The next thing I’m going to play with (unless I get to something else first)

The next thing I plan to play around with is the FreeNAS application:

FreeNAS is a free NAS (Network-Attached Storage) server, supporting: CIFS (samba), FTP, NFS, AFP, RSYNC, iSCSI protocols, S.M.A.R.T., local user authentication, Software RAID (0,1,5) with a Full WEB configuration interface. FreeNAS takes less than 32MB once installed on Compact Flash, hard drive or USB key.
The minimal FreeBSD distribution, Web interface, PHP scripts and documentation are based on M0n0wall.

Our new ESX 3 environment can connect to NAS and I want to see how useful the feature is. This might be a chance to free up some expensive SAN disks.

FreeNAS is based on FreeBSD 6.2. It’s a tiny app that appears to be very powerful. I’ve been watching it grow over the last few months. The developers are doing a good job of improving the application. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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4 responses to “The next thing I’m going to play with (unless I get to something else first)

  1. Without network bonding and back-end SAN storage, this thing will be an order of magnitude slower than your FC disk array.
    And when you consider that an additional SATA spindle for your SAN costs less than a dedicated NAS server with DAS/internal storage, how can you actually save money this way?
    In addition to the above, a sensible approach would be to attach this NAS to SAN anyway (provided that can be done and that your SAN vendor supports BSD) and that you backup your data to SAN (which you should do if you care about HA and DR, but then why would you want to bother with Free NAS?).

  2. Sean, I am planning on testing this because I think it could be useful. It doesn’t mean that it will be useful or practical, but it’s a great idea and I want to try it. Besides that, I could stick it in a VM and use the SAN SATA disks. I just want to kick the tires for now.

  3. It can be useful, even if it is not fast. Long term, low access data volumes–it works a treat for these. Volumes containing mount points for applications or CD’s(i.e. ESX install CD’s, etc for mounting to bladecenters…you get the picture). So, test away, I use them myself. No way I’m going to waste valuable fast disk systems for something that will work on slow spindles.

  4. Sure, it’s fine for playing around with – “our new ESX 3 environment” made me think that was production environment.

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