Create a Hyper-V VM for FreeNAS, Openfiler, Linux, FreeBSD, OpenSolaris, and more
As many have read, I have been trying different NAS solutions on the Big Windows Home Server. This guide will show the base procedures for installing open-source NAS/ SAN appliances such as FreeNAS, OpenFiler, Ubuntu (and other Linux distros), OpenSolaris (and variants such as CentOS) into a Hyper-V VM.
For this guide, I will be using screenshots from the Hyper-V manager in Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2. Microsoft offers a free Hyper-V Server R2 product for those that want to try and do not have access to a Server 2008 R2 testbed. Later I will detail installing the OS’es onto the Hyper-V platforms, but I wanted a base article that showed the basics so I can link rather than duplicate later (think of this as WordPress Dedupe). It should be noted up-front this guide is for a non-Windows Hyper-V installation. Also, everything below can be changed as necessary for your environment/ installation.
A quick word on my configuration for these Hyper-V articles here’s the current setup (which does change a bit day-to day).
- CPU: Intel Core i7 920
- Motherboard: Supermicro X8ST3-F
- Memory: Patriot Viper 12GB DDR3 1600
- Case (1): Norco RPC-4020
- Case (2): Norco RPC-4220
- Drives: Seagate 7200rpm 1.5TB, Hitachi 7200rpm 2TB and 1TB, Western Digital Green 1.5TB
- Controller: Areca ARC-1680LP
- SAS Expanders: 2x HP SAS Expander
- NIC (additional): Intel Pro/1000 PT Quad
- Host OS: Windows Server 2008 R2 with Hyper-V installed
Overall this gives me room for 40 hot swap drives, and plenty of cores, memory, and gigabit Ethernet ports for running NAS/ SAN virtual machines. With that out of the way, let’s begin the basic Hyper-V VM setup for a NON-Windows based guest operating system. If you want to see examples of what I have gotten to work in Hyper-V thus far, see this link. Just know this basic setup procedure will be referenced in forthcoming articles regarding how to configure Hyper-V for the various NAS/ SAN appliances.
Step 1: Start New Virtual Machine Wizard
Step 2: Specify a Name and Location for the Hyper-V VM
Step 3: Specify the Hyper-V VM’s Memory Allocation
Step 4: The next screen lets you specify the Hyper-V VM’s LAN Connection. I leave this blank for non-Windows installations, and configure it when configuring the guest-OS.
Step 5: The next step is to pick the Hyper-V VM’s VHD Path, Name, and Size. It should be noted that you generally want to locate this path on a redundant storage set (raid 1, raid 5, raid 6, and etc) because this will house the OS for your VM. You can also attach a disk later. Also it is worth noting that a lot of the NAS/SAN appliances do not “require” much disk space so 1GB is oftentimes plenty for a test environment.
Step 6: I have generally used Install an OS later, and am depicting this here. If you already know the OS you want to load on your VM, you can point the second radio box to that ISO.
Step 7: Review and click finish here. Just to note, you can change the below later (and we will).
At this point, you should have a basic Hyper-V virtual machine configured to do just about nothing. We will fix that very soon but this is a base article so that I don’t have to go through these steps each time.