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File transfer while using RAID-Z2

Western Digital Drives - The Preferred Drives of FreeNAS and TrueNAS CORE
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asiddanatham

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Hi I got new FreeNAS and software installed.
I have a NAS with 4 4TB hard drives. I want to use it for Fileserver storage, like storing of user data and other files.
Can you help me with what Raid should I use and what type of File transfer protocol should be used for that.
My NAS specs are:
4 Bay HDD with 4 4TB HDD
16GB RAM
Version FreeNAS 11.0
 

kdragon75

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Can you help me with what Raid should I use
This largely depends on how much usable space you need, home many users your supporting, what type of "user data" you are expecting, and what other files include.
what type of File transfer protocol should be used for that.
Generally (even with Apple) you will want to use samba. This is the most widely supported file sharing protocol aside from HTTP or FTP and while the last two are insanely ubiquitous, they are not ideal from casual and semi transparent access for most users.
 

kdragon75

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Just a friendly tip, add a signature in the forum including detailed specs of your system as with most questions they are required by forum rules.
 

asiddanatham

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Hi KDragon,
I want to store normal data files like PDF, word, excel. We are using windows servers. We attached a NAS with FreeNAS OS in it. I want to store the data of all the files in the network to the NAS hard drives.
It is very new, I want an idea of what Raid should be used and what file transfer protocol (like iSCSI) should be used to configure it.

Free NAS specs:
Free NAS mini
4x 4TB HDD
16GB DDR3 ECC RAM
FreeNAS-11.1-U4
 

kdragon75

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what file transfer protocol (like iSCSI)
I would like to point out that iSCSI is not a file transfer protocol. iSCSI is strictly a block storage protocol.
We are using windows servers.
Are you running an Active Directory domain that FreeNAS will need to be joined to?
I want an idea of what Raid should be used
Again this depends on how much space you need, the perfomance you need, and ever the level of ris you are willing to take with your data. In any event, you still need an external backup no matter what.
 

kdragon75

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Also just to be clear, you CANNOT safely use a RAID card with FreeNAS. ZFS (what FreeNAS is built around) will handle all of the RAID like functionality. Please see my signature for an example of the kind of information we normally require when providing help.
 

HoneyBadger

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Also just to be clear, you CANNOT safely use a RAID card with FreeNAS. ZFS (what FreeNAS is built around) will handle all of the RAID like functionality. Please see my signature for an example of the kind of information we normally require when providing help.
It sounds like the OP is using the branded "FreeNAS Mini" from iXsystems; specs are on the site

There are really only two viable options with 4x4TB drives - one is mirrors, the other is RAIDZ2. Both will give you about the same usable space (~8TB) - mirrors will provide better performance, the Z2 solution offers slightly better resiliency in that any two drives can fail. Mirrors there is a situation where the loss of two drives potentially means the loss of the pool.

But in both cases, you should have a spare drive on-site, as well as routinely taking and testing backups.

For protocol, use SMB. Attach to your domain if desired. Set up email alerting, routine scrubs, and SMART monitoring. Disk burn-in is suggested as well to identify any potential early-failures that would be covered under an iXsystems warranty.
 

asiddanatham

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Hi HoneyBadger,
Yes we are performing the external backups
Yes I got it from iX systems, the branded one. I thought they will pre-configure the Raid. When I check Raid config using "zpool status" I got the following output. It is just as mentioned above "FreeNAS mini" is the device name and it has 16GB RAM and 4 Bay HDD space where we used 4 X 4TB HDDs.

Here is a detailed description of my problem:
We are a small company, we have one file server with all the data files in it, like documents, forms, records and all but we are running out of space so we thought of installing a NAS in our domain so that all the data can be stored on the NAS. I am new to freeNAS, So can you please tell me configure the RAID and which RAID should be used and how the files can directly be stored on NAS.

My observation:
I have seen in one video how to configure Volume manager and setup iSCSI on NAS and also start iSCSI initiator on windows server, So I thought that is the way. Am I going in right path.
 

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kdragon75

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Hi HoneyBadger,
Yes we are performing the external backups
Yes I got it from iX systems, the branded one. I thought they will pre-configure the Raid. When I check Raid config using "zpool status" I got the following output. It is just as mentioned above "FreeNAS mini" is the device name and it has 16GB RAM and 4 Bay HDD space where we used 4 X 4TB HDDs.

Here is a detailed description of my problem:
We are a small company, we have one file server with all the data files in it, like documents, forms, records and all but we are running out of space so we thought of installing a NAS in our domain so that all the data can be stored on the NAS. I am new to freeNAS, So can you please tell me configure the RAID and which RAID should be used and how the files can directly be stored on NAS.

My observation:
I have seen in one video how to configure Volume manager and setup iSCSI on NAS and also start iSCSI initiator on windows server, So I thought that is the way. Am I going in right path.
I would avoid iSCSI in a small and simple environment. Join the FreeNAS to the domain and setup your shares directly on the FreeNAS with SMB. There are lots of videos on file permissions as well.
 

HoneyBadger

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I assume this was purchased from a 3rd-party seller and not iXsystems directly?

No offense is intended here, but you should be staying very far away from the command line unless you've been specifically directed to go there. iXsystems has built a nice friendly GUI to take a lot of the "hard work" out of ZFS, so set up your network interface(s) and then jump to the web page.

In your situation, I would configure your volume as mirrors (RAID10). They will perform better and rebuild faster if you ever experience a drive failure. I would also [urchase an additional 4TB drive of the same model as is currently installed, and store it in a cool, dry place as your "cold spare" and continue to take backups as you currently do.

iSCSI is for block - this would be something that you would present to a hypervisor like VMware or Hyper-V. You will want file sharing via SMB.

I would suggest you consult the FreeNAS User Guide, starting at section #3 "Booting" for guidance.

http://doc.freenas.org/11/freenas.html

Once you log in to the webUI, there is a Wizard that will get you through most of the main configuration.
 

asiddanatham

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Jul 10, 2018
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asiddanatham

Neophyte
Joined
Jul 10, 2018
Messages
6
I assume this was purchased from a 3rd-party seller and not iXsystems directly?

No offense is intended here, but you should be staying very far away from the command line unless you've been specifically directed to go there. iXsystems has built a nice friendly GUI to take a lot of the "hard work" out of ZFS, so set up your network interface(s) and then jump to the web page.

In your situation, I would configure your volume as mirrors (RAID10). They will perform better and rebuild faster if you ever experience a drive failure. I would also [urchase an additional 4TB drive of the same model as is currently installed, and store it in a cool, dry place as your "cold spare" and continue to take backups as you currently do.

iSCSI is for block - this would be something that you would present to a hypervisor like VMware or Hyper-V. You will want file sharing via SMB.

I would suggest you consult the FreeNAS User Guide, starting at section #3 "Booting" for guidance.

http://doc.freenas.org/11/freenas.html

Once you log in to the webUI, there is a Wizard that will get you through most of the main configuration.
We got the device from iX systems and the HDD are 3rd party (Westren Digital) and we inserted in them.
Ok so I should setup RAID 10 in Free NAS. Will this be done using GUI or should I use CLI of Free NAS.

And also after setting up the RAID how can I link to the server and start the file transferring.
 

kdragon75

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We have 2 NIC ports to the server and to Free NAS. So we thought of not joining it to Domain.
I have no idea what your trying to say here.
We got the device from iX systems and the HDD are 3rd party (Westren Digital) and we inserted in them.
Ok so I should setup RAID 10 in Free NAS. Will this be done using GUI or should I use CLI of Free NAS.

And also after setting up the RAID how can I link to the server and start the file transferring.
PLEASE read the User Guide from section 3 onward as recommended by @HoneyBadger. This will answer most of your questions.
 

asiddanatham

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