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Need help setting up NAS. idk where to start. FreeNAS

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December 7, 2011 3:10:56 PM

So friends and I are thinking about setting up a NAS.
We looked into FreeNAS and it seems to provide all we need.

There are 4 of us and we all do different things.

1 - Film/Scripts
2 - Photography/Music Production
3 - Music Production/Sound engineering
4 - Architect (blueprints) and whatnot

We Currently have 5 identical hard drives (500GB 7200RPM 32MB Cache) that we can put into a system.
Since three of us always work together on some songs/photo shoots/films, we desire a more efficient way of sharing.

Questions I have are:


Q) How should we configure our RAID set ups. 2 Raids? RAID 10?
Q) What kind of hardware do we need to set up a NAS?
- CPU
- RAM
- Motherboard
- RAID cards?
Q) Would I be able to make login's recording artists to access their files at anytime?
December 7, 2011 3:34:42 PM

My recommendation is to not use FreeNAS... I've used FreeNAS in the past and it is a great product, but I would suggest taking a look at OpenMediaVault it's written by a dude that used to write code for FreeNAS, but is meant as a way to get away from using BSD. It's linux and debian based, but one downfall I experienced with it is you cannot use the drive you install the OS to as one of the DATA drives... the way to install it is to disconnect all drives except a small drive (think CF flash card with a sata converter costs about 25 bucks), install OS, plug all drives back in, then use the web based GUI to set everything up. I played with it for a while and it works great without having to deal with BSD (debian has a much better software selection and better support) www.openmediavault.org

The OS could support a low end board with as many sata connectors as you need... I would recommend RAID 5 as it efficient and redundant.
December 7, 2011 3:37:29 PM

Thank you i will look into that. How do you have your NAS configured as far as hardware goes?
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December 7, 2011 3:58:53 PM

RoZmX said:
Thank you i will look into that. How do you have your NAS configured as far as hardware goes?


I don't have it installed anymore because I decided to go another route for the machine, but my setup was a i5-650, 4gb ddr3, 500gb hdd, and 4gb cf card with sata to cf adapter...

I used to run freenas on a system with a 160 gb OS drive, 2 500s in raid 1, and a 1 terrabyte... the product works, but you will be using bsd, and I wanted to do so much more with it so that machine got repurposed (running additional servers on BSD can be annoying)

on second thought... If using BSD as the Os doesn't bug you go ahead and do FreeNAS as it's a pretty simple set it and forget OS
December 7, 2011 4:09:16 PM

you could do well with a hardware raid 5 drives in raid 5 and, an atom board with 1 gig of ram would beast it honestly... it's more about IOPS then processing speed... and with 4 people using it the atom with raid card will be a bit overkill probably and you probably wouldn't have to spend much more than 200 bucks or so
December 7, 2011 4:22:54 PM
a b G Storage
December 7, 2011 4:45:06 PM

I would recommend a simple RAID5 with the disks. You'll get a decent amount of redundancy and availability while also losing the least amount of space. Two raids would be inefficient with the amount of disks you have, especially if you want disk redundancy in case of a failed disk. Raid 5 will let you use 2TB of your 2.5TB total data while allowing any hard drive to fail without losing your data or experiencing downtime. Obviously, you want to make sure the device is monitored so that the drive can be replaced as soon as it fails.

Drives of the same time and manufacture date tend to fail within a matter of weeks, days or even hours of each other.
December 7, 2011 5:39:34 PM

Wow. Thank you for list. slhpss. really helpful and also the helpful info. thanx guys.

Say a drive were to fail. and i replaced it with 2TB HDD, from my understanding it will still work - except the 2TB would be read as 500GB. ?

Will i be able to upgrade all my drives to larger capacity drives without having to manually copy anything?
December 7, 2011 5:42:18 PM

I think drives have to be identical... but I've never tried to replace a drive with a different sized drive... I THINK that RAID wants the drives to have the same geometry (ie. size, platter number, sector size)
December 7, 2011 5:43:02 PM

Another question regarding the CPU.

i read this on FreeNAS forums

"I think the CPU specs are going to be more about how much you're utilizing your NAS than anything else. For example, if you have 2 SMB clients which read/write <1G/day, I expect you could get by with the slowest 64bit CPU you can purchase. If you're going to have 100 clients read/write >1T/day, you probably want at least 4 cores and 2GHz."

Will I need to upgrade CPU's if i have more people share the NAS?
I plan to make login's for my clients so i can store their music masters and mp3's on the nas, so they will be able to access the songs where ever.
December 7, 2011 5:49:22 PM

you can create shares that are only accessible by certain people, I can't remember exactly how password setup works on FreeNAS, but OMV uses SMB so you can setup users either independently or based on windows logins for each share along with user based rights and role based rights, I think you can do the same in FreeNAS... with 4 people accessing it the low powered single core is going to be fine... you could probably scale up to 50-100 on a dual core atom honestly because the only thing the CPU is going to be doing is scheduling disk time between the users and the disks will become the bottleneck... with the raid 5 you should get great throughput though... It can get as complex as you want it to, but for something small for 4-5 users what I suggested will rock (you can run FreeNAS on a p3 with 256 mb of ram if you want...)
!