convert a server into a NAS for VM backups

Posted on 2012-09-05
Last Modified: 2012-09-20
This is probably a long shot, but is it possible to cheaply turn an old server into a NAS used for VM backups?

I'm assuming the road map would be to buy the drives, install OpenNAS or some other NAS operating system and go from there.  Problem is, i've only found guides geared towards home users converting their PC's.  

I need the ability to create iScsi targets on this NAS to do backups from VMware.  So that makes it a little more complicated.  I know that's not a problem for modern proper NAS, but for a roll-you-own NAS?

Has anybody done this?  Is it economical and flexible enough for business use, and something like VMware backups using iScsi?
Question by:readymade
    LVL 42

    Accepted Solution

    It depends what you're using for backups.  If your backups support NFS or CIFS then it shouldn't be a problem.

    Author Comment

    We are looking at PHD Virtual or VMware Data Protection.  PHD Virtual recommends connecting by iScsi and running the PHD appliance storage on the NAS.  I've tried it using an NFS share and there were a lot of connection problems.  PHD Virtual said that is common and that is why they recommend the other way.

    VMware Data Protection only works by connecting iScsi or Fiber.  

    So basically I need to be able to create an iScsi target on the NAS.  The appliance's backup storage will reside there.
    LVL 30

    Assisted Solution

    You can take any old version of Windows server , get a free iscsi target from Starwind and you are up and running.
    LVL 23

    Expert Comment

    by:Nagendra Pratap Singh
    Some people rate freenas way over openfiler. I am mentioning this for the same reason.

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