Virtulal box on Freenas ?

Discussion in 'New to FreeNAS?' started by Issa2011, Jun 15, 2011.

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    Issa2011

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    Issa2011, Jun 15, 2011

    Hello, can u have a plugins to use virtual box on freenas 0.8 ?

    my first dream !
    my secound he is to have zimbra on freenas !

    good luck
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    sjieke FreeNAS Aware

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    sjieke, Jun 15, 2011

    I guess it is possible as you can run virtualbox on FreeBSD and as far as I know FreeNAS is based on FreeBSD.
    So a plugin for easy installation and maintenance would be wonderfull.

    You got my vote :)
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    joeschmuck Old Man

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    joeschmuck, Jun 16, 2011

    I'm just curious on the overhead to FreeNAS if such a complex item like virtual box were added. True FreeNAS is based on FreeBSD but FreeNAS is not a full install of FreeBSD, it's a very slimmed down version. I'll bet someone could just install FreeBSD on a system and configure it to do all that the NAS would be doing and you could add all the packages you wanted. Just a comment.
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    sjieke FreeNAS Aware

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    sjieke, Jun 16, 2011

    FreeNAS is indeed a very slimmed down version of FreeBSD, I think it is actually a version of NanoBSD. It would indeed be possible to run a full blown FreeBSD and install everything you want. I think you could even run the FreeNAS WebUI on top of it, but then you could also run Ubuntu Server with webmin for example. One of the main reasons I would choose FreeNas instead of Ubuntu Server (or any other fullblown OS) is because it is an embedded pre-configured system.

    Adding virtualbox would indeed provide overhead and would increase the image size of the firmware to much. Thats why it should be available as a plugin and not included in the firmware. I read on the forums that the plugin system will be based on PC-BSD's PBI system. Each package is contained in a pbi file. This file contains all binaries and libraries needed to run the program. According to what I have read about it, you should be able to update your system files without updating installed pbi's as all needed libraries are contained with the package. So by theorie I think it should be possible to install a plugin (VirtualBox) and later update your firmware without affecting the plugin. So the overhead on the FreeNAS firmware is minimal. Of course your hardware will need to be up to tasks of running all your plugins.

    Just my 2 cents.

    I should also mention that I'm all new to this BSD stuff, I'm mainly a Linux user (gentoo) and learning as much as I can about FreeNAS and BSD in general while I'm waiting for the components to build my first nas.
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    joeschmuck Old Man

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    joeschmuck, Jun 16, 2011

    You have a head start on me, I'm not very use to Linux although I have been exposed to it many times. Maybe the plugin would work, it's a nice thought. Hope your parts arrive soon for your NAS (if you have ordered them that is) and hopefully all the hardware is compatible. I'm sure you have read about minor issues with some hardware, more so the 4K sectors on some drives. I can say that my NAS is working pretty well now that I replaced my USB thumb drive with something a bit better quality.
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    sjieke FreeNAS Aware

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    sjieke, Jun 16, 2011

    I have indeed ordered them and I am waiting for there arrival. The parts are:
    * Gigabyte Motherboard GA-D525TUD
    * Intel Atom D525 1.8Ghz
    * 4GB DDR3 (Kingston)
    * 4 x Samsung HD204UI 2TB
    * Corsair 430CX Builder Series, 430 Watt
    * Lian Li PC-Q08B
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    joeschmuck Old Man

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    joeschmuck, Jun 17, 2011

    Looks like it will be a nice setup. I haven't looked into the Atom processor at all because I used older parts for my setup but I'd love to know how well it runs.
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    sjieke FreeNAS Aware

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    sjieke, Jun 18, 2011

    I'll let you know as soon as I have the parts and I manage to get it up and running. Hoping I will have them by the next weekend :)
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    SoftDux-Rudi

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    SoftDux-Rudi, Jun 27, 2011

    I would prefer not to overload a NAS with something like VirtualBox. There's a reason why you have a NAS/SAN and export the storage over the LAN to a server for virtual hosting.


    BUT, if you want to go this route, then look at compiling FreeNAS yourself (http://forums.freenas.org/showthread.php?51-How-to-compile-FreeNAS-8) and then simply install VirtualBox on the FreeBSD server as well.
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    sjieke FreeNAS Aware

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    sjieke, Jun 27, 2011

    I was thinking of going the 'jail' route for running software currently not (yet) supported by FreeNAS. I'm new to BSD, so I'm not sure if I would succeed, but from what I read about it, it should be doable.

    I do agree with you that a SAN/NAS main (or only) task should be to make storage available using the protocols needed. But in a home environment it is sometimes desirable to have the NAS perform some server functionality. In my case for example I develop some windows web applications and to test them I run them locally in my LAN. I'm thinking to setup a virtualbox on the NAS to host to test applications for local testing. Reason: the nas is always on, my development pc's are not and the dedicated server to host 1 tiny VM would be overkill.
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    marcelbk

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    marcelbk, Jun 27, 2011

    Indeed

    I have the same issue (windows application development) and I like to use emule as P2P client too.
    I don't know if you guys are aware, but already exists VirtualBox as a plugin on version 7, so, I don't think it would be too hard to get it working on version 8.
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    Terc

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    Terc, Jul 2, 2011

    I'm currently running virtualbox on top of FreeNAS .7
    Unfortunately, we have a ton of people hopping in here and claiming it's not possible or not likely or would give bad performance when they actually have very little understanding of how FreeNAS or Virtualization works.

    Here's Ayoma's build of Virtualbox for Freenas .7 http://sourceforge.net/apps/phpbb/freenas/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=5466

    Here's why this is great:
    1. It's one physical server, but does both file server duty AND virtual hosting
    2. You get local speed disk access instead of needing to buy expensive 10Gb ethernet or fiber for hosting your virtual machine disks
    3. One interface to manage everything
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    SoftDux-Rudi

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    SoftDux-Rudi, Jul 2, 2011


    I think you're missing the point here. It's not all about speed.

    Your NAS (Network Attached Storage) is now actually redundant.


    And I'm not saying FreeNAS (actually, FreeBSD ) isn't built for this, but it sounds to me the only reason you have FreeNAS is to offer network shares.

    Windows (7, Home Server, 2008, etc) can do exactly the same - at least for your needs, and more (like torrent downloading, etc) but would be much easier to manage in your case.
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    aaronb

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    aaronb, Jul 8, 2011

    I would enjoy having a VirtualBox install on FreeNAS 8. I have been attempting several other solutions, all of having certain issues.

    Reasons it would be nice:
    1. Primary OS / VM solution on a USB key - maximize SATA ports on a small board - this was where FreeNAS looks really good. Citrix XEN wants to be on SATA/SCSI drive. VMWare ESXi 4.x can go on USB, limited hardware support
    2. Broader NIC support - VMWare essentially limits the NICs in the current version to higher-end / current NICs. Lost basic broadcom and 3COM support - trying to work around it, pain in the butt.
    3. Direct Disk Access for FreeNAS. I haven't seen how to do this in Citrix XEN. VMWare will with some extra commands. I would guess this can be done with open-source XEN as well - haven't tried.
    4. Single-box solution - lower power usage due to single system, lower cost of hardware. Expandable to 2 or more when power/speed needed. Utilizing iSCSI or such for VM Storage.
    5. Add 'features' without having to change FreeNAS at all. Need a bittorrent client? Add a small linux system & bittorrent. Simple router? Try Zeroshell in a VM.
    6. Cost. Face it, some use FreeNAS for performance. Most use it because it is 'cheap'. You can use existing commodity hardware when performance is not the only thing you need.

    There will always be some who point out performance is an issue and that you can kill the storage server by overloading it with VMs.However, it would be effective for many people to set up a single box, commodity server with a quad-core proc, 8GB of RAM, a bunch of hard disks to serve files, a couple of NICs for a router, and a few small VMs to run things that FreeNAS isn't aimed to (directly) support. While there is a 'best practice' form of setting up small networks, cost is normally the final factor in how much hardware you get to play with. Having a USB stick installable platform that can provide robust storage and expandability as needed (2nd box for redundancy, 3rd box for VMs, 4th box for backup, etc....) would be a great tool. Our single box servers are extremely powerful machines - often more than your average 'poor' user needs to have dedicated to single storage pool.

    I also see the argument of learning BSD, compiling the thing yourself, making a custom install, etc, etc. You ever wonder why BSD / Linux don't rule the desktop when Mac / Windows does? It is something about having to spend weeks trying to learn how to configure everything to work in Linux/BSD when you can just stick the DVD in the machine on the other two. FreeNAS is nice because it is relatively simple to setup in the default install and get it working which when combined with it's features make it an excellent product.
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    SoftDux-Rudi

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    SoftDux-Rudi, Jul 9, 2011

    But why do you want to complicate things so much and why keep using FreeNAS if you want to use the server for other purposes (i.e. install Windows) in the first place? What would FreeNAS offer, that Windows in this instance can't, apart from running from a USB memory stick - which Windows can do as well? There are a few commercial NAS devices with Windows as the host OS, running on a USB, or sometimes IDE, DOM
    Windows can offer SMB, NFS & iSCSI shares with better (easier) user, group and share management.
    Windows offers easier torrent download clients
    Windows also offers RAID
    Windows can work on more hardware than FreeBSD / FreeNAS
    Windows can already run any application which has ever been requested to be added to FreeNAS.


    And it's not about slowing down the NAS. With a Quad Core CPU & 8GB RAM you wouldn't even notice a speed difference.

    The whole idea of FreeNAS (or any NAS / SAN for that matter) is that you have your storage on a dedicated server which offers better redundancy (i.e. RAID, redundant power supplies, dual sync'ed NAS'es, etc) and a centrol location to store data accessible by all ther other hosts on the network.


    IMO, in your situation I wouldn't even bother running FreeNAS, just run Windows.

    Don't use a hammer to turn in a screw. Use a screw driver. Use the right tool for the job at hand.
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    aaronb

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    aaronb, Jul 10, 2011

    Well, for a few things:
    1. Windows - cost - it is a licensed system, requires license fees. I don't have to install Windows anywhere on the system.
    2. iSCSI - as far as I can tell, Windows does not provide a 'FREE' iSCSI target - only initiator.
    3. Flexibility - I can expand to another box later as needed. Migrate the VMs as needed.
    4. Single box / multiple solutions - the point of running a VM system in the first place. Using FreeNAS as the host, the drive solution is taken care of. I know you can use Virtual Disks, but then you have to migrate the disks with the VMs - see flexibility above.

    It is funny that you mention Windows solves all these problems. Then why does FreeNAS exist at all? Why doesn't Windows just run on everything and then we wouldn't have to have arguments? The reason is because there are things FreeNAS provides that Windows doesn't and vice-versa. I stated I want one box, a flexible disk sharing solution (of which NAS so far has been the only solution), and a VM host. I would like it to run on commodity hardware - which VMWare does not do well in the current 'free' iteration. As it is, my current solution requires 2 boxes - one running FreeNAS and one that runs the VM hosts. I would enjoy eliminating the power/heat of the second box since my FreeNAS processors and ram are underutilized.

    Also, RAID and RAIDZ as implemented in ZFS have some significant differences in their technology - this is the reason ZFS was created. Guess what? Windows doesn't do ZFS either. Do you know how I found FressNAS? I was searching for a consistently easy to implement ZFS solution.
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    SoftDux-Rudi

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    SoftDux-Rudi, Jul 10, 2011

    aaronb, incase you didn't read the whole thred, some people want to install VirtualBox in order to run Windows (so they already have the license) on top of FreeNAS, which IMO totally defeats the whole point of running FreeNAS (or any Network Attached Storage for that matter) to begin with.


    And since they want to run Windows on top of FreeNAS, there won't be a need for iSCSI, so that point is moot as well.
    Lastly, yes FreeNAS has the ZFS advantage, but then I could argue that I could cluster 2 Windows samba servers for completely automated high available - something FreeNAS can't offer, so who cares about ZFS in that sense? At the same time I can speedup Windows server with an SSD drive the same way I can speedup ZFS with a SSD drive - so not points on either side either.


    IMO, if you want a "one-box-fits-all" option then rather just run Windows to get all the networking apps you need, and install Linux or FreeNAS on top of it for the extra "I'm elite" feeling :)


    Don't use a jackhammer to drive in a nail.
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    aaronb

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    aaronb, Jul 10, 2011

    Well, damn. Since you seem to believe you are more brilliant than every other person on the planet, I suppose I'll have to give up talking.

    I suppose my clients, who would be willing to pay for a solution that allows migration and flexibility on a single box platform that fits within their budgets are probably idiots, too.

    According to you, you can always 'throw more money at it'. Buy windows. Buy an SSD. Buy another box. While that argument is true, it also completely misses the point of what I was saying.

    I'm not going for elite. I can do that if I so desired. I'm going for flexible. A flexible storage systems providing connections for iSCSI, AFS, NFS, and CIFS - exactly what FreeNAS does - along with providing simple services not integrated into the file storage - say, DNS, Firewall, Web filter, and maybe the windows server. When the client expands to the point where multiple boxes make sense - be it performance, redundancy, capacity - then migrate them to it with minimal downtime. Replicate the data while it is live (ZFS / SAN capability), migrate a VM (performance question), create a new service (VM question) - all possible - one platform.

    I'm not trying to drive a screw in with a hammer, no matter how many times you idiotically repeat it. I did read the entire thread, though you pedantically repeat it. I tried to even hold a conversation of intelligence, but apparently repeating yourself to win an argument is your sole point. Now I'm flaming - congratulations.

    Anyone know the point of an internet forum except hijack and ***** these days? Apparently rational thought and conversation are things of the past.
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    SoftDux-Rudi

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    SoftDux-Rudi, Jul 10, 2011

    dude, you're barking up the wrong tree here. I'm all for what FreeNAS does. it's a NAS - Network Attached Storage device and should be used as such, to share data over the network with other PC's. i.e. a central storage device. And if you use iSCSI, then many people will flame you for using the term NAS, so then you call it a SAN.


    The whole point of *this thread* was to use FreeNAS together with Windows and do everything on ONE SINGLE MACHINE, which IMO defeats the whole purpose of having a NAS to begin with. The moment you run Windows on top of the NAS, it's no longer a NAS since there's no actual network anymore.







    The argument you're making right now about "flexible storage" is exactly what I'm trying to get across as well. But I'm not flaming anyone or calling them idiots. I'm actually doing a bit of reverse psychology to show why running Windows inside VirtualBox on top of FreeNAS is like driving a nail in with a jackhammer. It's not the right tool for the job at hand.


    What you and I do with our NAS devices is what they're build for. What some other people want todo with their NAS machines isn't what it's intended for. So, chill-out a bit ;)

    Use FreeNAS for that it's intended to be. A Network Attached Storage system. Or a SAN if you use iSCSI.
    And run a Windows machine, which will use the NAS's storage over the network for it's storage requirements.


    Edit: I would love to see you try and run VirtualBox on a Clarion or EMC SAN for the same reasons as you would run it on a FreeNAS NAS. Sure, it can be done, but is the headache worth it, just to prove it a point, and then have no actual network store since your storage and work environment is on the same physical machine?
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    marcelbk

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    marcelbk, Jul 15, 2011

    Softdux...Sorry..but you're wrong.
    I already had one windows as storage network. FreeNAS it's so much better. The thing is...Why i can't combine those things?
    If you don't like it. Don't use it....That's why it has to happend as an add-on.

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