Building a NAS using some old hardware, some new hardware, and FreeNAS

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by P-chan, Mar 3, 2007.

  1. P-chan

    P-chan New Member

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    Will update this thread as the project progresses. Currently I have :

    An old Gateway E-series with a P3-733mhz, 128mb RAM, and a handful of empty drive bays.

    Drives I have now :

    1-200GB PATA
    1-250GB PATA
    1-120GB PATA

    on order :

    4-250GB SATA


    I also have a 4-channel SATA RAID controller. I haven't decided what RAID config I will be using yet, I'm thinking probably RAID 5 for the 4 SATA drives (effective 750GB array), and the PATA drives will just be network attached, not in an array.

    The SATA drives should be here next week and I will take some pics of the install.

    I will be using FreeNAS (www.freenas.org) as the operating system - it's a FreeBSD (Unix) based system - I don't have much experience with it, but I have friends who do, and they've said it's easy as pie. The OS can be installed to a USB flash drive or CF card - you don't even need a boot drive.
     
  2. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    how much are the 250GBs on order? I think I saw 500GB Seagates for around $100 at newegg... That'd be more appropriate for NAS, imo.
     
  3. RaginBajin

    RaginBajin Have you punched a donkey today?

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    Hmm in on this. I have been thinking about building one of these, and will want to know how everything goes..

    How fast do you really need the PC to be to support a NAS setup?
     
  4. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    depends on what you're doing with it. Not that fast, honestly... The network is likely to be the bottleneck.
     
  5. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    What you have is plenty of space, and its fast enough. Don't buy anything.
     
  6. dorkultra

    dorkultra OT's resident crohns dude OT Supporter

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    you really don't need a fast pc for freenas at all. i'm pretty sure it's all command line. easy to setup with prompts and it makes its own ip address, then you access and manage the server through a web browser

    jollyorge is right, the network will be the bottleneck, unless you can put in a gigabit card and have that work with freenas...but then you'd have to have a gigabit switch and the wiring etc
     
  7. P-chan

    P-chan New Member

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    The 250GBs were $69.99 each. 500GB drives were around $159.99 each. I couldn't find any drives for much less than 0.28c/GB which is what the 250s are.

    To run FreeNAS you don't need much UNLESS you are going to let FreeNAS run your software raid. If you don't have a hardware RAID controller, FreeNAS will be using your CPU to do the striping/parity calculations and you will want something fairly fast.

    I however have a hardware RAID controller, so I'm not worried about using a 733mhz PC with only 128mb RAM.
     
  8. P-chan

    P-chan New Member

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    The network will be the bottleneck, and that's fine with me. What I am using this for (mainly) is to keep music and movies for streaming to my living room (using a modded Xbox with XBMC).

    My house is wired with Cat5e so I could certainly go gigabit - I may do a gigabit NIC and switch in between just the NAS and my PC, so that I can access the NAS faster from that, but the rest of the network would just have 100BT speeds. I'm rarely working with huge files and even copying 10GB over 100BT only takes a few minutes, I'm not too concerned about that just yet. I'll just be happy to have plenty of reliable storage on the network to keep all my stuff. 1.3TB+ should be fine for a while :o
     
  9. P-chan

    P-chan New Member

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    Just FYI - you can get a Buffalo Terastation 1.0TB for about $600 if you shop around, which is about the price I would have paid if I wanted to build this box new, I just got lucky to find an old PC with a big case.
     
  10. P-chan

    P-chan New Member

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    Oh and I just noticed that the RAID card I bought from a friend (4-channel SATA) doesn't do hardware RAID 5, it only does 0, 1, and 0+1. :o :o

    I guess I could do 0+1 on the 4 250GB drives, giving me a 500GB array, plus 570GB of JBOD storage. Hmmm...
     
  11. AlcoLOLic

    AlcoLOLic New Member

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    Buffalo Terastation 2 gigabit NAS prices are coming way down:

    http://www.uberbargain.com/archives/2007/02/buffalo_terasta_7.php

    (yes I know the rebate is expired, but it's an example)

    ...I know you already have hardware, but sometimes if you're crunched for time and space it makes lots of sense to just deploy readymade. For my needs the overall cost of the Buffalo NAS was actually less than if I tried the homebrew method (counting the Gigabit functionality). I use filesharing programs saving to the Terastation at the same time that I view streaming video stored on it and the throughput is just fine.

    The terastation is RAID5. I use it as JBOD backing up important files to another Terastation running RAID5.
     
  12. turbodeuce

    turbodeuce ....................

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    When buying hard drives for a raid set up, is it true it is better to purchase separate hard drives at different times to reduce the chance of multiple drive failure?
     
  13. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    not really. You actually want to match them up as best you can. The exception to this is if an entire batch of drives has a problem (which has happened, before)
     
  14. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    He could get more storage space on those 250GB drives by running Windows XP with NTFS compression on the drives. It would require a better PC, but it would also give him more storage space. It would be a good way to take advantage of the delay time introduced by the network bottleneck.

    Do any Linux filesystems offer transparent compression like NTFS does?
     
  15. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    he wouldn't need a faster cpu... 733MHz P3 is fine. But I haven't seen much appreciable space gains with compression.
     
  16. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    ZFS, the filesystem you will use in 5 years, does. It runs on the Linux, but not I think on the BSD?
     
  17. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Have they ported it to Linux yet? I heard that was in the works, but I can't download it yet for Debian, at least not as far as I've seen.
     
  18. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    well peyomp said it works on linux, so I'm assuming they did port to linux :mamoru:
     
  19. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    Zey have it for ze linux, but I don't know about distro support.
     
  20. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    it's not very license-compatible with GPL, from what I read.
     
  21. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    The OpenSolaris CDDL is a good license. GPL charlatans are real fucking annoying. You can easily setup ZFS yourself, but this might delay purist distros.
     
  22. mobbarley

    mobbarley Active Member

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    I have linux software raid 5 on an intel stl2 with 2x 1gig P3s. The speed is great, even when writing.
     
  23. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    All they gotta do in Debian distros is offer the repository link and let people decide whether to download it. From what you've said before, it's still not bootable, so there isn't yet a need to integrate a license-acceptance dialog into the OS installer.

    I've no experience with Red Hat distros, so I have no idea what loopholes people would have to jump through to avoid licensing issues there. Hell, who even reads the license anyway? Just don't steal the shit or use it against its creators, and the other 99.9% of the stuff in the license is boilerplate or worst-case contingency nonsense.
     
  24. ace3

    ace3 mouthify my wang.

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    i bought 5x 500gb drives, a new case, an intel DG965Wh mobo (has 6 sata channels), and a processor. can't use hardware raid on it anyway, 'cause the intel board only supports 4 drives. :mad: So, don't get a DG965 for your mobo if youj're going to do freenas.

    freenas won't install on it, but would install on an older Dell box with a sata card. i was very impressed with how easy it was to setup.

    so, i am just going to put a 200gb drive in this new box & give it to someone at work for a workstation.

    i bought an bare-drive Infrant to put 4 of my drives into. 1.5tb should be enough, i hope.
     
  25. P-chan

    P-chan New Member

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    Those infrants are expensive, but I know Chris said it was the shit. Your board has 6 SATA channels but only supports 4 drives? What the fuck kind of sense does that make? :o
     

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