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Old 2020-06-04, 00:21   #1
Prime95
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Default FreeNAS anyone?

I'm thinking of building a simple NAS for my network, mainly for backups.

Has anyone used FreeNAS? Anyone have other recommendations?
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Old 2020-06-04, 06:36   #2
xilman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prime95 View Post
I'm thinking of building a simple NAS for my network, mainly for backups.

Has anyone used FreeNAS? Anyone have other recommendations?
I don't run a NAS per se so you may wish to discount the following.

I use an elderly but so far extremely reliable dual-core system running Ubuntu 18.04 LTS server. Not only is it a NFS and Samba server, it also runs backuppc for the benefit of the other systems on the house network. Backuppc is very highly recommended. Although I use it primarily with rsync tunneled over ssh, the Windows system shares its drive with the server which then back it up as if it were a local disk --- using rsync of course. Backuppc can also use SMB directly as well as tar-over-ssh. The backups themselves are held on a four-disk ZFS array for performance, reliability and availability.

The box is also a local DNS server, a NTP server and a print server, all of which it handles efficiently and without any fuss.
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Old 2020-06-04, 09:25   #3
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FreeNAS would be my first choice although I haven't pulled the trigger yet to find out first hand. Meant to be slightly more finicky to setup than unraid but that could be outdated hearsay. Unraid is meant to be good but it's proprietary which is a dealbreaker.
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Old 2020-06-04, 09:40   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M344587487 View Post
Meant to be slightly more finicky to setup than unraid but that could be outdated hearsay. Unraid is meant to be good but it's proprietary which is a dealbreaker.
RAID isn't a backup solution anyway, so unraid won't help here.

I also don't view NAS as a backup solution in most cases either. Backups have to be separate, and multiplexed. If the latest ransomware comes along and trashes all your always connected backup drives, then what?
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Old 2020-06-04, 10:06   #5
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OpenMediaVault (OMV) is flexible in that you can install it on a r-pi (or similar). A r-pi with 4x 13TB disks should meet your needs!
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Old 2020-06-04, 11:06   #6
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then what?
Then what is your threat model?

Your threat model appears to regard ransomware as sufficiently important that you are willing to spend resources to make your system more resilient against that particular threat. Not everyone has the same threat model as you.

Sadly, many people barely have a threat model at all, not having thought about the matter deeply enough.

A further common point of confusion: resilience to hardware failure vs backup vs archive. I like to have all three, hence ZFS, daily backups cycled weekly, weekly backups cycled monthly, monthly backups kept "forever" as an archive.
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Old 2020-06-04, 11:20   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xilman View Post
Your threat model appears to regard ransomware as sufficiently important that you are willing to spend resources to make your system more resilient against that particular threat. Not everyone has the same threat model as you.
Ransomware is just an example. It could be an OS hiccup in the FS driver, or ordinary malware deleting things, or even just a simple user error typing "rm -rf /NAS/$SomeOldJunk" and discovering too late that $SomeOldJunk was not defined and you just killed the whole setup.
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Old 2020-06-04, 11:48   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retina View Post
Ransomware is just an example. It could be an OS hiccup in the FS driver, or ordinary malware deleting things, or even just a simple user error typing "rm -rf /NAS/$SomeOldJunk" and discovering too late that $SomeOldJunk was not defined and you just killed the whole setup.
Indeed.

In my threat model, the likelihood of someone screwing up on a client system is much greater than the likelihood of the same on the backup server. Clients are used every day, often by people who are tired and/or emotional. Interactive use of the server is rather unusual, it being primarily accessed in a read-only mode.

A nice feature of ZFS is that it is resilient (note I did not say immune) to a good number of failure modes in the disk control software.
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Old 2020-06-04, 11:57   #9
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Why would you just see raid in the name and not look further. A NAS for live backup and periodic offline backups seems a decent solution for most, and redundant ZFS/BTRFS is not worthless despite what you imply.
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Old 2020-06-04, 12:06   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M344587487 View Post
... periodic offline backups ...
Yes!

Offline, unplugged, rotated. You just never know when a lightning strike will create a power surge and fry everything. No amount of resilient software programming would save you there.
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Old 2020-06-04, 12:17   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retina View Post
Yes!

Offline, unplugged, rotated. You just never know when a lightning strike will create a power surge and fry everything. No amount of resilient software programming would save you there.
Or, the transformer across the street could burn up its fuse link and the power company could just hook it back up and physically blow up every power strip and surge suppressor in the house! Yep - been there!
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