Jump to content
RESET Forums (homeservershow.com)

My NAS setup: Upgraded Gen8 running ZFS on Freebsd 10.3


rivest
 Share

Recommended Posts

I’m interested in your setup as I have just acquired an entry level Gen8 microserver and I’m testing FreeNAS at the moment on a small 2x2TB mirror after adding 8GB for a total of 12GB ECC RAM and changing the G1610T for a E3-1200L V1. (Perhaps a i3-3220T, i5-2390T or i5-3470T might have supported EEC RAM , but there is no definitive proof one way or the other. )  I’ve used Linux for a whole, but FreeNAS/FreeBSD is a bit of a learning curve for this old dog. 

 

I wondered if you could give some more detail of how you booted FreeBSD from a usb stick and whether your are making use of a fifth drive for the OS in the ODD bay.

 

A few things that I’ve become aware of are:

 

FreeNAS operates in c-state C1 only by default, maybe a true server doesn’t need to drop to C3 or perhaps it would cause problems.

 

FreeNAS/FreeBSD has an old “powerd” cf Linux p-state driver, but with modern Intel CPUs perhaps it is not of much use. Does turbo-boost have a role on a true server?

 

FreeNAS runs from usb and places a 2GB swap partition on each disk which could lead to problems. How have you dealt with swap?

 

CIFS read speeds can comfortably saturate a home gigabit connection, but writes are relatively slow.

 

NFS writes occur in bursts unless you set sync=disabled on your pool/dataset, which is probably not the best policy.

 

Perhaps you’ve seen this older discussion of mirrors versus raidz, it might reassure you about your choice: http://constantin.glez.de/blog/2010/01/home-server-raid-greed-and-why-mirroring-still-best

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi,

 

Let me try and reply your questions inline:

 

I’m interested in your setup as I have just acquired an entry level Gen8 microserver and I’m testing FreeNAS at the moment on a small 2x2TB mirror after adding 8GB for a total of 12GB ECC RAM and changing the G1610T for a E3-1200L V1. (Perhaps a i3-3220T, i5-2390T or i5-3470T might have supported EEC RAM , but there is no definitive proof one way or the other. )  I’ve used Linux for a whole, but FreeNAS/FreeBSD is a bit of a learning curve for this old dog. 

 

No problem. I am much more familiar with Linux but I did not have too much trouble with FreeBSD. It just takes a bit of getting used to.

 

I wondered if you could give some more detail of how you booted FreeBSD from a usb stick and whether your are making use of a fifth drive for the OS in the ODD bay.

 

The ODD bay is currently empty and will probably be that way. What I intend to do with the 5th SATA port is to make it an eSATA port using this:

 

So I can connect a docking station to quickly transfer/backup data.

 

What I did was just to plug in the USB thumbdrive into the internal USB port and start installing normally. Either use an external DVDROM drive or use HP Advanced iLO function to load the FreeBSD ISO file. Don't worry about setting it read-only until you are done with installing what needs to be installed.

 

After you are done with installation, ff you are using FreeBSD 10 and above, all you have to do is to edit your /etc/fstab file for the root partition to be read-only:

 
# Device        Mountpoint      FStype  Options Dump    Pass#
/dev/da0s1a     /               ufs     ro,noatime      1     

 

The wonderful thing about FreeBSD is when the kernel sees that, it automatically knows what you are trying to do and makes /var and /tmp mfs(memory filesystem). However, the default sizes of /var & /tmp is a little small and you will need to edit rc.conf to manually change them to your liking.

 

 

A few things that I’ve become aware of are:

 

FreeNAS operates in c-state C1 only by default, maybe a true server doesn’t need to drop to C3 or perhaps it would cause problems.

 

FreeNAS/FreeBSD has an old “powerd” cf Linux p-state driver, but with modern Intel CPUs perhaps it is not of much use. Does turbo-boost have a role on a true server?

 

I turned off turbo-boost and let powerd take care of throttling but I am not particularly experienced in that so I can't advise. The Xeon is already a low-power version so I'm not overly concerned.

 

Snippet: 

dev.cpu.7.cx_usage: 31.04% 68.95% last 3465us
dev.cpu.7.cx_lowest: C8
dev.cpu.7.cx_supported: C1/1/1 C2/2/96
dev.cpu.6.cx_usage: 14.24% 85.75% last 9550us
dev.cpu.6.cx_lowest: C8

 

 
You can set lowest state in rc.conf

 

FreeNAS runs from usb and places a 2GB swap partition on each disk which could lead to problems. How have you dealt with swap?

 

Simple. No swap partition. I created a single partition on the USB drive and FreeBSD runs happily. I chose not to run the OS on ZFS because I feel keeping them separate may be easier in the future to recover from any hardware/software failure.

 

CIFS read speeds can comfortably saturate a home gigabit connection, but writes are relatively slow.

 

Maybe the drives are still new so they still write fast. Maybe it's also due to the striping across 2 mirror vdevs. After awhile when fragmentation sets in, I guess the performance will definitely be affected. By the way, remember to set the sector size to 4K if the drives support it. In ZFS lingo, it's called ashift: 12

 

NFS writes occur in bursts unless you set sync=disabled on your pool/dataset, which is probably not the best policy.

 

I don't use NFS. You probably know more than me :)

 

Perhaps you’ve seen this older discussion of mirrors versus raidz, it might reassure you about your choice: http://constantin.glez.de/blog/2010/01/home-server-raid-greed-and-why-mirroring-still-best

 

Yeah, I hope I'm right too until something new comes along. *cough* btrfs 

 

If you need any of my config files or even the entire thumbdrive image, drop me a PM.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Many thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.  I did come across this thread at the FreeBSD forums about booting from USB: https://forums.freebsd.org/threads/57297/ but that's in conjunction with a drive connected to the  ODD port.  This bolg had some hints too: https://www.vioan.eu/blog/2016/04/25/upgrading-my-homenas-server-freebsd-zfs/

 

Whether its FreeNAs, NAs4Free or OMV for Linux, I'm like you and prefer to know what's going on and keep things as simple as possible rather than relying on these fancy interfaces.  But, for the moment at least, I'd have a far better chance of getting a Linux install configured correctly and I'm prepared to use ZFS on Linux.  Of course, if Btrfs and fulfilled its promise, I'd probably use that.

 

Thanks for the offer of config files etc,  I could well get in touch in the next week or two, if I decide to follow the pure FreeBSD root after a bit more homework.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...