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FreeNAS on Proxmox. What's the current state of play?

Joined
Sep 13, 2014
Messages
132
I'm in the early stages of planning my next FreeNAS server build and I'm strongly leaning toward going the virtualization route (using an ASRock X470D4U with an M1015 and possibly a PCIe Intel quad port NIC passed through to the FreeNAS VM). My goal is to replace my current main "X10" server (see sig), which in turn would become my secondary backup server. The plan is that in the event that something happens to the new "X470" server, I should be able to just move the disks back to my X10 server and import the pool.

I really like the look of Proxmox (and the fact it's FOSS is important to me) vs. the admittedly more known of a quantity but non-Libre VMware ESXi. In doing my initial research on these forums, I've seen a handful of mentions of Proxmox not being ideal as it's KVM based but I'm struggling to find any examples of or details on why KVM and FreeNAS don't play nicely together. The other issue is that of the search results I found on this forum, most if not all are several years old, so may be out of date.

Would someone please provide more details on whether/why FreeNAS and KVM don't play nice, or at least point me in the right direction?

Is anyone else running FreeNAS on Proxmox? Any thought, opinions, or bits of advice you could share would be welcome.
 
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sretalla

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Jan 1, 2016
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2,615
why FreeNAS and KVM don't play nice, or at least point me in the right direction?
It's not that they don't/can't, but there is no support for the qemu guest agent baked into FreeNAS (whereas ESXi is), so your best bet is to emulate VMware drivers for all the stuff that you can (VGA, Network, SCSI).

If you follow the best practice for virtualizing properly, it's probably going to be fine. https://www.ixsystems.com/community...uide-to-not-completely-losing-your-data.12714

Is anyone else running FreeNAS on Proxmox?
I run my TrueNAS core nightly VM on it... Nothing of note other than lack of support for the guest agent, so no clean shutdowns from the GUI. I have no important data there.
 

SubtleOrc

Newbie
Joined
May 24, 2020
Messages
2
I'm running it at the moment but it's in test mode for me. I have come from running Solaris 11.2 on a HP Microserver N36/N40 and that has been rock solid for 8 years now.. so my idea of stable and others might be slightly different.
 

jasestu

Newbie
Joined
Jun 8, 2020
Messages
2
I've got just FreeNAS up and running on Proxmox on my old i7-2600k based system. I've given it 3x2tb drives in raidz to play with and a 128gb SSD cache.
It's running and looks nice, but transfer speeds seem low (like 20MB/s) - and this is copying from a local ntfs SATA drive across to the zfs pool (transferring existing files into the pool for use going forward). Not sure if that's related to Proxmox, or something else in my configuration is bottlenecking it.
Seems VMing a NAS is often called out as a bad idea, but I only have the 1 spare machine and want to run pfSense, Win 10 and a NAS, so I'm lumping it all under Proxmox. Incidentally, I did try running ESXi, Hyper-V and Ubuntu server as other approaches, but Proxmox by far has been the cleanest for my situation - as long as I can be comfortable that FreeNAS is performing to its potential.
 

sretalla

Dedicated Sage
Joined
Jan 1, 2016
Messages
2,615
transfer speeds seem low (like 20MB/s)
What NIC have you used in Proxmox for the FreeNAS VM? I have found that the VMnext 3 NIC works well (since VMware drivers are included in FreeNAS).
 

jasestu

Newbie
Joined
Jun 8, 2020
Messages
2
What NIC have you used in Proxmox for the FreeNAS VM? I have found that the VMnext 3 NIC works well (since VMware drivers are included in FreeNAS).
VirtIO.
Now that I've had a chance to run some tests - I'm basically saturating my gigabit ethernet (110 mb/s write, 120 mb/s read) so I'm going to resist the urge to keep tinkering since I can't ask any more of it (until I put in some 10gb cards and switch).

<minutes pass>

Now tested it from another VM on the same box as the NAS and according to NAS Performance Tester 1.7 I'm seeing the below numbers, so yeah, happy with performance. Must have been something else bottlenecking that local transfer - I'll have to figure it out in due course since I do want to use that route to backup the NAS to an external drive that I rotate with another in an offsite location.

-----------------------------
Running warmup...
Running a 400MB file write on I: 5 times...
Iteration 1: 555.56 MB/sec
Iteration 2: 664.48 MB/sec
Iteration 3: 566.58 MB/sec
Iteration 4: 638.99 MB/sec
Iteration 5: 566.57 MB/sec
-----------------------------
Average (W): 598.43 MB/sec
-----------------------------
Running a 400MB file read on I: 5 times...
Iteration 1: 429.18 MB/sec
Iteration 2: 160.00 MB/sec
Iteration 3: 573.04 MB/sec
Iteration 4: 290.70 MB/sec
Iteration 5: 441.50 MB/sec
-----------------------------
Average (R): 378.88 MB/sec
-----------------------------
 

overshoot

Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2019
Messages
56
I am actually using FreeNAS in Proxmox with a 10Gb network card on both end and it is working fine.
Speed between my MacPro and FreeNAS is reaching 10Gb using iPerf3.

I have had to pass-through the HBA card and the SFP+ card for best performance.
When I was letting Proxmox sharing the 10Gb network adapter, I would be getting a brief spike at 10Gb and see slow down around 100Mb/s rapidly for some reasons.

So far so good for me with the 11.3 version and a few macOS clients.
It's been more stable with macOS since the upgrade to 11.3.

I am switching my customer with a similar config from FreeNAS on a Dell T430 Baremetal to Proxmox + FreeNAS as he will need a Windows 10 VM.
Crossing fingers...
 

sretalla

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Joined
Jan 1, 2016
Messages
2,615
When I was letting Proxmox sharing the 10Gb network adapter, I would be getting a brief spike at 10Gb and see slow down around 100Mb/s rapidly for some reasons.
I would start explaining that with a guess that it's a hardware buffer offload thing... I see it too in my gigabit adapter that's not supported well in Proxmox, needing to turn off the hardware offloading with:
ethtool -K eno1 tso off gso off where eno1 is the NIC.

(actually I add it as a post-up line in the bridge config for that NIC's bridge in /etc/network/interfaces )
 
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overshoot

Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2019
Messages
56
Thanks for the info.
Since I have other VMs running and these don't need 10Gb, I believe having the 10Gb interface dedicated to my FreeNAS VM makes more sense.

Good to hear though there is a work around for that.
 

fyboqyovjy

Neophyte
Joined
Jul 6, 2020
Messages
10
I currently do my first steps with Proxmox & FreeNAS.
Everything is working good so far.

But is there any way to install the QEMU guest agent in the FreeNAS VM?

If I try to shutdown the FreeNAS VM (Either via Proxmox or via FreeNAS itselt), it won't shutdown, but reboot instead.
I can't turn it off...
 

fyboqyovjy

Neophyte
Joined
Jul 6, 2020
Messages
10
Change the processor to Qemu64.
It is known issue

I've read about the CPU types in the Proxmox documentation and it says:
In short, if you care about live migration and moving VMs between nodes, leave the kvm64 default. If you don’t care about live migration or have a homogeneous cluster where all nodes have the same CPU, set the CPU type to host, as in theory this will give your guests maximum performance.

Since I don't plan to migrate the VM to other nodes, I've set the CPU type to host.
And indeed. Now I can properly shutdown the VM.

Thanks for the hint!
 
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