freenas on a older system

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Mia, Nov 21, 2011.

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    Mia

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    Mia, Nov 21, 2011

    Hi

    Quick question I have a friend who has a old hp pc with 128 mb of ram and two 120 gb hard drives.He ask me to build him a server.He doesn't want to use zfs all he wants is a file server.Will this work?And if not do you know of anything that will?
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    jgreco Resident Grinch

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    jgreco, Nov 22, 2011

    FreeNAS may not be optimal for small memory systems. Quite frankly, there's a lot of spam in the system as a side-effect of trying to make a general purpose appliance, and it'll stress a low-memory system. I would expect that it'll *work* as a fileserver but it might be painfully slow to administer.
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    Milhouse FreeNAS Aware

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    Milhouse, Nov 22, 2011

    Also consider that an old PC probably isn't likely to be a very power efficient device, so what you will save by not buying more modern low-power and cheap hardware (eg. HP Microserver N36L) you'll probably spend instead on electricity in the next few years.
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    jgreco Resident Grinch

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    jgreco, Nov 22, 2011

    Well, that depends. The 2000's saw a wild arms race to add CPU-melting watts to gain processor hertz, but the stuff prior to that was actually pretty reasonable. I've got a pile of ISP1100's that idle in the 30-45watt range, depending on configuration, and quite frankly they are going to be able to serve files better than many contemporary NAS appliances. I've got one with two drives in it over there that's idling at 35 watts. The N36L, IIRC, comes in near that withOUT drives.

    The primary downside to the N36L seems to be the same as the ISP1100: your bang for buck is not that high. You can burn a small number of watts and get the job done. But you could more efficiently burn a similar number of watts AND run some other virtual machines on a faster (more expensive) platform. I don't know that I'd go running out to pick up an N36L unless I was pretty clear that all I needed was a NAS appliance. But it's pretty darn good at that.
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    Mia

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    Mia, Nov 23, 2011

    Would any body know of a low powered server nas or other that would work on his pc?
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    Milhouse FreeNAS Aware

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    Milhouse, Nov 23, 2011

    You could try FreeNAS 0.7.2 using UFS. Click the link at the top of this forum to go to the FreeNAS 7 Forums.
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    jgreco Resident Grinch

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    jgreco, Nov 27, 2011

    "Low power" is more a function of his hardware rather than the software. FreeNAS 8 and Nexenta are the ones that are most likely to be problematic on small hardware. FreeNAS 0.7 is reportedly quite nice on almost anything, but of course there's also a bunch of Linux-based ones.

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