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Old 2015-02-28, 18:11   #1
VictordeHolland
 
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"Victor de Hollander"
Aug 2011
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Default NAS hardware

Currently I've several internal HDDs in 3 different PCs and half a dozens external HDDs (mostly, but not only for backups). With the use of Windows shared folders I can 'get around', but it's far from an elegant solution. So it's time for me to consider a NAS to centralize my storage and make backups less time consuming.

I've looked at Synology devices. They've excellent software and hardware but the prices are pretty high for the hardware you get once you go beyond 4 bays. For instance the 5 bay Synology DiskStation DS1515+ is almost €700 (in the Netherlands) and you get only 2GB RAM and a quad core Atom processor. With only two simultaneous users it will probably do the trick and you do get a nice small (nearly silent) box with 3 year warranty.

But after some research I'm now consider a home-build NAS, especially after reading the benefits of ZFS filesystem and the RAID-Z. Since there is no hardware RAID in ZFS, moving to a different/newer system is much easier. I also like the on the fly error detection and correction. I might go with FreeNAS as there is a lot of documentation available. There is also some advice on hardware recommendations http://doc.freenas.org/9.3/freenas_i...ecommendations. Also the extra resources could also be used for Mprime/ECM/sieving .

So does anybody here have experience with (home-build) NAS devices and/or the ZFS filesystem?
If I go with a home-build NAS should I buy a entry level Xeon + ECC RAM or a used server?

Any advice appreciated,
Victor
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Old 2015-02-28, 18:43   #2
TObject
 
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Ecc memory is a must, the more the better, 8GB is ablolute minimum. Processor speed is not important, unless you wat to do other things on the box, like transcoding. No integrated RAID mode controllers, everything must be burned into initiator-target mode, or use Intel onboard SATA ports. No Realtek NICs, Intel NICs are fine. UPS is highly recommended.
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Old 2015-03-01, 01:25   #3
retina
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RAID-Z is nice but do you really need such a high availability? To complete the availability you will also need a UPS and hot-swappable enclosures for the drives.

What about your backups? Tape or external HDDs? I always use HDDs because I find them easier to deal with and easier to migrate.
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Old 2015-03-01, 13:13   #4
VictordeHolland
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retina View Post
RAID-Z is nice but do you really need such a high availability? To complete the availability you will also need a UPS and hot-swappable enclosures for the drives.

What about your backups? Tape or external HDDs? I always use HDDs because I find them easier to deal with and easier to migrate.
I don't _really_ need high availability, but if I'm going to spend money I might as well spend it wisely.

Backups are on external HDDs, I find them easier to use and they are cheap nowadays.
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Old 2015-03-01, 21:46   #5
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FreeNAS does not work well with USB to SATA controllers. If you want to backup to external HDDs use eSATA or an external SAS enclosure.

Or backup to a second FreeNAS box, could be remote. ZFS replication is very nice.

Last fiddled with by TObject on 2015-03-01 at 21:48
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Old 2015-03-05, 23:37   #6
VictordeHolland
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TObject View Post
FreeNAS does not work well with USB to SATA controllers. If you want to backup to external HDDs use eSATA or an external SAS enclosure.

Or backup to a second FreeNAS box, could be remote. ZFS replication is very nice.
Thanks, I'll keep that in mind.
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