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FreeNAS as a Windows Home Server Replacement?


Dave
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Opening up the FreeNAS forums for all.

 

Thanks Dave.  I'm looking forward to learning much more about FreeNAS!

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I currently use FreeNAS (actually the NAS4Free variant).  I came to this forum and podcast to see if it was worth it to switch to WHS, so I will give you my impressions from the other side.

 

It works well.  I have had continuously migrated my install from a Pentium 2 about 6 years ago through a Pentium 3, 4 and now it is finally on an AMD E350.  I feel that its ability to run on minimal hardware used to be its biggest benefit.  That doesn't matter at all to this discussion though. The one feature that keeps me on it is ZFS. 

 

ZFS is a filesystem that includes data checking on each disk. This is just an added layer of protection in addition to whatever RAID you may be using.

 

Aside from that, it is just a NAS.  I use it for shares and iSCSI targets.  At on time I used some of the other media server features, but I ended up just using shares for everything.

 

One of my main impetuses for looking at WHS was the ability to use something like Crashplan as a backup. There are some workarounds for making Crashplan backup network attached drives, but I don't want to trust my backups to workarounds.

 

I have other servers on my network, so I don't need an all-in-one box.  That seems to be a big draw to WHS.

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thanks for posting hazzey. You are correct, most people here are looking to minimize the number of servers on their network. Also, most are looking for a backup system that provides Bare Metal Restore for the their client computers. For this it's hard to beat WHS.

 

Still, it is nice to hear another perspective.

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Forum User YodaFelt was/is a big proponent of FreeNas but he seems to have dropped off the forums.

 

Sorry but I have to laugh as I believe it was YodaFet. The way you did it makes me what to ask, " what excactly did Yoda felt (feel)?". :)

 

Sorry, maybe it is the child in me.

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  • 3 years later...

I have run FreeNAS for almost 2 years before switching to unRAID. For one, the FreeNAS community isn't the greatest source for help. You have better luck contacting iXsystems directly for support. Next is the hardware issues, ZFS as amazing as it requires a lot of resources to maintain, basically 1GB of ram per TB of storage etc. Restoring is hard if not impossible and to top it off try adding new disks to your setup. Don't get me wrong it has its place and a lot of user's swear by it but its not for me. I am running unRAID now and bare metal restore store and backup would probably depend on a lot of variables but it could be done I guess. I would love to switch over to Windows server if I knew how to get AFP shares etc working seamlessly. 

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