iSCSI NAS for Nested ESXi deployment home lab ?

Hi people,

Can anyone please suggest me which iSCSI NAS brand or type can support NFS and VMFS over iSCSI for a VMware ESXi nested home lab ?

\my budget is under $500, would love to know if it is has 4x drive supports for RAID5 and Gigabit Ethernet.

Any kind of suggestion and tips would be appreciated.

Thanks.
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Senior IT System EngineerIT ProfessionalAsked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)Connect With a Mentor VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
A Synology NAS supports NFS and iSCSI, and is good value, and you can purchase 4 disk versions.
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Steve MConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Or if you have some hardware laying around that could be re-purposed for this, I use FreeNas at home for my virtual environment (supporting iSCSI, NFS, CIFS, etc) and home Network Storage.  it was extremely easy to install and with multiple drives and external drives you can create raid arrays (depending on hardware), or you can use replication in freenas to have redundant files.  

http://web.freenas.org/for-home/

Cheers,
Steve
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
If you have any hardware lying around, you can use the Synology OS, on any hardware now.
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gheistCommented:
FreeNAS can run in a single VM on local storage.
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Senior IT System EngineerIT ProfessionalAuthor Commented:
Cool, does FreeNAS is the "poor man" solution for VMware VSAN ?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
FreeNAS is very old outdated and slow there are better ZFS solutions eg Nexenta Community Edition for FREE.
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gheistConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Are you making fun? Nexenta has older release of ZFS than FreeNAS... Either way both are on same functionality level now...
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andyalderConnect With a Mentor Commented:
It won't give you NFS, only iSCSI but HP's LeftHand VSA laptop demo is worth looking at in a home lab since the setup talks you through creating 3 virtual VMware hosts on a PC which you then deploy VSA on for the shared storage and leaves you free to install any other VMs under those simulated hosts if you've got enough RAM.
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Senior IT System EngineerIT ProfessionalAuthor Commented:
ok, so in this case the HP Lefthand VSA can be downloaded free for lab testing purpose ?
does it behave the same way as the Vmware VSAN ?
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gheistCommented:
You mean by providing iSCSI and NFS?
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Senior IT System EngineerIT ProfessionalAuthor Commented:
Yes, I need to exercise on both protocols
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gheistCommented:
FreeNAS has those too.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)Connect With a Mentor VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Yes, it's similar to VMware VSAN.

HP VSA or Lefthand SAN is the original virtual SAN, but only supports iSCSI!
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