redoing layout...

Nov 10, 2005
ok so I have a dual xeon with 128gb ram and 2x ssd drives that I use for VMs.
Works great, fast and no issues.

This is in my "Lab" and I want to start to tinker in other areas but just want to see if anyone sees any issues here.

A bit ago I tried creating a cluster and put 2 different computers together and had issues where it griped about different cpus or something. Cant recall now but still...

I was going to redo this box as a FreeNAS box to do iSCSI and create a datastore to run vms off of.
Then I have two other machines that I was going to use... albeit, different cpus as well e5-1620 v0 and e5-1620 v3 but both are HP Z420's. but I'm hearing dual cpu for FreeNAS can hinder performance... and I have spinning disks I would use in the dual xeon....

so I am thinking of this.. anyone see any issues with this? I want to play around with vmotion and other things as I like just seeing how things work and fresh in my head in case I ever get that interview where at least I know some which maybe good enough...

hardware on hand...

HP Procurve 6400CL - 6 port CX4 10gb
ConnectX-1 cards - enough for systems and FreeNAS 11.2 does not support them yet (they asked me to put a ticket in)
ConnectX-2 card - have just 1 as recent ebay purchase - need to see if FreeNAS 11.2 supports it else ill be going FreeNAS 11.1

Lenovo P710 - 2x E5-2620 v4 @ 2.10GHz / 128gb ram NON ECC
HP Z420 - E5-1620 v0 @ 3.60GHz / 24gb ram ECC
HP Z420 - E5-1620 v3 @ 3.50GHz / 64gb ram ECC
got 128gb ssd's and 500gb ssd's
2x 4tb sata drives
4x 2tb sata drives
6x 1tb drives

so my Lenovo is my most powerfull and fastest box and would love to keep it esxi 6.7 and make the 64gb ram z420 a FreeNAS box as it has a v3 cpu and 64gb ram which FreeNAS will use as cache.

Will there be an issue putting the Lenovo and HP Z420 in a cluster and sharing vms between them?

how would you lay this out?

thanks for the thoughts.


Feb 25, 2011
Beware of a couple of gotchas: if you vcenter server appliance is already running, you can't migrate it to an older host without shutting it down (VCSA). If you do this, you won't be able to use the vcenter GUI to enable EVC in the cluster (chicken and egg problem.) The only way I've found (and seen elsewhere): login do the web interface on the new host directly. Shut down VCSA. Remove it from inventory. On the old host, login to the web interface, add VCSA to it's inventory, and power it up. *Then* you can enable EVC in the cluster. Unfortunately, if even one guest is running on a host, you can't (apparently) set EVC to a lower level. Be prepared for some adventure :)


Mar 19, 2010
On the storage front, FreeNAS can work pretty well with only spinning drives and lots of RAM. ZFS will cache all the frequently requested data in RAM and, if you want, you can setup tiered storage with an SSD sitting in between the two. I have 20GB of RAM on my FreeNAS with a single SSD for storage. ZFS cache is sitting at about 16.5GB and, while I only have a handful of VMs running, the SSD has had next to zero reads on it. I'd say 64GB of RAM, a single SSD and RAID10 HDDs would be a solid performing node.


May 9, 2006
Yea EVC is your issue. If it detects different processor features this will be a hinderince. Enjoy!

This is one of the issues I'm considering because I want to test an EPYC host in my dev cluster but don't want to waste 20 grand on a test.