Freebsd iSCSI client ?

dweimer dweimer at
Mon Oct 29 18:57:07 UTC 2012

On 2012-10-29 08:29, John Levine wrote:
> I'm trying to set up a freebsd image under vmware, but I need more 
> disk
> space than the vmware hosts offer.  So the guy who runs the hosting 
> place
> suggests getting a 1U disk server and using iSCSI over gigabit 
> Ethernet
> so I can build zfs volumes from the iSCSI disks.
> Poking around, the reports say that FreeBSD is a pretty good iSCSI
> server in such forms as freenas, but a lousy iSCSI client, with the
> first problem being that that kludges are required to get iSCSI
> volumes mounted early enough in the boot process for ZFS to find 
> them.
> Is this still the case in FreeBSD 9?
> I'd rather not use NFS, since the remote disks have mysql databases,
> and mysql and NFS are not friends.
> An alternative is to mount the iSCSI under vmware, so zfs sees them 
> as
> normal disks.  Anyone tried that?
> TIA,
> John

I don't have an answer for you at the moment, but I can tell you that I 
just started a new server build this morning with the intent of using it 
as an iSCSI client and running ZFS on the drive.  In my case however its 
going to be a file server that doesn't have very much heavy I/O, with 
the intention of using compression on the ZFS file set.  In my case a 
script ran after start up to mount the drive would work if it fails.  I 
will let you know what I find out, server is in the middle of a 
buildworld to get it updated to the p4 release.

Yes you can mount as a drive through VMware and use ZFS just fine, I 
have done a lot of recent tests using ZFS as the boot volume under 
VMware. This new server will be my first production server to use what I 
have learned from those tests, as its system drive mounted through 
VMware (ESX 4.1) and is booting from ZFS.  Once the install of the 
buildworld is complete I will add a 150G ZFS data set on our HP Lefthand 
Networks SAN, run some tests and let you know the outcome of them.

    Dean E. Weimer

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