Create a Hyper-V VM for FreeNAS, Openfiler, Linux, FreeBSD, OpenSolaris, and more

4
Posted April 7, 2010 by Patrick Kennedy in Software

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). 

  1. CPU: Intel Core i7 920
  2. Motherboard:  Supermicro X8ST3-F
  3. Memory: Patriot Viper 12GB DDR3 1600
  4. Case (1): Norco RPC-4020
  5. Case (2): Norco RPC-4220
  6. Drives: Seagate 7200rpm 1.5TB, Hitachi 7200rpm 2TB and 1TB, Western Digital Green 1.5TB
  7. Controller: Areca ARC-1680LP
  8. SAS Expanders: 2x HP SAS Expander
  9. NIC (additional): Intel Pro/1000 PT Quad
  10. 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 

Hyper-V – Introduction/ Before you begin screen

 

Step 2: Specify a Name and Location for the Hyper-V VM 

Hyper-V - Name the VM

Hyper-V – Name the VM

Step 3: Specify the Hyper-V VM’s Memory Allocation 

Hyper-V - Specify the Hyper-V VM's Memory Allocation

Hyper-V – 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. 

Hyper-V - Specify the Hyper-V VM's LAN Connection

Hyper-V – Specify the Hyper-V VM's LAN Connection

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. 

Hyper-V - Specify the Hyper-V VM's VHD Path and Name

Hyper-V – Specify the Hyper-V VM's VHD Path and Name

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. 

Hyper-V - Specify the Hyper-V VM's OS Source

Hyper-V – Specify the Hyper-V VM's OS Source

Step 7: Review and click finish here. Just to note, you can change the below later (and we will). 

Hyper-V - Finish Wizard

Hyper-V – Finish Wizard

 

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.


About the Author

Patrick Kennedy

Patrick has been running ServeTheHome since 2009 and covers a wide variety of home and small business IT topics. For his day job, Patrick is a management consultant focused in the technology industry and has worked with numerous large hardware and storage vendors in the Silicon Valley. The goal of STH is simply to help users find some information about basic server building blocks. If you have any helpful information please feel free to post on the forums.

4 Comments


  1.  
    Paul

    Have you ran into any problems with 12GB of ram with no ECC?




  2.  

    Not thus far, but the system has only been up for 3 months including burn-in. Then again, this isn’t running a transactional business system. I can remote power cycle using the Supermicro IPMI 2.0 if non-ECC led to a freeze. Data corruption wise I haven’t run into any yet. I would like to have used ECC, but I had 12GB of DDR3 free and an Intel Core i7 920 was $199 at the time.




  3.  
    adel

    Hi,

    I guess you hit a road block when you discovered that your non windows VMs only support 100Mbit/s NICs ?
    This will prevent you from using a VM on hyper-v even for moderate performance iSCSI/NFS server.

    I’m still looking for vmbus/vcs drivers on opensolaris/freebsd etc..

    adel




  4.  
    Aaron Mason

    For those who walked in late, there is a FreeNAS ISO that has the Hyper-V components included.

    http://iso.cdn.freenas.org/9.2.1/HYPERV

    FreeBSD 10 (and the same FreeNAS version) will have the components built into the kernel.





Leave a Response

(required)


Newly Reviewed
 
  • STHbench Logo
  • 95mbps max 36mbps 95th 3mbps Avg
  • 8.5
    Intel NUC DCCP847DYE
  • Ubuntu Release Cycle
  • BayTech PDU
  • MyDigitalSSD BP4 128GB Front Side