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MS Gen8, CentOS, BTRFS and NFS, BluRay


Burman
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Hi guys,

 

 

I've been lurking around the forum for the better part of last two months trying to get an idea for a backup/media server. I finally got all the bits and pieces together and I'm now at the stage of installing the OS.

 

The setup I have is:

 

- MS Gen8 1610T (4GB)

- 120GB SSD via ODD

- 2x 3TB WD Red

- BD burner via internal USB and Startech USB-to-SATA adapter

 

I was deciding between Ubuntu Server LTS and CentOS, but after reading regarding RAID support, lower overhead and stability I decided to choose CentOS. I decided on linux as it's free, I know a lot of people put WHS on them, but they're a bit out of reach, I'd much rather invest that money in additional RAM or HDDs.

 

At the moment I'm just making a backup server in RAID 1 configuration to backup two machines, but in the future I'd like to add two more HDDs for media server.

 

Now here's my problem to which I can't seem to find a solution after combing through this forum as well as various Google searches. I'm thinking of using BTRFS filesystem for the two 3TB WD HDDs that will be in RAID 1 config for backups. However, I've been reading and have seen that some people recommend NFS filesystem for media servers due to low overhead, eg making it faster to access the files (or at least that's how I understood it).

 

My questions:

 

1. Is it possible to have 2 HDDs in BTRFS RAID 1 config and 2 HDDs in NFS RAID 1 config?

 

2. What filesystem do I choose for CentOS, if config from question 1 is possible? Or even if it's not possible, does OS still have to have the same filesystem?

 

3. Does anybody have a good guide for CentOS on how to set up periodical (weekly or monthly) backups through optical media?

 

 

Any help or tips would be much appreciated. Thanks,

 

B

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have you considered XPEnology, which puts ticks in many of your boxes, file server, NFS, and Plex (Media Server)

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IMO you would be better of setting up ZFS stripe-of-mirrors (RAID10 equivalent) than messing about with two RAID1 arrays and BTRFS.

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@einsteinagogo: I read about XPEnology, and if I understand correctly it is based on Synology OS. I don't know much about it though, just as I was reading around people were talking more about the Ubuntu Server LTS and CentOS and especially how "easy" it is to add functionalities, etc. That's why I kind of focused more on those two. Do you by any chance have any good guide or info on how to set up XPEnology? Thanks.

 

@Gordan: correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't RAID10 meant to be based on 4 HDDs? I currently only have 2. I might get a third one free (1.5TB WD Green) once I do the backup, and which I was thinking of using that as a single HDD for media server.

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You were enquiring above regarding running a RAID1 BTRFS with a separate RAID1 for NFS, hence why I was talking about a RAID10-like stripe of mirrors using ZFS. With ZFS you can add an extra pair of mirrors to a pool already containing a pair of mirrors, turning it into a RAID10-like stripe of mirrors. So no need to get the 2nd pair of disks until you are are running low on disk space. Also, ZFS supports compression which may help you if some of your data is compressible (obviously not applicable for media files).

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XPEnology is based on the Synology NAS DSM OS.

 

It's a "clone", so it includes everything you will ever need and more, in a very quick solution.

 

Head over to XPEnology.me, basically, to download the bootloader, write to a usb flash drive or SD card, download the DSM *.pat file, use Synology Assistant to upload the PAT file to your NAS, select SHR, number of disks needed.

 

Use your browser to connect to NAS, and then configure, and your done.

 

If Ubuntu LTS and Centos are described as easy, then XPEnology must be easier than pie, should be able to complete XPEnology/Synology. All the docs at Synology on DSM, are also relevant for DSM on XPEnology.

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@Gordan: Thanks for the info. I'm new to servers and RAID, so I read this info and it said it requires 4 HDDs so I just jumped past it, I had no idea you could do it the way you described. Can I ask why you think ZFS is better? I'm asking purely from curiosity and trying to learn as much as I can and also because I've seen that there is a divide about BTRFS and ZFS, but somehow the information I read, I was swayed to the BTRFS camp.

 

@einsteinagogo: is there any issue with the RAID card when using XPEnology, like some people are mentioning for Ubuntu? Also, I don't know if this only applies to enterprise level of Synology NAS system, but I found on their website that they support BTRFS. Would you know anything about that?

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It's a "clone", so it includes everything you will ever need and more, in a very quick solution.

XPenology is a hacked version of the Synology DSM firmware that is made to run on third party hardware. It isn't a clone and legal status is very dubious. The open source portions are able to be freely redistributed but there are significant portions which are closed source and proprietary to Synology which can't be redistributed legally. The Synology firmware is licensed based on the fact it'll be running on Synology hardware only. Apple have a similar clause for OSX which is only licensed to run on real Apple hardware. A Hackintosh is the equivalent of XPenology but for OSX.

 

Synology have no incentive or requirement to support XPenology so version upgrades have broken it in the past and you need to wait for a modified patch. Until recently, you couldn't run it on a Gen8 Microserver without it wiping your BIOS setup as it was trying to save the settings for a real Synology NAS. The settings update function didn't know that it worked differently on a Gen8 Microserver and would corrupt the BIOS settings instead.

 

If you're happy to tinker with your setup, you don't care about the legal aspect and your data isn't mission critical then run XPenology if you wish. If any of those 3 requirements aren't met then you shouldn't run XPenology.

Edited by GotNoTime
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Firstly, I don't recommend using the B120i "RAID" controller in the Gen8 Microserver. It is the SATA controller inside the Intel chipset but with an HP BIOS and a HP OS driver. You need a proprietary binary only driver that only exists for Ubuntu and RHEL/CentOS. Later versions of the driver have significant performance issues and you must downgrade to an early version to work properly. Either get a proper hardware RAID card like a HP P222 or use software RAID built into the OS or filesystem.

 

I'm thinking of using BTRFS filesystem for the two 3TB WD HDDs that will be in RAID 1 config for backups.

I wouldn't consider Btrfs stable enough for production usage yet as you need to use the latest stable kernel to ensure you get all the fixes. RHEL/CentOS 7 has support for it but it is listed as a Technology Preview and you'll be relying on RedHat/CentOS to backport everything to their old kernel. Unless you have very specific needs, you should run the default XFS filesystem or possibly ZFS if you're happy with the extra steps to get that to work.

 

However, I've been reading and have seen that some people recommend NFS filesystem for media servers due to low overhead

NFS is Network File System. It isn't a filesystem for disks.

 

Or even if it's not possible, does OS still have to have the same filesystem?

I don't recommend having 1 giant root partition that stores the OS and all of your data. Linux is perfectly happy to have several partitions mounted together. Splitting OS and data allows you to format + reinstall the OS without affecting your data at all. Edited by GotNoTime
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@GotNoTime: Thanks for the info, much appreciated.

 

Just had a look for the P222, and it's quite expensive. Is the P120i really that bad if I get it set up with the right driver? At least for now, as I'd much rather spend any extra money for additional set of harddrives.

 

I'll have a look into ZFS and XFS. ZFS sounds interesting especially with the RAID 10, if you can add two hardrives at a later date like Gordan mentioned.

 

I was planning to have OS on the SSD and not on the main HDDs. However, maybe an idea to have two partitions, one for each machine that needs to be backed up. And perhaps third one for the file server. Do you think that would be possible?

Edited by Burman
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