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File server advice

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December 27, 2012 10:35:50 PM

I want a server with all my files which I can access from any computer (accessible from computers running Windows, over LAN and Internet).
I've been looking around for some not to expansive desktop computers, but it seems to be an impossible task to find a motherboard, any motherboard, with more than 12 S-ATA ports all supporting RAID 5. And controller cards seems to be to expansive and buggy!

So is there a motherboard which has this feature? So I could have 10+ HDD in RAID 6 or two RAID 5 configurations with 5-6 HDD in each. Any motherboard at all with 1-2 CPUs, AMD or INTEL.. w-e and this feature?

ZFS and RAID-Z2 on linux sounds really interesting but makes the files unaccesible from windows computers? Right?

With one motherboard I could get 7 HDD in a RAID 5 configuration, but this 1) Does not feel redundant enough (right?), and 2) If i would like to get more space it wouldn't be possible as a total of 7 HDD are the limit.

TL;DR A server/desktop computer which I can host things from (Needs to be Win7), but the main purpose would be to host files for myself (which I could access from any Windows computer and LAN). Be ABLE to hold at least 20TB of redundant space for a good/decent price.

More about : file server advice

a b V Motherboard
December 28, 2012 10:51:23 AM

Windows would not be able to read ZFS as it doesn't have a driver, though in ZFS you can enable sharing out over the network (smbfs) which windows could connect to and read from

alternatively, you could set up an iSCSI target server and connect to that from windows, this would work as well (also looks like a local disk instead of a network disk)
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December 28, 2012 11:06:32 AM


mindless728 said:
Windows would not be able to read ZFS as it doesn't have a driver, though in ZFS you can enable sharing out over the network (smbfs) which windows could connect to and read from

alternatively, you could set up an iSCSI target server and connect to that from windows, this would work as well (also looks like a local disk instead of a network disk)


iSCSI target server, never heard about that but seems to require SCSI harddrives?


So I can use ZFS and then read, write and use files over the network with Windows computers?

EDIT: What I meant was that a Linux server with ZFS can somehow enable sharing over the LAN and Internet to Windows computers, files which those computers then can read from, write to etc., the windows machines have NTFS so how would this work?
a b V Motherboard
a c 87 G Storage
December 28, 2012 11:25:09 AM

Synology DiskStation DS2413+
Thecus TopTower N10850
a b V Motherboard
a c 87 G Storage
December 28, 2012 11:36:29 AM

spel565 said:
iSCSI target server, never heard about that but seems to require SCSI harddrives?


So I can use ZFS and then read, write and use files over the network with Windows computers?

EDIT: What I meant was that a Linux server with ZFS can somehow enable sharing over the LAN and Internet to Windows computers, files which those computers then can read from, write to etc., the windows machines have NTFS so how would this work?

That's what the pre-Build NAS servers do. They run linux with a samba server for authentication / authorisation and the raid drivers, they have hotplug cages for the hdd's and a web interface for the administration. And remember: raid6 is not a replacement for backup!
December 28, 2012 11:40:56 AM

noidea_77 said:
Synology DiskStation DS2413+
Thecus TopTower N10850


Sounds interesting! So you would be able to access let say Synology DiskStation DS2413 from any windows computer and the files even if it uses the ext4 file system?

Is Synology DiskStation DS2413+ worth the extra cost, compared with the Synology DiskStation DS2411+ ? (different processing power and RAM)

"And remember: raid6 is not a replacement for backup!" RAID 6 is quite safe and redundant still?
a b V Motherboard
a c 87 G Storage
December 28, 2012 4:43:39 PM

You can access this devices from any windows, mac, linux or whatever device. They support all different network protocols like smb for windows, bonjour for mac or ftp for any other. You can setup user accounts with read/write rights for different folder. That's useful, to put a backup of your private data on it. Download a manual and you will see.
Raid6 is of cause redundant and save, but most data gets lost by simple deleting files by mistake. And keep in mind: you should always have a spare disk on hand! The raid rebuilds itself in case of disk failure, but you need a spare disk to replace the bad one.
December 28, 2012 5:09:11 PM

noidea_77 said:
You can access this devices from any windows, mac, linux or whatever device. They support all different network protocols like smb for windows, bonjour for mac or ftp for any other. You can setup user accounts with read/write rights for different folder. That's useful, to put a backup of your private data on it. Download a manual and you will see.
Raid6 is of cause redundant and save, but most data gets lost by simple deleting files by mistake. And keep in mind: you should always have a spare disk on hand! The raid rebuilds itself in case of disk failure, but you need a spare disk to replace the bad one.


Sounds good! But does not understand their own RAID thingy called (SHR-1 and) SHR-2 said to be as redundant as (RAID 5 and) RAID 6. Where they claim you can have HDD of different sizes without loss of HDD space.

Can you add more HDD to a (/the) RAID 6 configuration without formating the old HDD in the configuration?
a b V Motherboard
a c 87 G Storage
December 28, 2012 6:23:28 PM

I have no idea! My Thecus N7700 uses normal raid. Synology may use a similar technology like Microsoft in it's Home Server, but i don't really know.
a b V Motherboard
December 28, 2012 7:35:59 PM

spel565 said:
iSCSI target server, never heard about that but seems to require SCSI harddrives?


So I can use ZFS and then read, write and use files over the network with Windows computers?

EDIT: What I meant was that a Linux server with ZFS can somehow enable sharing over the LAN and Internet to Windows computers, files which those computers then can read from, write to etc., the windows machines have NTFS so how would this work?


iSCSI target does not need special drives to work, it just implements the SCSI protocol over IP (ethernet in this case), there is software for linux (ubuntu server makes it easier to find) that handles the commands and read/writes to a file or device (with zfs it will be a file that is treated as a block device)

alternatively, you can use samba to make a network share for windows, using a network share requires the client to know nothing of the underlying file system, hence it working with windows
a b V Motherboard
a c 87 G Storage
December 29, 2012 1:24:12 PM

mindless728 said:
iSCSI target does not need special drives to work, it just implements the SCSI protocol over IP (ethernet in this case), there is software for linux (ubuntu server makes it easier to find) that handles the commands and read/writes to a file or device (with zfs it will be a file that is treated as a block device)

alternatively, you can use samba to make a network share for windows, using a network share requires the client to know nothing of the underlying file system, hence it working with windows

BUT: iSCSI is not a shared file system! The target of iSCSI is to implement a virtual disk on a network, that looks like a local disk and it works like that. If you connect to this virtual disc from two machines at a time, the file system will get inconsistent! NAS boxes provide that protocol anyway, because it's useful, to store your private files this way. It doesn't work for file sharing. That needs a samba server.
!