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Date:      Mon, 29 Oct 2012 17:08:57 -0500
From:      dweimer <>
To:        <>
Subject:   Re: Freebsd iSCSI client =?UTF-8?Q?=3F?=
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <>
References:  <20121029132939.9540.qmail@joyce.lan> <>

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On 2012-10-29 13:51, dweimer wrote:
> 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.

Looks like I have some learning to do, system is up and running and 
talks to the iscsi volume just fine, however as you mentioned, the big 
problem is mounting the volume at start up.  can't find any options at 
all to launch iscontrol at boot.  Found an example /usr/local/etc/rc.d/ 
script from a mail forum a ways back however it was setup to use UFS 
volumes and a secondary fstab file for the iscsi volumes.  I don't see 
any reason that one can't be made to make use of zfs with the volumes 
set with option canmount=noauto and using an rc.conf variable to pass 
which volumes to mount at boot, and umount at shutdown to the script.
However, I have some reading to do before I get started, as I haven't 
tried to create an rc.d script, and need to get an understanding of how 
to properly create one which follows all the proper guidelines, and 
allows itself to be a requirement for other scripts.  I don't see any 
reason it would work successfully to host a MySQL database as the OP was 
looking for or a Samba share as I intend to use it as long as their 
start up can be set to require the iSCSI start up to run first.
If anyone has already done something similar to this and has some 
information to pass on that would be great.  I probably won't have time 
to even start researching this till Thursday this week

    Dean E. Weimer

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