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Pardon my ignorance, why does everyone have a hard-on for NAS PC?

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EQTitan

Diamond Member
Jun 4, 2004
4,031
0
71
Does FreeNAS give you the ability to run a VPN server so that you can connect to it and have access to your files anywhere in the world?

Does it offer Offline files feature that let you have access to the files even when you're offline and will automatically update the storage server with the most recent copy whenever you're connect to the network?
My Network is controlled by my linux based firewall, PFSense. Yes, it does allow me to VPN into my network from anywhere. It will also alert me to traffic that is not supposed to be on my network.

Yes, with OwnCloud (plugin for FreeNAS) I can setup offline and sync the files, or copies based on last modified. I fail to see any point in this thread other to say that your a Windows Fan. To each their own I've been slowly moving away from Windows since they have began talking about doing a subscription based model.
 

Fallen Kell

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
5,411
105
106
ECC memory is not a requirment for home use. ECC just corrects I/O errors before they get stored on the drives.
Well, yes and no. The reason for the ECC requirement is due to the nature of ZFS. EVERYTHING is cached into RAM in ZFS. It then reorders and consolidates the write operations in memory before actually writing to the disk, so as to optimize the write operations with larger, sequential writes. Due to this, all data stored on a ZFS filesystem is extremely vulnerable to data corruption/loss from bad RAM.

If you do not care about the data being stored on the ZFS filesystem, then you can get away with not using ECC memory. This is typically not the case, otherwise you won't really bother setting up a system with redundancy at all for data integrity/hardware failure.
 

Fallen Kell

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
5,411
105
106
I can bring a 3TB drive full of data, import it into the array, do a parity rebuild overnight and have the data in the array the next morning.
So in other words, it takes a parity rebuild overnight (or longer depending on the size) to do what FreeNas does using ZFS in ~10 seconds via "zpool import <poolname>"....
 

poofyhairguy

Lifer
Nov 20, 2005
14,612
315
126
So in other words, it takes a parity rebuild overnight (or longer depending on the size) to do what FreeNas does using ZFS in ~10 seconds via "zpool import <poolname>"....
Kinda.

Unlike a ZFS solution Flexraid and Unraid can mix and match disks of different sizes and models into a single array and use all the space on those disks. Until last year all 15 of the disks in my large Unraid server were different models of disks with sizes ranging from 1TB to 2TB all in a single pool with one disk parity.
 
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smitbret

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2006
3,388
22
81
So in other words, it takes a parity rebuild overnight (or longer depending on the size) to do what FreeNas does using ZFS in ~10 seconds via "zpool import <poolname>"....
Yes and no.

unRAID, FlexRAID and SnapRAID don't stripe data across the disks like Raidz and hardware RAID. All of the parity data resides on 1 drive that doesn't contain any actual data of its own. All data files reside, in their entirety on just one disk.

unRAID requires you to clear a disk before you import it into the array but if your volume fails, you can recover the data from the individual drives by just popping them out and popping them into a Linux (I think) box and it will behave as a standalone drive with everything still there. If you want to expand your volume, you can just pop in an empty disk and do a rebuild and your array jumps in size by the amount of the new drive.

I like FlexRAID even better for this because you can add a HDD full of data to the array, run the rebuild overnight and the next morning when you wake up, the drive and its contents have been imported and the data just added to the pool. It's pretty slick. I can move HDDs in and out of my FlexRAID system, access them as standalone drives, work with the data, make changes, etc. and then just reimport it back into the array if I needed to. I did it once just for fun to see how it worked and did it another time because of a file error.

For that:
#1 - I just stopped the array.
#2 - Assigned new drive letters to each of the now individual drives,
#3 - Found and deleted the offending file and replaced it on the drive with my backup copy
#4 - Imported back into FlexRAID and scheduled the rebuild for that night while I slept

It is so slick it is almost sick.

There's a performance hit and FlexRAID is limited to the speed of the individual drives, unlike Raidz that let's you use the striping advantage, but I figure the 160MB/sec that I'm getting out of the Seagates in my server is plenty fast for my needs. I tried a RAIDz1 for a couple of weeks before migrating to FlexRAID, but the performance advantage was unnoticed and the ease of expansion, plus the individual drive advantages won out. Oh and it is awesome that I can just throw any old drive into the array and take advantage of it's add'l space the next day (I use Snapshot mode).

unRAID tends to be slower just because of the parity calculations taking place on the fly, usually around 80MB/sec on an optimal system.

Short of a bomb going off, there's almost no chance of losing ALL of the data on a FlexRAID or unRAID array. I'm of the opinion that for most home use, outside of bragging rights and benchmarks, there's really not much real world advantage with RAIDz over these software solutions. Not the least of which is the upfront $$$ that you can save. BUT THAT'S JUST AN OPINION.
 
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crashtech

Diamond Member
Jan 4, 2013
9,518
1,419
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I like Windows 7 alright. But for me FreeNAS was a no-brainer, because:

1. FREE
2. ZFS
3. Rock solid
4. Up and running in a few minutes on a USB stick.

It's just best for what I use it for, which is for storing files on the LAN.

Also would like to second the very good points Fallen Kell made about the nature of ZFS in relation to ECC requirements.
 

smitbret

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2006
3,388
22
81
I like Windows 7 alright. But for me FreeNAS was a no-brainer, because:

1. FREE
2. ZFS
3. Rock solid
4. Up and running in a few minutes on a USB stick.

It's just best for what I use it for, which is for storing files on the LAN.

Also would like to second the very good points Fallen Kell made about the nature of ZFS in relation to ECC requirements.
Yep, that's why I tried it first.

Using ECC on a ZFS system makes sense if you want to invest in it, but it's certainly not a requirement.

Not using ECC on ZFS is like putting Z-Rated Pirelli tires on a Toyota Corolla. Sure it will work just fine, but you're kind of missing the point.
 

crashtech

Diamond Member
Jan 4, 2013
9,518
1,419
126
Yep, that's why I tried it first.

Using ECC on a ZFS system makes sense if you want to invest in it, but it's certainly not a requirement.

Not using ECC on ZFS is like putting Z-Rated Pirelli tires on a Toyota Corolla. Sure it will work just fine, but you're kind of missing the point.
I don't get that analogy at all. The real takeaway is that if you are not going to use ECC, don't bother to use ZFS because of the way it utilizes RAM caching to perform disk writes. If you want to use non-ECC, just use an NTFS or ext4, etc. disk array with mirroring and/or parity and call it a day.

EDIT: Wait, I was reading what you wrote the wrong way... so maybe we agree.
 
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smitbret

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2006
3,388
22
81
I don't get that analogy at all. The real takeaway is that if you are not going to use ECC, don't bother to use ZFS because of the way it utilizes RAM caching to perform disk writes. If you want to use non-ECC, just use an NTFS or ext4, etc. disk array with mirroring and/or parity and call it a day.
Exactly. You are limiting some of the biggest benefits of ZFS by not using ECC. Does using non-ECC memory actually cause issues? No, but some of the functions of ZFS can actually magnify the problems.

The value of ECC RAM diminishes the less you are performing I/O with the array. For most home use, you will probably never have an issue. How long do you have to wait or how many transactions must take place before a memory error occurs? From my reading, once a year would be a ceiling and for most low I/O situations it would be something you would measure in years or decades. By using that logic, no one should live in Japan or California because of the threat of earthquakes.

Ultimately, it's up to the builder/user to decide whether they use it enough to make it worth the investment. I would go ECC without thinking twice, but that's just my attitude. That doesn't make it a requirement.

Just an opinion. I only ran my RAIDz1 for a few weeks with non-ECC memory and didn't have any trouble. I can't speak intelligently about the long term effects since I have no personal experience.
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
14,481
931
126
I use a WHSv1 with 2x2tb and 2x1.5tb. I use it for file storage and media streaming, accessible under one shared folder. It also does automated incremental backups of any Windows PC with the Connector installed. I can grow the storage pool with any size or brand of drive, and have it all remain under a single shared folder.

Windows 7 can't do any of that.

FreeNAS and Unraid are definitely alternatives which can do anything WHS can do, but I bought a license a long time ago, so I'm going to use it.
I'm with ya -- I hear ya -- about that. But I replaced my v.1 with 2011. Maybe I'm wrong, and someone could tell me, but I thought the client backup feature was only good for OS's through Windows 7 (and that, only for WHS-2011).

And, by the way. What's the difference between "UnRaid" and "drive-pooling" -- which WHS v.1 does, and for which WHS-2011 needs StableBit or an alternative program? Also, it turns out that StableBit has a version of "Drive-Pool" for Win 7, Win 8, server 2012 and the previous OS's.
 

spencers

Senior member
Aug 21, 2003
459
0
76
I think my one year of uptime on my unRAID server speaks for itself.

Keep trolling, OP. Different strokes for different folks. Deal with it.
 

poofyhairguy

Lifer
Nov 20, 2005
14,612
315
126
What's the difference between "UnRaid" and "drive-pooling" --
Both put all your drives into a single "drive" from the OS level, basically allowing you to have folders that span drives seamlessly.

Unraid adds one disk parity protection on top on that so any single disk can fail and you won't lose any data.
 

BurnItDwn

Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
25,350
993
126
Windows 7 is expensive (like $100), it's got pretty high overhead vs a stripped down linux distro or one of those prepackaged NAS linux distros.

I personally would never run raid 5, 6, zfs, or unraid without ECC. I know it's not an absolute requirement, but, if you're spending the money for redundancy, then the added cost of the ECC, relative to the cost of buying extra drive, and providing power for that extra drive for X number of years ... is usually not too much out of whack. That being said, I broke down and ordered a cheap little low end 4 bay Qnap since I was tired of having 12 hard drives in an old loud hot computer case and would prefer 4 drives in a low power, quieter, cooler case ... That said, eventially I'll set up a new server :)
 

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