I recently had the need to increase my data storage, specially for my photographs. I went around and looked for the alternatives, like drobo. However they all seemed a bit to expensive and of a closed nature, by that i mean the technology was there and the management software but i was a bit in the dark in how it was working in the background, and since i am a tech guy i like to be in control.
Then i stumbled upon FreeNas, i already know about it but never tried it. I had a couple of PC's around gathering dust that were perfect for the project.
So, my list of need was.
Harddisks to fill my needs within my budget
So i started to scavenge around for the parts. PC, check got a decent one already, 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 3600+ 4 GB of ram, the free NAS documentation recommends 1 GB for 1 TB of storage when using RAID (that i as for sure going to use) i only had the cash for 3 1 TB HDD for a Raid 5 setup so i am OK. Bought the 3 1TB HDD, and the pen drive i had it already (who does not have a spare Pendrive?).
To install FreeNas was a breeze, download, burn CD install no PEN done, 5 min(you can install directly to the pen using win32diskimager if your PC lacks a cd drive). Booted setup the network connection and all was fine so far. Shutdown, install all 3 HDD, boot back, setup the RAIDZ (FreeNas version of RAID 5), BOOM 5 min (including the sharing of the Drive), and there you have it, now i have 1.8 TB of storage in a Redundant setup. I may ask, 3*1 TB = 3 TB right? Nope, yo roughly loose on disk for the redundancy, witch means if you lose one drive you can recover the data because the redundancy info is "distributed" along all 3 disks and while you are recovering a failed disk your data is still available. You cannot add a disk in the future to a RAIDz array, but you can replace lets say a 1TB hdd with a 2TB hadd with no problems.
Check out this video from the two smart guys show.
And a quick setup video
Nuno Brandão RHCE RHCI RHCX
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