Getting a technology arse kickin’

I think I set a new record for “Oh damn, ok… I’ll reinstall that…”. I installed the open source package/appliance OpenFiler five times over the course of today. That isn’t to say anything horrifically bad about OpenFiler – I’m just trying to use some features in it that are clearly only half-baked. That feature would be called iSCSI.

In the fine tradition of University style grunge computing, I am offended at the price tags associated with current NAS devices (and even worse – SAN’s). At the same time, I really want some reasonable block-level storage exported. I’ve got a nice collection of VMWare servers and I thought it was time to give myself a benchmarking of the various storage systems (direct attached, iSCSI, and NFS). NFS is working pretty reasonable, but not surprisingly it’s a bit slow. I’m not expecting iSCSI to to be anything other than between direct attached and NFS, but I haven’t a clue to reality of actual performance numbers.

The only trouble has been getting an iSCSI target set up. I’d really hoped that I could plop down OpenFiler, click through some web pages, and get on with IOMeter. Er, nope. Instead of getting more frustrated with the GUI, I think it’s time to get down to bare metal – so next week I’ll roll up my sleeves and get IET installed on a bare linux box. I’d love to have a pretty config thing in front, but at this point it’s more frustrating to determine if it’s the UI/packaging that is broken, or the code deeper under the covers and some bone-headed config decision that I made.

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