Geek Freely: nas

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    The whole point in this post is to run your own VPN service, and allow you to connect remote devices to your home network.

    To start off yo…

    Showing posts with label nas.

    Showing posts with label nas.

    So I finally decided to build a dedicated Plex Media Server, my desktop wasn’t cutting it.

    I used the following Plex link to educate myself about the system requirements.

    The Hardware

    Basically it stated that for every HD movie I wish to trans-code and stream I needed a passmark of about 2000.

    Check

    to determine your CPU passmark, and investigate what you need.

    I decided that at maximum I would have 3 simultaneous streams going on, of my home movies of course. All these streams being HD – factor in your network upload speeds when determining what you can handle.

    So, ballpark I needed a processor capable of about 6000 on the passmark scale – and I also made room for overhead.

    I went with the following processor which gave me a passmark around 7300.:

    Start with the processor then let this dictate the rest, I like to keep my systems small so I was looking for a mini-ITX that was LGA 1150 compatible. Please remember and check the CPU maker site to confirm motherboard (MB) compatability.

    The MB I chose in the end was:

    Mini-ITX means smaller case. I went with the following for simplicity.

    So I have my processor, my MB, my case. I added 4GB of RAM and a 120GB SSD. The solid state disk was a little large, since I won’t keep my movies locally. This is the RAM and HD:

    The Software

    So to keep things slick I decided to install Plex on Ubuntu, I figure any future services I want to run will no doubt work on Linux, that and I know Ubuntu. Check the official Plex site for more details on setting this up

    I installed Ubuntu Server, because I don’t really see a need for a GUI front-end, Plex is configured via the web. After installing Ubuntu Server, installing Plex is simple enough:

    Download the .deb package from . if you are putting it on a USB for installing on the Ubuntu Server, you may want to install usbmount to automount inserted USB sticks.

    sudo apt-get install usbmount

    Once you have the .deb package on your server, go ahead and install with the following command, relative to your .deb filename of course:

    sudo dpkg -i plexmediaserver_0.9.8.18.290-11b7fdd_amd64.deb

    To setup the server, open a browser window, and go to http://127.0.0.1:32400/web, replacing 127.0.0.1 for the IP of the server if you are configuring this remotely.

    Setting Up NAS Shares

    The next thing you are going to want to do before getting involved with the configuration is map all your samba shares.

    You will need cifs-utils:

    sudo apt-get install cifs-utils

    I used the following link to work out my samba situation:

    Make a .smbcredential file in your home directory so you can map your fstab correctly. In this file put username and equals sign and the access username for the share (and domain if loging into a domain) on the first line, put password and equals sign and the password for that user account on the second line of the file. The file should look like:

    username=MyUsername

    password=MyPassword

    # OR:

    # username=MyUsername@MyDomain

    # password=MyPassword

    # OR: (for cifs on Windows Serve 2003)

    # username=MyDomain/MyUsername

    # password=MyPassword

    Edit fstab to map your mounts (sudo nano /etc/fstab). Entries in your fstab should look similar to the following:

    //master/install_files /path/to/mnt cifs iocharset=utf8,credentials=/path/to/.smbcredentials,uid=1000 0 0

    Where…

    //$SERVER/$SHARE $MOUNTPOINT $FS_TYPE credentials=$SMB_CREDENTIALS,uid=$UID,gid=$GID

    # e.g.

    SERVER=master

    SHARE=install_files

    MOUNTPOINT=/path/to/mnt

    FS_TYPE=smbfs

    SMB_CREDENTIALS=/path/to/.smbcredentials

    UID=1000

    GID=1000

    Once completed exit nano and save the changes to fstab. Make sure that the shares mount correctly:

    sudo mount -a

    If successful, reboot and make sure that mounts and Plex start automagically.

    Now configure your Plex shares! Enjoy.

    The other day I bought a 4TB disk for my NAS, I needed to move all my data from an existing 2TB disk to the new 4TB disk.  I used TeraCopy () for this, as not only does it appear to move the data quicker than Windows Explorer, but it can validate it after transfer.

    The main problems I had related to the fact that I wasn’t simply adding a disk, I was replacing a disk.

    First of all I used a free box that I had to run live NAS4Free and setup the disk.  The sequence for encrpyting a disk in NAS4Free is as follows:

    Add Disk

    Create your encrypted volume using the previously added disk : This step will automatically ‘attach’ this volume

    Format this encrypted volume

    Add a Mount Point using this encrypted volume

    It’s very important to follow this order, I tried to do 3 before 2 and always ran into problems mounting.

    Once the disk was added I was able to transfer the data, the next step was waiting 24hrs.

    After all the data had transferred it was time to remove the old drive and replace it with the new one.

    Before removing the drive physically I deleted the following:

    I did not remove encrypted reference, as I thought it would delete the contents of the drive, which I wanted as backup until I had confirmed the new drive was working.

    Next step was to physically remove the drive and replace it with the new one.  Once the drive was in I had to do the following steps to get everything up and running:

    Add disk (note it is encrypted)

    Remove previous encypted disk information

    Add new disk to encryption list (NOTE: DO NOT INITIALIZE)

    Create Mount Point (NOTE: I had to fsck/check-disk first, as I was receiving errors when mounting)

    Add CIFS/SMB share

    I did a couple of reboots to make sure everything was coming up as expected.  At this point I took a new backup of the NAS4Free configuration.

    So, for the longest time I tried to get

    working with iPhone and my home server (my problem was I was trying to use FTPS, instead of SFTP).  Using FileZilla I could always successfully connect using “require explicit FTP over TLS”:

    Based on this I figured it was an issue with the iPhone apps, I think it was error 425 (cannot build data connections).  Then I thought it was my , since I used , I figured maybe something was screwy – a draw back of bleeding edge geeky stuff, you question it.  Anyway, it was a port configuration issue by me.

    I needed to open port 22, not 21.  I also had to connect using different settings SFTP.

    As for iPhone client, I have tried a few; FTPOnTheGo, Files Connect, and Easy FTP.  Of them all I like FTPOnTheGo – I should probably look into the options again – considering iPad clients too.

    Since I originally stater this investigation and setup, I treated myself to a new router .  I might write a quick review on it actually…

    Previously on FreeNAS 0.7.2 I had to use the following configuration

    to get additional speed on my transfers, and those benefits were only

    when copying to the NAS, not from it.

    Everything was acceptable on FreeNAS 0.7.2, however updates had

    halted, FreeNAS took a leap to version 0.7.5, which there is no official

    upgrade route from 0.7.2, then 0.7.5 seems to have branched off into

    NAS4Free.

    So what to do?

    I changed my FreeNAS 0.7.2 installation into an embedded install,

    then upgraded to 0.7.5.  At this point I had to re-mount all my drives

    (backup configurations at every stage).  I was able to check the

    permissions I had configured by checking my old configuration_###.xml

    files.  Within minutes I had FreeNAS 0.7.5 running, additional benefits

    were already there – however the plan was to move to NAS4Free since I

    see FreeNAS support halting completely in the future.

    Upgrading to NAS4Free, while experimental, was the simplest process:

    Make a backup of your configuration. (Web GUI ‘System|Backup/Restore’)

    Modify the configuration by changing the upper most

    and the most lowest string

    on the configuration to

    and

    respectively.

    Change the version to 1.0.

    Burn the Live CD (ISO) and install NAS4Free.

    Restart the server without the CDROM.

    Import your modified configuration (Web GUI ‘System|Backup/Restore’) and restore.

    At this point I was able to remove all the extra auxiliary parameters for SAMBA.

    Update:  NAS4Free has an upgrade path from FreeNAS now.

    Notes can be found at the following location:

    This version supports upgrading from FreeNAS 0.7.2 or 0.7.5.

    The supported lowest config version is 8.9. (0.7.2.5246)

    So the other month I bought a ton of new equipment for a new NAS box.  The question was, which NAS software to go for?  As ever it needed to be free, preferably open-source, and have all the functionality I was looking for.

    Webserver

    FTP server

    SAMBA/CIFS

    RSYNC

    I wrote about my excitment for

    more than a few months back ().  However during this wait my current NAS ) began to fail, due to harddrive issues, and the fact that it was a crappy old box.

    OMV has yet to be released, so I was in a bit of a pickle, I have new hardware, I need a new NAS, so I began to try my alternatives.  I installed and checked out the following NAS solutions:

    P.S. There are more, but some of them were ruled out due to hardware limitations, or pricing for several drive solutions ().

    eBox was nice in the fact that it had a built in LDAP server, but I soon realized that it is not something I really need.  Openfiler was cool, but I had some issues with my

    drives (a), and I wasn’t really a fan of the Volume Management. And Amahi… it sounds good, but the plug and play aspect is a little cluncky/cloogy in my mind.

    So in the end, I stuck with FreeNAS!  I have implemented encryption on my drives, FreeNAS handles the WD EARS no problem, setup the UPS feature for safe power downs.  All in all I am happy with my decision, there is no guarantee that OMV will be in a good shape when it is release, so why take the risk – stick with something I know and love!

    Looks like developer is leaving FreeNAS behind due to limitations, and moving to a Linux based system called – which then later changed to .  Being somewhat excited about an update for future-proofing and allowing major development , I was happy to hear the developer taking steps – however, there could be some time before we see anything.

    For all you FreeNAS lovers out there, don’t worry, looks like

    is going to take over FreeNAS development.

    Myself, I am going to look into ….

    If you got the money to fork out – then drobo is your solution:

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