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I don't know about part 2 but for part 1: Actually, both VMware and HP offer products to do this: VMware VSA and HP VSA. (There might be others offering similar solutions but those are the two I know of.) So it's probably not a generally bad idea. However, I don't know if FreeNAS is an officially supported storage solution so you might lack support when ...


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For a lab environment there's nothing wrong with Part 1, other than the time spent rebuilding when it folds in on itself. Not saying it's will happen, just that it can happen (Murphy's Law). As to Part 2, I'd have to defer to VMWare.


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Since you'd prefer not to use Windows Server you might consider using Samba. It communicates as a Windows Server computer would, using the Microsoft Server Message Block (SMB) file sharing protocol (which is likely what your router is doing). You can easily configure it to require authentication. It can even emulate a Windows Domain Controller if you'd like ...


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The documentation says they are good for 600k load cycles with a 3 year warranty. 600k/(365*3) ~= 548 That is ~540 stop/start cycles per day. That sounds ok for me for normal power cycling as described.


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I think hibernation would be more risky than just leaving the disk spinning simply because you are exercising the motor more. Steady state should be more reliable. However I can't find any studies supporting the theory.



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