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[Discuss] FreeNAS


I've got a FreeNAS box set up with ~16TB of zraid2 (6 4TB disks).  I use
it as a backup storage server (to backup my other systems), a
TimeMachine server for my wife's Mac, and as a distro mirror for my
local systems (so I can pull from local storage instead of upstream).

I overprovisioned this system; it's got 128GB RAM, but I've got room to
add 24 more HDDs when the 16TB gets to be tight.  Right now I'm usng
about 50-60% of my available space.

So far I like it.


Shirley M?rquez D?lcey <mark at> writes:

> I have long had a media server based on some variety of Linux, most
> recently Ubuntu. Version 1 had five 200-250GB drives in RAID 5 in a
> mini-tower and ran SuSE. That was replaced a few years back by the
> current box: a MiniITX motherboard with an AMD E-350 (chosen for low
> power consumption in a 24/7 box, not performance) and a pair of 1.5TB
> drives, originally running Ubuntu 10.04 LTS and upgraded to 12.04 and
> 14.04. But it was getting cramped so it was time for its next upgrade.
> I wanted to try something a bit more packaged, so I decided to give
> FreeNAS a try. The file security features of ZFS were also a draw.
> (ZFS is available in Linux now - Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and various other
> distros have it as an option- but the implementation in FreeBSD is
> more mature.)
> I stuck with the same box but upgraded the RAM. It had 4GB RAM which
> won't cut it for FreeNAS (8GB is the minimum) so I decided to max out
> the platform with 16GB (2x8GB). The new DDR3 2400 sticks ($5 more than
> DDR3 1600) actually went in my gaming/development box (which can take
> advantage of the higher memory speed) and the DDR3 1600 sticks in that
> system went into the NAS. (Memory support on the E-350 actually maxes
> out at DDR3-1066 so even the 1600 is overkill, though it does have
> 6-6-6 timing at that speed which is nice.) The storage: two new 4TB
> drives that I got a few months ago and are finally getting around to
> using. (For now the 1.5TB drives are on the shelf; they will either
> get added back as a second volume or used elsewhere.) A pair of 32GB
> USB flash drives round out the hardware - FreeNAS requires that you
> boot from something other than the storage drives, and it will mirror
> the boot drives if you use two. 8GB boot drives are the minimum, but
> with 32GB at $9 each at Micro Center there didn't seem to be any point
> to scrimping.
> So far so good. The hardware is way below the usual recommended
> platform for FreeNAS, but it does meet the minimum requirements
> (dual-core or more x86-64 CPU) and my needs are modest. It was easy to
> set up and it feels like it serves up files more responsively than
> Ubuntu did. (The additional RAM doesn't hurt!) Specifically, it seems
> to handle seeking to a different part of a file much better than
> either Ubuntu or shares from my Windows Media Center box (used
> primarily as a DVR) - dragging the time slider forward in a video file
> to skip past things or backward for replays is just about instant,
> while the other sharing solutions often lagged.
> All in all, I can recommend FreeNAS based on my experience. If anybody
> else here has used it, I'd love to hear about your experiences.
> _______________________________________________
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> Discuss at

       Derek Atkins, SB '93 MIT EE, SM '95 MIT Media Laboratory
       Member, MIT Student Information Processing Board  (SIPB)
       URL:    PP-ASEL-IA     N1NWH
       warlord at MIT.EDU                        PGP key available

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