One of the most popular entries that I have ever written was around the various virtual storage appliances around and available for download.
I’ve not revisited this topic for some time and it’s about time I did; I thought with the new blog location that I would create a single page where I collect all the storage appliances and specialised NAS distributions that I am aware of.
Of course, you can always roll your own using the operating system of your choice and it is certainly worth doing so for the learning experience. There is nothing like doing something yourself to appreciate how much easier it is to have someone else spend their precious time doing so.
Please note that some of these appliances come with restrictive licenses and cannot be used in production type environments; please also note that I don’t actually guarantee that any of them won’t delete your data and send porn to your aged grand-parents.
Please, if you are aware of any others and I know I’ve missed some; please comment on the thread, tweet me or email me.
EMC have made their Celerra appliance available to the general public for some time. It is very fully featured and extremely powerful. Can I recommend Nicholas Weaver’s UBER VSA for Celerra. Nick has done an amazing job with the appliance in making it as easy to install and configure as possible.
The Celerra simulator supports NFS, CIFS and iSCSI protocols.
Hopefully EMC will have a version based on the new VNXe available soon.
NetApp have a rather good OnTap 8 appliance; unfortunately it is not available to the general public yet. But NetApp have committed to making it available in the near future. If you have an NOW login and a valid NetApp support contract; you can find the appliance here. Like the Celerra appliance, it is fully featured and works very well; you can even set it up in Cluster mode if you so wish.
The NetApp appliance supports NFS, CIFS and iSCSI.
HP StorageWorks P4000/Lefthand
HP have a fully supported VSA version of the HP StorageWorks P4000 storage appliance; this is an iSCSI array and is the Lefthand device that they acquired a few years ago. The version available is a 60 day trial version and requires a HP login. I looked at it some time ago but have not had much of a chance to look at it recently. You can find it here.
As I say, it only supports iSCSI.
Sun Storage 7000
Oracle have a simulated version of the Sun Storage 7000 Unified Storage System. This requires an Oracle logon; it works very well and is fully featured. Oracle would do well to consider launching it as a support product. You can find it here.
It supports iSCSI, CIFS and NFS. I believe that it might even support FC targets if you have supported FC cards (it was certainly planned in the past).
Nexenta have both commercial and ‘free’ versions of their NexentaStor product. The NexentaStor appliance is a fully featured array which has been developed entirely in software based on OpenSolaris and ZFS. It can be run both as a virtual appliance but also installed onto ‘bare metal’.
It supports iSCSI, CIFS and NFS protocols.
You can find the various versions including the free version here.
FalconStor’s Network Storage Server Virtual Appliance is another VMware iSCSI focused appliance based on their Network Storage Server hardware appliance.
It supports iSCSI only.
You can find the 30 day trial version here.
StorMagic’s SvSAN is an VMware only iSCSI appliance with a heavy degree of integration and support for vSphere environments.
Is supports iSCSI only as far as I can tell.
You can find a 30 day trial version here; after the trial has expired, you can turn this into a 2 Tb full version for free.
OpenFiler is probably the most commonly used of all the Linux-based appliances. It is surprisingly well featured and very quick and easy to get up, running and using. Commercial support is available but the free version is fully featured and unrestricted. If you haven’t looked at OpenFiler in a whilst, can I suggest that you do
OpenFiler supports iSCSI, CIFS, NFS and FC protocols.
Lots of versions including VSAs for Xen, VMWare, Qemu, Virtual Iron and Parallel along with bare metal versions are available here.
FreeNAS is based on BSD Unix and ZFS; it is also commonly used by people who want to build their own NAS boxes. As it name implies it is free and as far as I know there is no commercial version. It is unusual in that it actually supports AFP, this means that it is popular with Mac users.
As well as AFP, it supports NFS, CIFS and iSCSI. You can find it here.