration and some additional “show” commands to present CLI.

3) NexentaStor installation – for detailed process please refer to the official manual.

NexentaStor License screen

OS installation's destination choice.

3) Post install initial configuration

4) iSCSI initiator connected , "show volumes" in CLI

5) ATTO Benchmark against NexnetaStor's iSCSI target from Windows 2k8R2 VM.

6) ATTO Benchmark against NexnetaStor's CIFS volume from Windows 7 host OS.