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kylejwx

NexentaStor Community Edition

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kylejwx

Just wondering if anyone around here has used NexentaStor CE as a NAS device. It seems to be a very powerful solution, though it may require some advanced hardware to run.

 

My basic understanding is that the underlying file system ZFS is very powerful for speed, data integrity, and deduplication.

 

 

Enterprise Version Here: www.nexenta.com

 

Open Source Project Here: www.nexentastor.org which is free for hobbyist use up to 18 terabytes!

 

Check out this link to see how some people have already set one of these up for home use.

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ikon

ZFS is indeed a sophisticated file system. I'm not sure if it's still true, but ZFS did have some significant hardware restrictions in the past, which is why I never ended up using it much.

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Guest no-control

Nexenta is kind of deprecated an Illuminan has replaced it. A better option IMO if you want to go with a ZFS file system is to use OpenIndiana and Napp-It. ZFS itself is pretty hardware agnostic it'll run on pretty much anything. But the caveat is that is doesn't use a hardware RAID controller just a simple HBA or SATA AHCI card. This means it requires more computing power and RAM. Basic file serving a older dual core will be fine (C2D, AM2+ & 4GB RAM) but for more intensive tasks like media streaming etc...you'll need newer hardware (SB/IB/AM3+ & 16-32+GB RAM). If you didn't notice it likes RAM the more RAM the better. It also prefers server grade hardware like ECC RAM, Intel NICs, IPMI mobos, Xeon CPUs. Oh yeah did I mention you'll want to use business or enterprise class drives?

Its a very robust system and great if you're a data hoarder with a lot of money to burn on drives for huge storage pools. Great if you want a home SAN/NAS target for VMs testing. It protect really well against bitrot so long term if the zdev pool stays up you data is pretty tight.

Its free so try it out on a new system. Most of the hardware for ZFS I've seen would be classified as high end when compared to WHS. I'm testing with it now and will talk about it on the show soon.

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Nnyan

Nexenta is coming out (already has a beta NexentaStor community 4 milestone 20) with a version using the illumos core.  I tested that and overall liked it but it is a bit of a hog.  It would not run well on my HP Microserver.  In the end (after trying out Openindiana, FreeNAS, NASFree, etc...) I didn't want a full distro (even a mini-server install) and went with OmniOS (very light and runs well on Microserver off a USB but I ended up running it on a 60GB SSD) with Napp-it.  The napp-it interface is not as polished as Nexanta or FreeNAS but it's good enough and I had it up and running in less then 15 mins after install (which I could not say for Openindiana, NexentaStor or FreeNAS each which had multiple issues I had to overcome). That included time to "figure out" some of the verbiage/terms that napp-it uses (which is non-standard), and I'm not a linux expert by any means.

 

My wife is quite happy with her RAIDZ2 ZFS (raid6 equiv) Microserver (4 x 3TB drives, 6TB to user) for all her critical work/personal files.

Edited by Nnyan

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ikon

Honestly, for $50, I can't think of a better NAS appliance OS than WHS2011. It just works.

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Nnyan

I agree that for most use cases WHS2K11 is the way to go.  But there are legitimate reasons why someone would not want to use WHS.  Using my own example I really wanted the self healing checksums that ZFS has, the nice snapshots and the ability to dedupe (IF you have enough ram).  I ended up with OmniOS (but there are plenty of alternatives) and it runs like a greased banshee on hardware that WHS wouldn't.  Now I have the best of both worlds and my wife saves all her files directly to the OmniOS shares and my WHS box (VM really) dumps all my backups there also (mostly for bare metal recoveries).  

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