I have been mulling over what exactly the eventual replacement for my Windows Home Server might be one day – and Nexenta is something that I have been pondering for a while.
The Nexenta Core Platform (NCP) is what the commercial (and community) versions of Nexenta (NexentaStor) are built upon.
NCP is based on Ubuntu, with an OpenSolaris kernel. NexentaStor (Community) has a Web Management User Interface (WMUI) and an 18TB limit for storage. NCP has a community developed WMUI called Nappit.
I decided to look at installed NCP and Nappit to get a feel for NCP over NexentaStor Community edition as I have not decided yet on what amount of storage I might want to use Nexenta for. This is because my plan is to use mirroring to provide basic redundancy rather than other forms of RAID. For some storage pools I might use three mirrored drives together rather than two and so I can see this strategy eating into the 18TB limit of NexentaStor Community (although hopefully not too quickly). I guess I don’t want to feel limited with my next storage server.
I am still pondering the pros and cons of virtualizing NCP on VMware vSphere versus running two physical boxes but for now lets look at installing NCP in a vSphere virtual machine.
Note the following keys used during installation:
- Up and Down arrow keys move the cursor up and down between input fields and check-boxes,
- Spacebar marks your selection,
- Tab cycles through the options,
- Enter confirms your choice and proceeds to the next step.
First download the Nexenta .iso and copy it to your vSphere datastore.
Create a new virtual machine and specify the following Guest Operating System properties – Linux and Ubuntu (64-bit).
I configured 4Gb of RAM with the default LSI Logic Parallel SCSI controller with a 12GB vitrual hard disk.
Finally point the virtual CD-ROM of the virtual machine to the uploaded Nexenta .iso and boot the virtual machine.
Enter a password for root, then press the down arrow key and re-enter your password. Press tab to highlight the OK button and then press Enter.
Login as root (or login as other user, enter su to get root permission).
At this point I tried to install napp-it but discovered that I did not have an IP address. The fix was as follows:
svcadm disable svc:/network/physical:default svcadm enable svc:/network/physical:nwam
I entered the following command to check that I had an IP address:
Now we can install the nappit web interface for Nexenta:
wget -O - www.napp-it.org/nappit | perl reboot
Open your preferred browser and enter: http://<server-ip>:81 to manage your Nexenta installation.