[Tfug] NAS again

Bexley Hall bexley401 at yahoo.com
Wed Feb 5 18:41:57 MST 2014

Hi Jim,

Long sea, no thyme!

On 2/5/2014 1:08 PM, Jim Secan wrote:
> Don...
> Picking up this thread late in the game.  I'm looking for a NAS to
> use at home, a Mac/Linux mix, and I've been pointed at the BSD
> FreeNAS software (www.freenas.org) and the iXsystems FreeNAS Mini
> hardware (www.ixsystems.com/mini/).  Maybe more than you're wanting,
> but it looks like a good basis for a SOHO LAN NAS.

Ouch!  $800 before media.  <frown>

Again, I think these sorts of "commercial offerings" are primarily
trying to address more "performance oriented" (multi-client, etc.)

Paul S has apparently been using OpenFiler on "cheap" hardware
with some success -- but, also in a more demanding (ISTM) business
environment than what I'd need.

Originally, I set up an FTP/WWW service on a dedicated machine that
ran 24/7.  Convenient but wasteful.  Especially as my archive grew
and I needed to have far too many spindles "up" to be effectively
useful (without having to explicitly log in to the host and mount
individual volumes).

Then, I started using external SCSI drives that I would hand-carry
to whichever machine needed access to that repository (all of my
hosts had SCSI HBA's at that time -- so, an external "portable"
drive was relatively straightforward to implement).  LIke USB nowadays,
you could attach such an external drive and mount it without needing
to reboot, etc.  (I used to keep the bare drives in a closet and
"install" the drive required in an external SCSI enclosure that I
would then "mount")

Then, USB came along and I started using external USB drives in the
same way.  I.e., both of these approaches are just variants of

[USB thumb drives are still way too small to be effective in this

Then came my experiments with different NAS boxen.  Less "effort"
than any of the above (just press power button and wait for the
volume to come online, remote mount it, etc.).  But, still had
its own set of problems (e.g., no "push button shutdown" that
would automatically flush cache, mark filesystem clean, etc.;
no *quick* recovery in the event of an unscheduled shutdown;
no wway to ask the box why the heck it's not "online" while it is
engaged in this recovery procedure; etc.)

I figure the best approach is just to roll my own so it has
exactly the features that I want -- and, willingly trade performance
for cost/size (something that isn't an issue for most "commercial"
users).  I.e., if you're willing to shell out $800 for a box,
you probably want something more than "sneakernet replacement"
FROM that box!

Be interesting (PM?) to hear what your experiences with the box
are, over time!


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