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Old 01-29-2009, 11:06 PM
Harry Putnam
 
Default homemade nas setup

I've been looking into setting up or getting somekind of nas
storage/backup capability lately so thought I'd ask about it here
since I'm sure some of you will be using something or will have built
your own.

After looking at a few on google .. I'm a little surprised at the high
end pricetags and even the midranges for a factory made setup.

Makes me wonder what if anything I'd be missing, functionality wise,
if I were to build it up myself.

I see these storebought things are mostly running a small embedded
linux os.

The lowend stuff like WD `mybook 1tb world Edition II' advertises
gigabit throughput but I see many reviews that report way less in
practice. In fact it started to look like that particular one is way
below its advertised capability. I ran across many complaints about
dreadfully low write speads. Also apparently has some sorry thing
called Mionet for (secure) remote access.

I'm thinking of doing something like a semi-minimal regular (not
embedded) install on a P4 I have with asus P4C800 mobo and some 2 gigs
ram. Maybe add an extra sata controller (the mobo has one) so I can
put up to 6 or so sata disks on it along with one small IDE disk for
the OS (just to head of any problems related to installing on sata)

Maybe start with 2 500 sata disks and build up as I need it. Or more
likely `if I need it'... I kind of doubt I'd need more than 4 anytime
soon so maybe wait on the controller part too.

I guess I'd connect to it mostly thru samba/cifs for windows XP
machines that have lots of biggish graphics and video type stuff to
backup/store. And nfs for my main gentoo desktop.

I wondered what the downsides are compared to a medium range
storebought rig?

A few I can think of are space and noise.. but having never been
around our run a nas setup... I'm not sure if that is really true.

Anyway, a few thoughts on what I might be running into doing it myself,
or missing compared to storebought. Maybe maintenance
considerations.. or whatever, would be welcome.
 
Old 01-29-2009, 11:44 PM
Matt Harrison
 
Default homemade nas setup

Harry Putnam wrote:

I've been looking into setting up or getting somekind of nas
storage/backup capability lately so thought I'd ask about it here
since I'm sure some of you will be using something or will have built
your own.

After looking at a few on google .. I'm a little surprised at the high
end pricetags and even the midranges for a factory made setup.

Makes me wonder what if anything I'd be missing, functionality wise,
if I were to build it up myself.

I see these storebought things are mostly running a small embedded
linux os.

The lowend stuff like WD `mybook 1tb world Edition II' advertises
gigabit throughput but I see many reviews that report way less in
practice. In fact it started to look like that particular one is way
below its advertised capability. I ran across many complaints about
dreadfully low write speads. Also apparently has some sorry thing
called Mionet for (secure) remote access.

I'm thinking of doing something like a semi-minimal regular (not
embedded) install on a P4 I have with asus P4C800 mobo and some 2 gigs
ram. Maybe add an extra sata controller (the mobo has one) so I can
put up to 6 or so sata disks on it along with one small IDE disk for
the OS (just to head of any problems related to installing on sata)

Maybe start with 2 500 sata disks and build up as I need it. Or more
likely `if I need it'... I kind of doubt I'd need more than 4 anytime
soon so maybe wait on the controller part too.

I guess I'd connect to it mostly thru samba/cifs for windows XP
machines that have lots of biggish graphics and video type stuff to
backup/store. And nfs for my main gentoo desktop.

I wondered what the downsides are compared to a medium range
storebought rig?

A few I can think of are space and noise.. but having never been
around our run a nas setup... I'm not sure if that is really true.

Anyway, a few thoughts on what I might be running into doing it myself,
or missing compared to storebought. Maybe maintenance
considerations.. or whatever, wodld be welcome.


I know its a little OT, but I have to mention ZFS. It'll mean running
Solaris or FreeBSD in order to get the best out of it, but it's worth it.


I changed my fileserver from a gentoo box with software raid and lvm
over to ZFS on OpenSolaris and I haven't looked back. Gentoo is still my
main OS but I think you just can't beat ZFS for a filer.


Just check it out and see what you think.

--
Matt Harrison

A: Because it messes up the order in which people normally read text.
Q: Why is top-posting such a bad thing?
A: Top-posting.
Q: What is the most annoying thing in e-mail?
 
Old 01-30-2009, 09:43 AM
Peter Humphrey
 
Default homemade nas setup

On Friday 30 January 2009 00:06:05 Harry Putnam wrote:

> I've been looking into setting up or getting somekind of nas
> storage/backup capability lately so thought I'd ask about it here
> since I'm sure some of you will be using something or will have built
> your own.

I just bought a USB hard disk and plug it into whichever box I want to back
up. Each box has a small rescue system, which I boot into to make the
backup to ensure that all files are copied. Just a simple tar command,
without compression for speed.

--
Rgds
Peter
 
Old 01-30-2009, 10:56 AM
Norman Rieß
 
Default homemade nas setup

Harry Putnam schrieb:
> A few I can think of are space and noise.. but having never been
> around our run a nas setup... I'm not sure if that is really true.
>
> Anyway, a few thoughts on what I might be running into doing it myself,
> or missing compared to storebought. Maybe maintenance
> considerations.. or whatever, would be welcome.
>
>

I am running my old AthlonXP system with 2 gig ram, a minimal
installation on a small extra disk, 3 disks for data as raid 5 and some
crypto, as a home nas. The system is build from spare parts except the
data disks and a small sata controller, which i had to buy. The old
miditower resides in a lumber-room under a shelf. So noise and space is
no problem. Of course you could build such a system in a smaller case.

The system only runs nfs, samba and a cups server. I do not use some
fancy guis or anything like that. So settings have to be made in the
config files manualy, except the cupsd which brings a web gui. Maybe
that is something some people would miss. But i do not think a gentoo
user would care.

As maintainence i do ,beside the regular emerge --sync and updates, a
raidcheck every weekend, but that can be cronjobed of course.

One point i feel mentionable is scalability. You buy a home nas with two
disks and you are stuck with that two disks because the case can not
handle more than that. Your do-it-yourself nas can do that.
It is a point of personal liking i think. I mean, you buy a home nas
click 5 minutes in the gui an you are done. Selfmade nas needs
understanding of the system, setting the whole thing up and some
configfile changes every now and then.

Regards
Norman
 
Old 01-30-2009, 11:05 AM
Neil Bothwick
 
Default homemade nas setup

On Fri, 30 Jan 2009 12:56:48 +0100, Norman Rieß wrote:

> The system only runs nfs, samba and a cups server. I do not use some
> fancy guis or anything like that. So settings have to be made in the
> config files manualy, except the cupsd which brings a web gui. Maybe
> that is something some people would miss. But i do not think a gentoo
> user would care.

If he did, he could emerge webmin


--
Neil Bothwick

WinErr 002: No Error - Yet
 
Old 01-30-2009, 05:30 PM
Harry Putnam
 
Default homemade nas setup

Peter Humphrey <peter@humphrey.ukfsn.org> writes:

> On Friday 30 January 2009 00:06:05 Harry Putnam wrote:
>
>> I've been looking into setting up or getting somekind of nas
>> storage/backup capability lately so thought I'd ask about it here
>> since I'm sure some of you will be using something or will have built
>> your own.
>
> I just bought a USB hard disk and plug it into whichever box I want to back
> up. Each box has a small rescue system, which I boot into to make the
> backup to ensure that all files are copied. Just a simple tar command,
> without compression for speed.

Well, that isn't even close to nas... but thanks.
 
Old 01-30-2009, 05:33 PM
Harry Putnam
 
Default homemade nas setup

Norman Rieß <norman@smash-net.org> writes:

> The system only runs nfs, samba and a cups server. I do not use some
> fancy guis or anything like that. So settings have to be made in the
> config files manualy, except the cupsd which brings a web gui. Maybe
> that is something some people would miss. But i do not think a gentoo
> user would care.

Have you timed any thing like write speeds across the network to this
box?

Is it connected into 10/100 or 1000 (gigabit) setup?
 
Old 01-30-2009, 09:48 PM
Norman Rieß
 
Default homemade nas setup

Harry Putnam schrieb:
> Norman Rieß <norman@smash-net.org> writes:
>
>
>> The system only runs nfs, samba and a cups server. I do not use some
>> fancy guis or anything like that. So settings have to be made in the
>> config files manualy, except the cupsd which brings a web gui. Maybe
>> that is something some people would miss. But i do not think a gentoo
>> user would care.
>>
>
> Have you timed any thing like write speeds across the network to this
> box?
>
> Is it connected into 10/100 or 1000 (gigabit) setup?
>
>
>
It is a gigabit setup. NFS read is about 30-34MB/s, writing is
considerably slower with 15MB/s. So writing is a bit slow. But as i do
not need fast storage i did not investigate. And it must be mentioned,
that the whole data is in AES.

I use this share like a local harddisk. There is nothing like "Oh, this
is on remote storage, i will do <random thing> differently." I do
everything i do on a local disk, and i did not find anything that would
not work due to lack of performance. Admitted i do not do much
performancecritical stuff.
 
Old 01-30-2009, 10:00 PM
Stroller
 
Default homemade nas setup

On 30 Jan 2009, at 00:06, Harry Putnam wrote:

...
A few I can think of are space and noise.. but having never been
around our run a nas setup... I'm not sure if that is really true.


Power consumption, too. I think some of the off-the-shelf mini-NAS use
a low-power MIPS processor.


I like a "real Linux" server rather than an off-the-shelf mini-NAS
because you can do so much more with it. I rip DVDs & download
torrents on the headless server, as this saves me having to leave my
workstation on overnight.


Unfortunately "all the other stuff" is a considerable reason I had to
rule out Solaris, which I would like to have used for its ZFS file-
system. I felt I probably wouldn't like the package manager, and I
didn't seem to be able to find supported hot-swap controllers. There's
just loads of stuff I know I'm more easily going to be able to find
help with on Linux.


But mini-NAS does really well for many people. I found the problem
with going it myself to be feature creep - I want room for plenty of
drives and once you've got a server running 24/7 there's always
something else you can "usefully" run on there. I ended up buying one
of these <http://www.tstcom.com/product_details.asp?id=4> and a 3ware
9500 RAID controller - this has turned out pretty expensive but I
think worth it to me, as it should last me a long time. I am just
about to build.


3ware's customer support, BTW, is second-to-none - if buying one of
their controllers on eBay ask the vendor to check the serial, as many
are still under 3ware's no-quibble 3-year warranty. My experience with
their tech support has been excellent, and will make them first choice
for hardware in the future.


Stroller.
 
Old 01-30-2009, 10:24 PM
Harry Putnam
 
Default homemade nas setup

Norman Rieß <norman@smash-net.org> writes:

>> Is it connected into 10/100 or 1000 (gigabit) setup?
>>

> It is a gigabit setup. NFS read is about 30-34MB/s, writing is
> considerably slower with 15MB/s. So writing is a bit slow. But as i do
> not need fast storage i did not investigate. And it must be mentioned,
> that the whole data is in AES.

Being AES should have a pretty dramatic impact right? or is it not
decrypted and just bounced from one place to another?

> I use this share like a local harddisk. There is nothing like "Oh, this
> is on remote storage, i will do <random thing> differently." I do
> everything i do on a local disk, and i did not find anything that would
> not work due to lack of performance. Admitted i do not do much
> performancecritical stuff.

Thanks for very good input. What you report beats the snot out of the
WD `My Book World Edition' I'm testing out. I only tried a few tests
and they weren't done rigorously like someone benchmarking would have
to do. I made no attempt to control what else might be running, other
than not purposely starting anything.

I tried copying 950MB of graphic files across gigabit lan (winXP to
the Book) ... it took 3 min 40 seconds. (about 4mb sec)

Whereas copying the same data from one machine to another (windowsXP)
took 40 seconds.
(Incidently.. that appears to be a bit faster than what you report at
23mb sec) Might have something to do with the fact that it is
identical filesystem to identical filesystem (ntfs)

Copying the same data from a winXP to my gentoo box across 10/100 lan
took 1 min 10 seconds. (A little less than what you see at 13mb sec)

So even in a case where the measurement should have been skewed in
favor of the Book, it was over 300% slower.

And in the case that should have been comparable it was over 500%
slower.

Unless I've made some horrible error in the math, which is not
unlikely, I think my test shows 4mb per second. (I just divided the
MB by the seconds), that is so far under what you see, that alone
tells me to return this dog and spend the money ($229) building up my
own.
 

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