Can I convert a lenovo rd630 to a NAS

I have a 16-bay Lenovo rd630 server with redundant power supply not be utilized.
I was thinking about converting it into a NAS to take some of the load away from my DELL nx3200.
I figure the nx32oo can take the load of file sharing and host for vm servers from my vcenter.
The rd630 I as hoiping to use it for hosting the vm desktops from VMware view and as well as a repository for some backups.
Is this a possibility?
If yes, what should I do to prep it for such usage.
j_ramesesInfo Sys MngrAsked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
16-disk bays, looks ideal for a NAS.

16 disks in a JBOD ZFS based NAS will perform well.

Have a look at Nexenta Community Edition.

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j_ramesesInfo Sys MngrAuthor Commented:
Andrew, i am unfamiliar with that product you mentioned. What exactly is it? How does it work? Have you or anyone you know used it?
j_ramesesInfo Sys MngrAuthor Commented:
Andrew, the community edition sounds like it is a free license but without tech support, is that correct? I am just wondering if this is an easy implementation. Does this function likw windows storage server?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Yes, it's easy. (easier than an implementation of Oracle Solaris and ZFS).

It provides NFS, and iSCSI and ZFS is faster that WIndows Storage Server.

another option is here
j_ramesesInfo Sys MngrAuthor Commented:
Thank you Andrew, i will look into it more when i get into the office. All i need to do know is order my SSDs. I as thinking of doing two 8 drives, each raid 6. I do have 8 HDDs available(was thinking using that for backup) and the other 8 SSDs for our vm desktops. I wonder now, do i install this software and win2012 locally or vm it and point to the rd630? If i install it locally, is it best on the HDD or SDD portion of the raid 6?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Once you have created a datastore for use with VMware ESXi, using the rd630.

You can create virtual machines, using the storage available on the rd630.
j_ramesesInfo Sys MngrAuthor Commented:
Andrew, what i was asking was do i need to create a local vm with win2012 nd that software installed on it on the rd630 to turn it into a datastore? Or do i just create a new vm with that software and link it to vcenter and from there would i create the datastore and that vm will assist in allowing the rd630 to be a datastore?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
You would installed NAS (Nexenta OS) on the rd630.

This will allow you to provision storage, and connect it to ESXi (another server!).

Do you want the RD630 to be a dedicated NAS (no hypervisor) or Hypervisor Host Server and Storage ?
j_ramesesInfo Sys MngrAuthor Commented:
Wow! I can use it as both with Nexenta?
This way it can process the vmDesktops on it and use it as a backup ESXi in case one of my host machines has to be brought down for maintenance?
Will I be able to move vmdks from one datastore to another(rd630 to nx3200)?
I just got into the office and was about to print the install manual to read it.

Right now I have an ESXi host running with a local vm WIN7 machine acting as storage for backups for certain programs, as well as a repository for my eManuals and ISOs.  I can not use it to migrate vmdks from it to the nx3200. I did not know of Nexenta. I only knew that the host machine could only be an ESXi or a local storage that needs a local vm to be able to access it.

Now, you asked if I would like to run it as both and now I am excited if that is a possibility.
j_ramesesInfo Sys MngrAuthor Commented:
I am stumped between the Samsung 840 (pro or evo) series 512GB and the intel 730 series 480GB.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
I'm afraid not, Nexenta, will provide you storage ONLY, however newer Hypervisors, coming on the market shortly "hyperconverged" offer a Hypervisor and Storage in the same box!

see this:-

So yes in future, but not with Nexenta. It will provide storage only for ESXi.

SSDs are very similar, we use Samsung's EVO and Pro. (and to be honest these are consumer devices!).

Pick the brand you are more comfortable with.
j_ramesesInfo Sys MngrAuthor Commented:
I am doing the install of the NexentaStor, but I noticed in the manual it has for install option:
1) VMware Virtual Environment
2) Unified Appliance

When I go through the instructions for option #1, I am asked to choose an appropriate virtual disk size. I have read through the documentation but there is no minimum or maximum, it does do a default of 13GBs as thick provision lazy zeroed by default.
Is that the option I should keep?

I have contacted Nexentor but no response from them keeps going to voicemail.

Have you done one of these installs?

Am I to choose the option for vm or Unified Appliance.

The manual does not provide exact details.

Pls clarify.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Yes, we've done these installations.

You only want to install and use the VMware Virtual Environment, if you are going to use it in a Virtual Machine, e.g. in a lab with VMware Workstation etc

select the Unified Appliance appliance option, because this is what you are buidling.

Just as a reminder, back to your original question, and to keep this On Topic....

Can I convert a lenovo rd630 to a NAS?

I believe, your original question has now been answered. If my Answers have been helpful, please assign points.

If you have any specific questions about NexentaStor, they would be better served as a new question, for myself or other experts to assist.
j_ramesesInfo Sys MngrAuthor Commented:
Andrew, thank you.
I will assign points and open a new question and forward you the link so you can assist me with the new question.
j_ramesesInfo Sys MngrAuthor Commented:
Andrew, here is the question subject line:

Proper install of NexenttaStor in vmware environment to act as a datastore
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Thanks, I've responded.
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