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Great List of VSA Virtual Storage Appliances and SAN Storage Simulators


Are you building out a home lab?  Are you trying to create an environment for testing or studying purposes to learn how cloud and data center technologies work as a whole?  If so, you're going to need compute (the servers), networking (routers and switches etc.) and storage (more storage than what your local hard drives can provide).  And you'll want to get your hands on dedicated external storage such as a storage simulator or VSA (Virtual Storage Appliance).  That's a definite requirement if you're studying hypervisor technologies such as VMware vSphere.

If this sounds like what you're going through, I'd like to share something I've recently found that will help you out a great deal.  Enter FlackBox.  

List of VSA Virtual Storage Appliances, Storage Simulators, SAN and NAS Demos

What you'll find here is something extremely useful if you want to practice with a particular vendor's storage system (like NetApp, Dell EMC or IBM) or if you need to get some storage up and running quickly in your lab.  FlackBox has created a fantastic list of virtual storage appliances and simulators that includes requirements for each software, download links, install guides and notes on which one to use in which situation.

They have compiled a list of where you can find storage simulators and Virtual Storage Appliances, for free.  It's a pretty big list, so they provide some advice if you don't know which one to choose:

  • If you want your lab to mimic your organization's production environment as closely as possible, then pick the VSA or simulator from your storage vendor.  Where the same vendor has multiple simulators available, they listed their newest and most lab friendly option first.
  • If you want the simplest option to get up and running for studying a hypervisor technology like VMware vSphere, use FreeNAS or StarWind.
  • And they also listed GUI demos at the bottom of the list.  These aren't suitable for a lab, but they are useful if you want to get the look and feel of a particular vendor's storage GUI.

The software is all free but may require a customer or partner account with the vendor to download.  Login and system requirements are listed for each option.

Click here to get started.

Published Friday, November 09, 2018 10:13 AM by David Marshall
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