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post #11 of 19
In a Windows environment the easiest is to run Starwind on the server and iSCSI Initiator on the client.

Never used unRAID but done a fair bit with FreeNAS/OpenFiler.

With them, you just enable iSCSI, configure it, setup your LUN's, configure CHAP etc. if you want and then hit the servers IP...
    
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post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dushan24 View Post

In a Windows environment the easiest is to run Starwind on the server and iSCSI Initiator on the client.
Never used unRAID but done a fair bit with FreeNAS/OpenFiler.
With them, you just enable iSCSI, configure it, setup your LUN's, configure CHAP etc. if you want and then hit the servers IP...
'

Cool, that should really help. I'll have to look a bit into alternate filesystems/OSs for the box then.

FreeNAS looks to be out of the picture because I'd really like to avoid ZFS and its "Add two drives at a time" upgrade scheme.


FlexRAID is looking to be a better and better choice, simply because all of the things I'd want the system to do could be hosted in a single box: The drive pooling, with parity, would be handled by the FlexRAID program running in Windows (whether it be 2008 or 7, I don't know) and the FTP / web servers could be installed just like ordinary programs, and just reference the pooled drive.

Would this be a better/more reliable choice than running two entirely separate computers, one for hosting access methods and one for drive pooling and parity?

Edit: As I look more into it, FlexRAID looked to originally be a snapshot-based redundancy system, but now looks to be able to have realtime redundancy abilities. Sweet! What are your opinions?
Edited by kubed_zero - 10/24/12 at 8:02pm
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post #13 of 19
I favor hardware RAID or lower level software RAID (raw drives) such as FreeNAS.
It will perform better in every way.

If you want to run a web server either virtualise it or if you can run it on another machine
It's a bad idea for one server to do too many things, what if it fails? Gets hacked? Runs out of CPU/RAM?

For FTP, FreeNAS and OpenFiler have daemons built in and are easy to configure.

It is possible to virtualise FreeNAS and other OS's on a hypervisor then pass hard drives through to FreeNAS, configure a storage pool, then use that for all new VM's so you get the best of both worlds in a single box, but that is a bit of a project.

I've done it...
    
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post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 
I really like the idea of virtualization,, but yeah, it is a bit too much of a project for right now. I have a computer that could manage all this, but don't really have the parts to run two separate boxes. I really do appreciate the advice, and will definitely be looking back at this in the future when I have the time to fully concentrate on this project!


On the thread topic of buying a RAID card, I ended up buying an IBM m1015 from ebay for $75 shipped, and will probably flash it with the IT firmware once I get it. However, I realize now that it didn't come with a PCI bracket, so I don't know what I should do about that...
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post #15 of 19
The bracket can be bought separately for around $10. I use two of them as HBA's along with Flexraid and it works great. Keep in mind that the M1015 does not support RAID 5 unless you flash it, but without the memory and BU it performs horribly. It's much better for RAID 1/0 or just as an HBA. You could get a PERC 5i or 6i card for under $100 that will do RAID 5 and have memory and BBU, but they do not support larger than 2TB drives, so there is a trade off. Personally, after using Flexraid, I do not see a reason to go with hardware RAID for a file server, however you could always pick up a M5014/15 and get that capability for around $150. But then they are not as good as the m1015 for a straight HBA. It really is a give and take with these cheaper cards. The other thing you can do with the M1015/5014/5015 cards is get the Intel expander and have the capability of 20 ports off of one connected card, meaning one card connected to the MB. the expander card does not need to be plugged into the MB to work because it has a molex plug for power, otherwise you can drop it into a x4 PCIe slot for power. Great way to have a lot of drives if you need them with a lower end MB or smaller form factor MB.
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post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by utnorris View Post

The bracket can be bought separately for around $10. I use two of them as HBA's along with Flexraid and it works great. Keep in mind that the M1015 does not support RAID 5 unless you flash it, but without the memory and BU it performs horribly. It's much better for RAID 1/0 or just as an HBA. You could get a PERC 5i or 6i card for under $100 that will do RAID 5 and have memory and BBU, but they do not support larger than 2TB drives, so there is a trade off. Personally, after using Flexraid, I do not see a reason to go with hardware RAID for a file server, however you could always pick up a M5014/15 and get that capability for around $150. But then they are not as good as the m1015 for a straight HBA. It really is a give and take with these cheaper cards. The other thing you can do with the M1015/5014/5015 cards is get the Intel expander and have the capability of 20 ports off of one connected card, meaning one card connected to the MB. the expander card does not need to be plugged into the MB to work because it has a molex plug for power, otherwise you can drop it into a x4 PCIe slot for power. Great way to have a lot of drives if you need them with a lower end MB or smaller form factor MB.

Great, thanks! I ended up getting a bracket off Ebay for 11.50 from BigXor, who is thankfully based out of the US, unlike the other bracket seller. The 1015 and FlexRAID should work out beautifully, from what I've tried so far. I'm super excited.
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post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by kubed_zero View Post

I really like the idea of virtualization,, but yeah, it is a bit too much of a project for right now. I have a computer that could manage all this, but don't really have the parts to run two separate boxes. I really do appreciate the advice, and will definitely be looking back at this in the future when I have the time to fully concentrate on this project!
On the thread topic of buying a RAID card, I ended up buying an IBM m1015 from ebay for $75 shipped, and will probably flash it with the IT firmware once I get it. However, I realize now that it didn't come with a PCI bracket, so I don't know what I should do about that...

Cool, you're welcome.
    
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post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 
Bah humbug. So I ended up getting the M1015 today, and it was dead. No LED lightups, no BIOS OPROM, nothing. a dud. So I guess nothing much will be happening until I can talk to the Ebay seller and get a replacement. mad.gifmad.gifmad.gifmad.gifmad.gifmad.gifmad.gif
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post #19 of 19
That sucks. When I bought mine they were still in the $135 range, but I checked today and they are back down in the $75 range. I thought about getting another one for a backup, but I am still debating getting the Intel expander card instead. That would allow me to run 24 drives instead of 16, not that I have that many currently, but still, you never know when you will need to expand.
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