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Home Grown NAS?

Posted on 2009-04-08
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Last Modified: 2013-12-15
I recently got a good deal on some hard disks and wanted to leverage them to create a NAS.  I know that there are a lot of chassis' available on the market for something like this, but I was wondering if it is easy to create a home-grown model?

What I mean is, I have a spare PC laying around that isn't really doing anything useful.  Can I load some sort of bare-bones O/S like Linux to simply mount the drives on the network?  I am going to put a SATA raid card in as well, so maybe I will just spring for a NAS Chassis.

I would like something that can alert me in the event of a RAID array failure.

Suggestions?  Best idea gets the points.

Thanks in advance.
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Question by:ged125
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17 Comments
 
LVL 35

Accepted Solution

by:
torimar earned 1600 total points
ID: 24103298
This may be the "barebones Linux" you are looking for: FreeNAS (http://www.freenas.org/index.php)

"FreeNAS is a free NAS (Network-Attached Storage) server, supporting: CIFS (samba), FTP, NFS, AFP, RSYNC, iSCSI protocols, S.M.A.R.T., local user authentication, Software RAID (0,1,5) with a Full WEB configuration interface. FreeNAS takes less than 32MB once installed on Compact Flash, hard drive or USB key."

Although it is more Unix than Linux ...
0
 
LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:dolomiti
ID: 24103346
hi ged,
you have to find a RAID (sata,scsi,sas) that has an agent in the guest OS
I know ServeRAID IBM (Adaptec IBM re-branded), they have, but they are
expensive.
Inside agent configuration, you can define an action, typically an e-mail, to do.

How many disks do you think to use, in which cfg (RAID1,10,JBOD or also 5),
and which bus have you in your spare PC ?

bye
vic
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LVL 6

Author Comment

by:ged125
ID: 24103363
I have SATA.  It can be up to 6 disks in the array
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LVL 2

Assisted Solution

by:rydersaint
rydersaint earned 400 total points
ID: 24103527
Hello ged125 and torimar
http://www.openfiler.com/
Is linux solution
However I prefer FreeNAS because you can go into the source and modify for your needs too
version 7 (still Alpha, not stable) has ZFS. This is better then raid and give you much more control and pools you HDD instead of raid magic numbers that (yuk)

ZFS http://opensolaris.org/os/community/zfs/
is really worth reading about if your going to do any NAS save you alot of hassles later on

Ryder
 
0
 
LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:Thomas Wheeler
ID: 24103554
I agree with rydersaint but I would use nexenta. I just built a home grown nas out of a shuttle PC with 2 sata cards and a sata / sas hot swap drive cage for 2.5" drives. ZFS is great.

0
 
LVL 6

Author Comment

by:ged125
ID: 24103585
Alpha not stable meaning not a solution?   Or does it work with minor bugs?
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:Thomas Wheeler
ID: 24103604
Are you referring to nexenta? I have been using nexenta and opensolaris with ZFS and I love it. I have had no problems at all.
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LVL 6

Author Comment

by:ged125
ID: 24103664
Airtop might be the winner.  I will validate tomorrow.  I would rather not have a Alpha level solution if I can avoid it.  Thanks to everyone for the input.  
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:tankergoblin
ID: 24104638
NAS  is network attached storage, purpose is use to store file.
Now adays NAS allows you to setup FTP server, streaming server, etc.

Of course you can use your pc to create your own NAS. In fact NAS is a file server.
Just that NAS will be cheaper than pc server.
You can create NAS or file server using any OS that can connect to network or internet.
with pc server you can do more that share file and ftp file....
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LVL 6

Author Comment

by:ged125
ID: 24108695
Ok, so I installed Nexenta and I am completely new to SunOS.  Airtop, can you shoot me a quick tutorial on getting it up and running?

Thanks
0
 
LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:Thomas Wheeler
ID: 24108807
You want to create your zfs and then setup your share

To find your connected disks
cfgadmin | grep "disk"

Create your pool
zpool create data raidz c1t1d0 c1t1d0 c2t1d0 c3t1d0
zpool status

zfs set sharesmb=on data

browse to \\ip\data


0
 
LVL 6

Author Comment

by:ged125
ID: 24110131
cfgadmin didn't end up working as a command.  Not sure why, I am logged in as a power user.

Also, question for Rydersaint:  I have been looking at FreeNAS and I like the interface.  However, it looks like ZFS should be a requirement.  That being said, how much testing have you done with version 7?  Realizing that it is still Alpha, how long before you would consider it stable?   Do they have a scheduled RC release?

Thanks
0
 
LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:Thomas Wheeler
ID: 24112792
it should be located in /usr/sbin/cfgadm and should be in your path. in any event you can use the commands above to create your pool. the example shows creating a raidz pool with 4 disks.
0
 
LVL 6

Author Closing Comment

by:ged125
ID: 31568322
I ended up going with FreeNAS.  I am testing version .7 and .69
0
 
LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:rydersaint
ID: 24133347
Hello ged125 and airtop

Version 7 I was running for quite some time
I found it really errors out when you use zfs and iscsi together (crash burn)
and you lose the web interface (due to memory) after awhile if you dont set up a swap partition
Other then that it was really good (still alpha though so expect the unexpected)

thank you  for the points
0
 
LVL 6

Author Comment

by:ged125
ID: 24133429
So I have already deployed 7 using a 1GB flash USB, but I didn't create a swap file because I have 2GB of RAM.  Do I still need to build one?  If so, can I do that without reinstalling?
0
 
LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:rydersaint
ID: 24133561
hello ged125

Yes I recommend you still add one as my server had 4GB
it explains howto  it under the swap area in the web interface
basically add another disk(partition / left over space) and place in the path to it

Ryder
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