In the beginning, there was a bare-metal FreeNAS install hosting a datastore over iSCSI to a separate ESXi host. This worked well, but required two hosts running 24x7. However, ESXi supports hardware RAID cards just fine. I tried going this route, but my PERC 6i is absolute garbage and, aside from providing super slow transfers, was actually timing out on disc writes. So, I decided to attempt to go "hyperconverged."