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Hardware Thread, NAS Server - Ideas? in Technical; I'm starting to look at our backup strategies now we have a (much) larger SAN and are starting to build ...
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    NAS Server - Ideas?

    I'm starting to look at our backup strategies now we have a (much) larger SAN and are starting to build up more and more data.

    Currently I'm liking the idea of using either Zmanda or Vembu Storegrid to carry out backups to disk, and then to replicate to a second backup server and/or specific data up into the "cloud" (Amazon S3 Europe most likely).

    We currently have a Thecus N8800 filled with 2tb drives that we're using as a backup target, but I'm looking at getting a second NAS server. The question is do we build it ourselves, get a supermicro/hp/dell server with openfiler/freenas or get a specific NAS server (qnap/thecus/netgear etc)?
    We'd be wanting to get as much space as possible, as cheaply as possible while still being fairly reliable.

    Anyone have any suggestions?

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    Duke's Avatar
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    If you don't need any of the 'enterprise' features, and you can live without a full product warranty and no 'whole solution' support, and it's essentially not a mission-critical device (i.e. if this box falls over, technically your users aren't going to notice any difference), then I can't see a better "as much space as possible, as cheaply as possible" solution than building it yourself - Petabytes on a budget: How to build cheap cloud storage | Backblaze Blog

    This is something part of me wants to do, and part of me always shies away from - there's no cheaper way to get big storage, but if a component fails I need to have a way to find a compatible replacement, usually out of my own pocket, no way to extend the warranty or buy support on the whole device (generally speaking), etc.

    If you can afford it, ensure it's upgradable/expandable, and get enough storage for your needs then I say buy an off-the-shelf product, preferably something that will take extra disk shelves. If you can't... get the screwdriver out.

    Chris

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    I did think about a backblaze box (I use them for my home backups ), and it's certainly an option. Since all backups are to be replicated between two devices as you say it's not mission critical (unless the main file server dies), and the really important data is going to be held in the cloud somewhere.

    Now do I want to go and build my own backblaze box, or instead get one of the QNap or Overland devices. Choices choices!

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soulfish View Post
    Anyone have any suggestions?
    Just in case you missed it, there's another thread just started which is probably relevant:

    Server Chasis for homemade Nas

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    David Hicks

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    Build a backblaze

    Ben

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    glennda's Avatar
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    Just a copy of what I posted on the other thread Dhicks has mentioned

    How about this
    1 x Antec Twelve Hundred case £109.67
    1 x 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3-1333 CL9 Non ECC £28.39
    1 x Gigabyte X58A UD5 1366 ATX £177.87
    1 x Quad Core Xeon E5506 2.13GHz LGA1366 4.80GT/sec... £145.36
    1 x Gainward NVIDIA GeForce 8400GS Graphics Card 25... £19.99
    1 x ANTEC SIGNATURE SG-850 PREMIUM 850W A/PFC CABLE... £141.67
    10 x Western Digital 3tb Hard Disk at £1583.3
    2 x Chenbro 5 x 3.5" HDD Hot-Swap Bays - Fits in 3 x 5.25" ODD Bays £198

    All in all not bad and under 2500 - motherboard has 10 sata connections plus also raid support
    if wanted rack mountable Antec do rack mounted cases they just don't have as many slots as the one mentioned above

  7. Thanks to glennda from:

    Duke (7th January 2011)

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    EduTech's Avatar
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    QNAP's are great for what you want to do, well worth looking at mate. I use them all the time and never have any issues

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    mac_shinobi's Avatar
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    When I was looking at making one, I didn't get as far as motherboard, CPU, Power supplies etc but I was looking at

    1 * Norcotec Case, RPC 4224 case to be more specific - Norco Technologies, Inc.

    To start with I was contemplating the WD Green drives ( 2tb ) but got advised that they weren't brilliant in raid configs and that samsung F4 drives were better due to supporting TLER or CCTL, which I don't think the WD drives support unless they are raid edition drives.

    Any clarification on which drives to go with ?

    Raid card wise - I was looking at a rocket raid card

    Other then that just a case of software which there is open filer or free nas - any thoughts on this as I was hoping to use mine in conjunction or with time machine for my apple mac, intend to use it for more then one apple mac in the near future.

    To start with I was going to get 10 drives and then add more drives but not sure how I can dynamically add more storage and increase capacity if thats possible, seeing as the drives would be attached to the raid card would I have to erase everything and re do the raid config in order to use all the drives or what exactly ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Soulfish View Post
    We currently have a Thecus N8800 filled with 2tb drives that we're using as a backup target, but I'm looking at getting a second NAS server.
    The latest version of the Linux kernel, out yesterday, now supports the Ceph distributed file system, capable of scaling on-the-fly to ridiculous sizes accross multiple servers in a fault-tolerent manner. Might be just the thing if you've got more than one server to utilise.

    --
    David Hicks

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    Quote Originally Posted by mac_shinobi View Post
    got advised that they weren't brilliant in raid configs and that samsung F4 drives were better due to supporting TLER or CCTL, which I don't think the WD drives support unless they are raid edition drives.
    The Wikipedia page on TLR is very good:

    Time-Limited Error Recovery - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    It seems to imply that all WD drives support TLR, it's just that the "RAID edition" ones have it enabled by default. A utility exists to change this, see Wikipedia for details.

    A thought: in a RAID array, is a harddrive's local cache doing anything? Surley if you have a decent RAID card with a wodge of cache memory, if there's a cache miss in the RAID's cache then there'll also be a cache miss in the harddrive's local cache, so all the local cache is doing is slowing things down. Is that right, or have I missed something?

    Raid card wise - I was looking at a rocket raid card
    You might want to check specifications and reviews to be sure you're getting what you expect. If it's not a full, hardware-based RAID card then it might be expecting a Windows-based driver to do some of the work for it, which probably (although, check) won't have a Linux version available.

    Other then that just a case of software which there is open filer or free nas - any thoughts on this as I was hoping to use mine in conjunction or with time machine for my apple mac, intend to use it for more then one apple mac in the near future.
    I used plain Debian with Samba installed to join the machine to the Windows domain and provide a network share for Windows workstations. I don't knwo exactly what Apple's Time Machine does, feature-wise, but I understand one of the main headline features is that it stores all previous versions of your files, stretching back over time. This is actually quite easy to do, you just have a script de-duplicate the filesystem after doing a backup with rsync or whatever.

    To start with I was going to get 10 drives and then add more drives but not sure how I can dynamically add more storage and increase capacity if thats possible, seeing as the drives would be attached to the raid card would I have to erase everything and re do the raid config in order to use all the drives or what exactly?
    This is exactly why I prefer mdadm RAID, it allows much more flexibility in re-configuring arrays and messing around adding more disks on. Assuming you're adding a number of disks at a time, you could use Linux's Logical Volume Management on top of whatever RAID implementation (hardware, some driver, mdadm) you use to combine RAID arrays together - each time you add a new set of disks, create a new, separate RAID array with them and get LVM to combine them in to the pool. Alternativly, see Ceph, above, which might be able to do the same trick with local volumes as well as network ones.

    --
    David Hicks

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    I saw a lot of people giving Drobo's a thumbs up but then read reviews / youtube videos etc on setting them up and they had a lot of negatives ie when setting it up, if you have it connected via usb, firewire or usb / ethernet ( more then one connection at a time ) it wont allow you to configure it, you have to use the usb connection to set it up / configure it and is a total pita to setup.

    Once setup it works well but am not sure what throughput is like ( read / write on the drives ) and also setting up iscsi using the ethernet connection - doesnt seem to be many videos on actual experience of this.

    Although it does work with time machine afaik.

    Would be nice if time machine added support for NAS type devices, when I tried to do time machine backup several months ago

    1. It didnt seem to give me much control over what I wanted to backup ie checkboxes for me to select what I want backing up ie system state, my home directory, my pictures, videos, music etc

    2. I had a free 1tb drive and it still stated I did not have enough space and that I required 4tb of space - the only way I can achieve this is via a NAS type device, even the largest time capsule ( 2tb ) is still not enough.

    It looks like it was or is trying to backup all the data from all the drives I have, as well as all the user data ( not just my own account but one other account I have ) along with the system state.

    Even if I got 3 * 2tb drives and put it into a raid config ( software raid ) using disk utility if possible.

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    At the school, we use QNAP for the backend storage and Microsoft's DFS for redundancy

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    Thanks for all the suggestions everyone . Building a Backblaze pod does seem tempting. I've even found a UK group that have fabricated the cases and got all the hard to buy parts (UK Blazers and Custom Electronic Enclosures for Engineers and Designers) but I'm also being tempted by a 36-bay 4U supermicro case (Super Micro Computer, Inc. - Products | Chassis | 4U | SC847A-R1400UB). Hmmm decisions decisions

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    dhicks (8th January 2011)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Soulfish View Post
    I'm also being tempted by a 36-bay 4U supermicro case
    £1,500 for the chasis, 36x£200 for the harddrives, £1,000 for the RAID card - 108TB of storage for around £10,000. I want one...

    --
    David Hicks

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    £1,500 for the chasis, 36x£200 for the harddrives, £1,000 for the RAID card - 108TB of storage for around £10,000. I want one...

    --
    David Hicks
    don't tempt me while i'm working on the budget!



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