What's the difference between a NAS and a file server?

Discussion in 'Networking' started by fuzzybabybunny, Aug 28, 2006.

  1. fuzzybabybunny

    fuzzybabybunny Moderator<br>Digital & Video Cameras
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    I have 7 hard drives that I want to be made available to my primary computer through the network, probably a direct computer to computer ethernet connection.

    What's the difference between, say, loading Fedora Core onto the system with 7 hard drives and running Samba, and loading FreeNAS onto the system with 7 hard drives?

    Which would be faster?

    I do a lot of photo editing so I want write and read speeds to be maximized. Random access isn't as much of a requirement.
     
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  3. jlbenedict

    jlbenedict Banned

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    FreeNAS is a extremely stripped down version of FreeBSD. Its only purpose is to offer a network attached storage solution. There will be minimal maintainance once you have it loaded unlike a full blown operating system.

    Its so small, you can install it on the smallest of USB thumb drives, and run FreeNAS. There is no need for a huge system drive.
     
  4. fuzzybabybunny

    fuzzybabybunny Moderator<br>Digital & Video Cameras
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    Does this mean it'll be speedier because there's hardly any overhead, or will a full OS be faster still because it has optimizations that FreeNAS doesn't have?
     
  5. Homerboy

    Homerboy Lifer

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    any speed you gain would be hardly noticable
    just run a full OS on it. That way if you want to use it for whateverf else (FTP, HTTP, encoding etc) it can do it.
    Limiting it to ONE specific fucntion is a waste. You will NEVER notice the speed difference.
     
  6. fuzzybabybunny

    fuzzybabybunny Moderator<br>Digital & Video Cameras
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    ok. When I do the OS, should it be one with a traditional desktop GUI or just a simple command line?
     
  7. Homerboy

    Homerboy Lifer

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    dealers choice.
    Honestly it just doesn't matter that much. YOu are not going to see any huge improvement either way.
    I have XP Pro )formally WIn2K) running on a server in my basement. It houses ~8 HDDs serving media files throughout the house and acting as backup. If it were just s NAS OS, I wouldn't be able to queue up move encodes, backup scripts, run FTP, HTTP on it etc.
    Simple machine overall (AMD 1600+ and 512RAM) but what do I care if an encode takes a week when its just chugging alone merrily in my basement at its own pace?
     
  8. n0cmonkey

    n0cmonkey Elite Member

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    FreeNAS is easier to setup and administer. ;)

    FreeNAS offers at least FTPd support.
     
  9. Homerboy

    Homerboy Lifer

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    oh no question... but thats all it can do.
    If he's using a relatively modern PC, not some P100 with 32MB RAM, why not throw a full OS, Windows, *NIX, BSD, etc on there in case he wants to use it for whatever. I even have a TV tuner card in mine that works as a DVR so I can watch my recorded shows from whatever room.
     
  10. n0cmonkey

    n0cmonkey Elite Member

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    Because it can be a PITA to learn how to set it up properly from scratch.

    I'm not saying it should be done either way, just sayin'. ;)
     
  11. Red Squirrel

    Red Squirrel Lifer

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    I would go with distro of choice with no GUI rather then freenas. Since like mentioned, you'll be able to make the box do much more. or if you want you can even put the GUI but for a server I normally dont, so I can save those few MB of ram and few CPU cycles (which go to F@H :p)