The most interesting prize at the Australian VMUG UserCons last week was from QNAP. They gave away a portable NAS that contains a 5 port gigabit switch and also runs VMs. The TBS-453A NASbook seems like it would be right at home in a mobile vSphere lab. It has iSCSI and NFS, as well as a heap of other storage and network protocols. The device looks more like a Wi-Fi router than a NAS as it uses M.2 SSDs for storage, no space for spinning disks.
I’ve been building my portable lab to take to Houston with me for next week’s vBrownBag Build Day which is dedicated to HPE’s HC380. My portable lab is a couple of NUCs and a Cisco switch. The big limitation is that I don’t have shared storage, just the storage inside one of the NUCs, for VMs. The second NUC is a management workstation. If I had a NASbook then it would replace the Cisco switch and the management workstation. I would be very interested to see whether it could also run the vCenter server and maybe a domain controller. Then the NAS could be a tiny management cluster all by itself and the two NUCs could be my workload cluster. Unfortunately, I don’t think the 8GB RAM would be quite up to the job.
The downside is that by the time you add four M.2 SSDs to the NAS the cost climbs. With four Crucial 525GB SSDs and the 8GB NASbook it looks like the total price would be US$1,200 from Amazon.
Food for thought as I’m considering an air-mobile lab.
© 2017, Alastair. All rights reserved.