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As a first-time user, the primary goals are simply to see the product in action, to determine its capabilities, and then to determine the requirements. This document will focus on providing you a functional pair of instances, both on VMware, sharing a CIFS volume, and configured for high availability. This basic setup will allow you to test the key features of SoftNAS® while providing a baseline for your production requirements.

Note: The guidance in the following document applies equally to all editions of SoftNAS® (including legacy editions such as Enterprise and Platinum), however, bear in mind the limitations of Essentials, notably that Essentials is object storage only, and currently does not provide high availability. However, the process of creating your instance, configuring disks, pools and volumes are the same.

Planning Your Instance

There are numerous considerations when creating any storage solution, and SoftNAS® is no exception. Dependent on the use case, the expected performance levels, the platform you select, and much more, one configuration of SoftNAS® will look much different from the rest. For the purposes of a basic proof of concept deployment (or POC), many of these elements might seem irrelevant, but they are not. For a POC to be of value, it must provide insight into not only the product but also what you intend to use it for. If your POC is not designed to provide you a baseline of the functionality you expect in a production environment, then it may be a wasted exercise.

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