real world experience requested

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by rcrh, Apr 19, 2012.

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    rcrh

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    rcrh, Apr 19, 2012

    So I've read the suggested requirements & I know I'm way under powered for what I want to do. But, I'm looking for some real world experience to either confirm this or encourage me to push forward as I suspect that the recommendations anticipate a lot more clients accessing data then I'll have.

    I've got an older desktop PC and two five bay eSATA enclosures that I'm converting from an Amahi server to FreeNAS. My hope is to run raidz6 across seven 2TB drives to give me 10TB of storage. This will use one of the enclosures plus two drives in the desktop. Eventually I'll build out a second array in the second enclose (and two more of the slots in the desktop).

    The documents tell me that I need about 7 trillion gig of RAM to do this but here is what I have:

    HP XW4200 Workstation
    Pentium 4 (3GHz)
    3 1/2 gig or RAM (I can only add 1/2 gig more)
    3 x 2TB seagate Barracuda LP drives
    1 x 2tb western digital Caviar Green drive
    1 x 2tb Hitachi ultrastar
    1 x 2tb seagate barracuda 7200.11
    1 x 2tb seagate barracuda green

    The server is going to be used in the home with no more then three or four clients at any one time.

    So, am I expecting too much from this limited rig? Would a cache drive help? Any other thoughts or suggestions?

    Thanks in advance.
    Richard
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    ProtoSD FreeNAS Guru

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    ProtoSD, Apr 19, 2012

    Richard,

    This is very frequently asked question, and numerous people have tried to defy the requirements and learned the hard way. You really need to upgrade your hardware if you want to use ZFS. I just upgraded my system from 4GB to 8GB for a whopping $180. You can squeeze by with 4GB of RAM, but with your older processor and 4GB of RAM your still going to run into problems and then curse FreeNAS if something happens to your data.
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    rcrh

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    rcrh, Apr 20, 2012

    Just to be clear, are you suggesting that not only will I experience bad performance, I'll experience data loss as well?

    The unfortunate thing is that I can't just add more RAM. The mobo on this system will only take 4 gig. So, this unfortunately means laying out a lot more cash for new hardware.

    hmmmm.
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    ProtoSD FreeNAS Guru

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    ProtoSD, Apr 20, 2012

    Yes, it's possible to experience data loss on a system without enough memory. If it crashes at the right moment, such as a large copy, the data can become corrupt or the metadata corrupt and you won't be able to mount your pool after a reboot.

    There are posts from people that said they learned the hard way and wished they'd listened....

    With 4GB you should be ok, but since you have an older processor I don't think you can run the 64bit version of FreeNAS and trying to copy your data onto your NAS you will most likely have hangs and crashes. Save yourself the frustration.

    The other option is to use UFS instead of ZFS, but it doesn't offer any redundancy or raid. It should run fine with 4GB of memory.
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    Joshua Parker Ruehlig FreeNAS Guru

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    Joshua Parker Ruehlig, Apr 20, 2012

    you can raid UFS, I have no experience from the doing this with freenas but it can be done.
    Also doing this your kinda missing out the cool stuff built into freenas' gui like snapshoting / scrubing / datasets.

    I think 4gb should be fine, but you may want to tune it and watch you system. That's alot of disks for FreeNAS to manage, and can be alot of lost data...

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