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Suggestions for using Gen8 as a NAS


igoforthebest
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Hi all,

 

I just bought G1610T server today off eBay and was doing some research on how to configure it as a NAS.

 

Basically all I want is to use this server as a file server or NAS.

 

I have 1x 256GB SSD (empty) which I want to use for OS

and I have 1x 5TB HDD, 2x 3TB HDD and 1x 2TB HDD all of which are filled with data.

 

So my question to you experts is this....

 

1. Whats the best way I can install all the drives without having to format any of them?

2. Which OS is the best one to support file management/ access over network for both mac and windows platforms?

 

Any advice will be appreciated.

 

Thanks!

 

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Your drive configuration combined with the requirement to not reformat any of them precludes any good way, let alone a best way to use them as a NAS. With no redundancy, I hope your crashplan backups are airtight.

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Your drive configuration combined with the requirement to not reformat any of them precludes any good way, let alone a best way to use them as a NAS. With no redundancy, I hope your crashplan backups are airtight.

 

To start with, I'm using my existing drives. Plan is to eventually make it a fully functional NAS but resources are limited. Instead of having 4 separate external drives I'm just trying to put them all in one place.

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What is the format of the existing drives?

What OS where they written from?

They all are in NTFS format. The 5TB and 2TB is external and the 3TB's are internal drives from windows platform.

I'm starting to think that I made a mistake buying the G8 haha

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Any Windows Server OS should do what you need, but the cost could/would be prohibitive. There are several threads and books about using Windows 8 as a Home Server OS, should work, but I am not sure about the Mac functionality. The only issue that comes up with the Gen8 MS and 4 drives plus an SSD is booting from the ODD/5th SATA port. If you enable the B120i you can boot from the ODD port, but you need to set all the drives as single drive RAID0. If you use AHCI the Gen8 MS wont boot from the ODD SATA port, unless you use a boot loader on a micro SD card, documented in the forums. If I were you I would go with a HP ML10 V2. As far as I know, go check the posts, the ML10 V2 will boot from a SSD in AHCI with four SATA drives installed. If you want to stay with the Gen 8 MS, you will need to decide which route to take.

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Thanks a lot for your help schoondoggy.

Since I've already bought Gen8 and that too through eBay, It'll be hard for me to return it. I guess I'll have to go with the bootloader in the microSD slot option as I cant risk losing data in the drives by converting it to RAID0.

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I converted my AHCI NTFS drives to RAID 0 drives and didn't lose any data.

 

Take a look at StableBit DrivePool and StableBit Scanner. Might be useful for you in the short term and provide you with some file duplication for any critical files.

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My reading of this scenario is:

 

- no experience with an HP Gen 8 Microserver

- no backup, only a single copy of the data

- no clear idea of the target NAS configuration

- no money

 

Sounds a lot like me at the beginnning of 2015! OK, OK, so things haven't changed that much.

The chances of losing 13TB of data are uncomfortably high.

 

 

Phase I

 

1. Build the G8 using only the SSD as a RAID 0 array in the ODD port with Windows 10 Professional as the OS, using the B120i RAID controller.

2. Keep the 2 existing external drives as they are and plug them into 2 of the USB ports at the back of the G8.

3. Buy 2 more USB external caddies so that all 4 HDD's are plugged in the rear USB ports.

4. Tidy up the folder structures and expose the data as Windows network shares, making them visible to Windows and Mac clients on the network.

 

OK, so that does a bit of consolidation even if the wiring is still messy. And the sysadmin now gains a bit of experience in the G8, with little risk to data.

 

Phase II

 

5. Since that 13TB will soon expand to 20TB ... buy 4 x 5TB HDD's.

6. Install each new 5TB HDD as a RAID 0 array in the G8 drive bays.

7. Set up a synchronisation job to copy the external data to the internal drives.

 

Now we have a second copy of all data.

 

Phase III

 

8. Buy a 2nd G8 ...

9. ... and now it won't matter if all the data is lost when the external disks are moved to the internal bays as RAID 0 because we have a copy.

10. Sync between the two servers.

11. Replace the 2TB and 3TB drives as they die or capacity demands grow.

 

End result: a synchronised 20TB storage system.

We also have resilience, if one of the G8's explodes the other is still there and can be made to serve up the goodies.

Edited by JackoUK
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Why W10 Pro?

- much cheaper than a server edition

- need Pro for remote access and system maintenance (buying Home and adding a free remote access package would be fine too)

- W10 has SMB multichannel, so if both GBE ports on the G8 are wired in the transfer bandwidth will double from say 100MBS to 200MBS without any fancy network fiddling

 

There are of course many other options.

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