Jump to content
Shane_B.

DIY NAS (Network Attached Storage) FreeNAS

Recommended Posts

I have an i5 650 I want to make an NAS system out of to back up all my song projects and movie collection that I plan to rip. Has anyone here had any experience with DIY NAS systems? I found an Open Source NAS program called, FreeNAS that seems to be what most people are using and love it. I've been trying to find info on setting it up but haven't found what I'm looking for.

When you connect your HDD's do you set your SATA ports to RAID in the mobo BIOS or does FreeNAS take care of all of that?

How fast are the files transferred to the NAS device? It as well as all what I want to backup will be connected via LAN. No Wifi in the loop at all.

The main reason for wanting to stream my own movies is they keep changing specs on players especially with 4K discs and I have a hard time getting some of my movies to play. I have a Samsung 4K player but they got out of the disc player business and no longer put out firmware updates for it so I'm screwed. Plus I can get around the Region B DVD and Blu-ray problem if I stream them from my PC.

Thanks in advance for any help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have personal experience with DIY home NAS systems, but I have set them up in a pro environment, so perhaps I can offer some suggestions.

FreeNAS looks pretty good, thanks for making me aware of it. I like that it's based on FreeBSD (as is Mac OSX). It looks like FreeNAS comes with SAMBA out of the box, which takes care of connecting to Windows peer networking.

If I were doing this, I would set up a RAID1 with two drives, and yes, set it to RAID in the BIOS. I don't know if your HD controller would support hardware RAID, but I'm sure FreeNAS will let you set up any kind of software RAID you want.

RAID1 stripes all data to both drives, so if you lose a drive, no problem, it's there on the other one. It also has the traditional RAID benefit of faster read times. The only issue with it back in the day was that you only wound up with the storage capacity of a single drive, but these days, TB drives are ridiculously cheap, so who cares. Get a pair of 3TB drives and get read speed and data protection for cheap.

I assume that your home network is all Gigabit, so that won't be a bottleneck. Even if it were 100M it would still be fine. On the streaming side, you will have more speed than you need by orders of magnitude (consider that Netflix and Amazon stream 4K over the internet). For backups, it should fly. Schedule incremental backups every day for a time when you won't be on your system and you'll be secure.

One thing: after you get your backup all set up and running the way you want, try a test restore. It has happened more than once that someone has set up a fab backup plan that somehow fails to restore properly due to a misconfiguration somewhere.

This has me thinking that my old Core 2 Quad could be put to NAS use after I retire it from second desktop duty. I have one terabyte drive, just need another and I can set up RAID1.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been trying to find info about Raid configurations but haven't had much luck. Even the wiki on Raid configs assumes you know a lot. I was hoping to use 3 drives but it looks like Raid 1 has a minimum of 2 with pairs of 2 or more. Unless I misunderstood what little info I could find, if they are all 1 TB drives, two drives yield 1TB, 4 drives yield 2TB. 

The manual for this motherboard is useless. There are two. One for the mobo and the other for the Raid setup. But it says it only supports Raid 0. I found some forums that talked about it and they said it supports Raid 0 to 10 so I'm at a loss whether it has a true Raid controller or not. I'll just have to go in to bios and poke around.

4TB would be the minimum. I have one program alone that is over 1TB with all the samples. I have close to 2TB in projects spanning multiple single drives now. 

That's great advice about doing a test restore right away. So far I haven't been able to find any info on how to go about that. I'll have to keep digging deeper. I have to do something soon. My main backup drive says it has some bad sectors and keeps asking me to fix it. It works otherwise. I know from experience to never let it fix or do anything without backing up first. I lost a decade of projects one time doing that.

The motherboard I'm going to use is a Gigabyte P55M-UD2 Rev 1.0. It has 4GB RAM and an Intel i5 650 CPU. I think it should work great for this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Shane, I have this mobo with a Q6600 CPU and 4GB of RAM in case yours does not work out.

Gigabyte GA-P35-DS4 (rev. 1.0). It's sitting here doing nothing.

Just pay shipping and it's yours if you need/want it.

 

  • Like 2
  • Great Idea 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

RAID 1 is mirrored drives - n>=2 of the same size (well, you can use different, but you only get the smaller sized RAIDed): so your capacity is the drive size, but you can lose n-1 drives and not lose data (just rebuild the array asap!).  On paper, write can be slower than one drive (since you have to write twice) but will depend on controller, software/hardware, and likely negligible; read can be faster as you can pull data from n drives simultaneously - again, depends on controller etc.

RAID 0 is striped drives - n drives, no duplication of data, n*capacity of smaller drive, faster read and write.  Lose one drive and game over though...

RAID 1+0 (or 10) is striped mirrored  so you take n RAID 1 arrays and then RAID 0 the "virtual" drives.  Effectively all the benefits of both RAID 1 and RAID 0, but twice as many drives required - you can lost a lot of drives to failure before you lose all data.

RAID 5 is n>=3 drives, with data striped across all of them ( (n-1) data and 1 parity which is usually (always?) an XOR of the bits on the other drives); good read performance (want more? just add another drive to the array) but slightly slower write (caveat as above with controller, hardware/software etc) as the parity needs to be calculated and written on each disk write; you can lose any one drive and still have good, albeit lower, performance; lose 2 drives and it's game over (so replace and rebuild if you lose a drive asap).

RAID 5+1 is RAID 5 with a hot spare that can be brought online into the array automatically (to rebuild it) if a drive fails.  Same performance as RAID 5 and same redundancy (ie. lose one drive), but you don't have to physically swap a drive to get the array to rebuild.  Obviously you need 4 or more drives for this, so it's more expensive per GB than RAID 5.

Sadly, unlikely to have RAID 5 or 5+1 in hardware on a normal motherboard (ie. it usually needs a discrete controller which is aimed more at the enterprise market, so not cheap, but it'll have cache, battery back up to complete writes on power loss etc).

10 is probably overkill (it's more common for high performance servers) and you need a lot of drives for the capacity you want.  0 gives you no redundancy.  I'd go for 5 if you can (good compromise and you can usually add drives to increase capacity/performance with no down-time - apart from the physical connection that is!), else 1 with 3 drives (but you'll need large drives which may make it too expensive, as you can't easily expand without throwing them all away and starting from scratch).

Edited by Kevin Perry
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Kevin Perry

Thanks for the info! I think I would feel better with three drives but I'm not sure. I assume I can add a third later.

I'm amazed at what you can do now at very little cost. You can get free plug-ins for FreeNAS. You can set up your own secure cloud server so you can access everything and share it with anyone. You can also get a program called Plex and stream all your ripped movies and music and pics from your NAS to any device that you can install the Plex App on. Kindle Fire, android, even my extremely app limited Samsung TV allows Plex. They do it by offering movies but you can use it to stream your own content as well.

I can't wait to get all the items together and dive in to this. From everything I've read my i5 650 should handle all of this no problem. I've seen videos of guys running 4K streaming from FreeNAS via Plex on much older hardware than mine. I can stream in 8K with my internet connection so I know this will work for streaming my 1080p and 4K rips. 👍

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 4/5/2021 at 4:21 PM, Bapu said:

Shane, I have this mobo with a Q6600 CPU and 4GB of RAM in case yours does not work out.

Gigabyte GA-P35-DS4 (rev. 1.0). It's sitting here doing nothing.

Just pay shipping and it's yours if you need/want it.

 

That motherboard really lived up to it's Ultra Durable 2 description. I have a rev 2.0 with a Q9650 and 8 gb RAM that I built in 2008 and it's still running strong.  👍

Edited by rcklln
spelling

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FreeNAS uses ZFS, and manages all the disks (software RAID).  It can do RAID 0, 1, Z (equiv. to 5), Z2 (equiv. to 6).

I'm running XignasNAS which is a branch of the old FreeNAS.  I have a boot SSD and then six 3 TB drives in a RAIDZ2 configuration (can lose 2 drives).

Anyhow, you want a separate device to boot off of, either a USB stick or a small drive.

For simplicity, I would suggest RAID 1 mirrors, and adding drives in pairs (to be RAID 10).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry I’ve not read all the comments but - only use the NAS for backup and archiving. 
Don’t use it for live access to projects or samples for your audio projects.
It just won’t be fast enough. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, Michael Vogel said:

Sorry I’ve not read all the comments but - only use the NAS for backup and archiving. 
Don’t use it for live access to projects or samples for your audio projects.
It just won’t be fast enough. 

Depends on the NAS, the network speed and the network usage (congestion)...oh, and how much data you need to pull (eg. if a NAS can't do one audio track, it's broken :-)).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Kevin Perry said:

Depends on the NAS, the network speed and the network usage (congestion)...oh, and how much data you need to pull (eg. if a NAS can't do one audio track, it's broken :-)).

Yep I agree. When the OP mentioned DIY I assumed (but shouldn’t have) a budget build not up to the task (of live audio streaming) in the context of recording audio in Cakewalk while accessing the audio on a NAS. There’s a difference between streaming an audio or video track from disc to including that stream in live audio work. 
 

I run a Waves/DIGIGRID system where plug-in processing is offloaded to a specialised server for processing. I’m fairly familiar with pushing and pulling audio through a Gigabit network for real time processing. I always see it as a kind of dark art. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...