Replace Windows fileserver with a FreeNAS

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marcelovvm

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We are evaluating the use of FreeNAS here in the company, but we are hard to see if it can replace our current architecture. We have an AD / DC (Windows Server 2008 R2) and a fileserver (Windows Server 2008 R2) with two Iomega Storages connected via iSCSI on the fileserver. Our files are in one of the storages, the one of production, and the other one is used as backup. In the fileserver there is a GPO that is applied to all Windows stations (7 Pro and 10) by mapping the production storage to each station. The file system we use in storages is NTFS with permissions set directly in the file system based on AD / DC groups and users. So the idea is to remove the fileserver by replacing it with FreeNas. Can FreeNAS be used that way? (attach is a simple diagram of our architecture).

Live long and prosper,
Marcelo Magalhães
 

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garm

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You don’t want to attach iSCSI as storage to FreeNAS. FreeNAS is the storage bit with the added benefit that it can also do most of what you might be doing on the file server.

The point of FreeNAS is ZFS and it will only work with direct access to physical drives.
 

PhilipS

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Only one DC?

With FreeNAS you don't need the Windows File Server - you would setup SMB shares on your AD configured FreeNAS and map your clients to that. For easier/future migration you could setup DFS on your Windows server, have your clients map to the DFS root and set the target to the FreeNAS SMB shares. Then it is a matter of changing the DFS target when you move the file storage location without needing to change the GPO again. This is also useful if your primary storage goes down, you can easily point the DFS target to the backup storage.
 

marcelovvm

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You don’t want to attach iSCSI as storage to FreeNAS. FreeNAS is the storage bit with the added benefit that it can also do most of what you might be doing on the file server.

The point of FreeNAS is ZFS and it will only work with direct access to physical drives.

So does FreeNAS do not have an iSCSI initiator? So I can only use local disks in FreeNAS?

Live long and prosper,
Marcelo Magalhães
 

marcelovvm

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Only one DC?

With FreeNAS you don't need the Windows File Server - you would setup SMB shares on your AD configured FreeNAS and map your clients to that. For easier/future migration you could setup DFS on your Windows server, have your clients map to the DFS root and set the target to the FreeNAS SMB shares. Then it is a matter of changing the DFS target when you move the file storage location without needing to change the GPO again. This is also useful if your primary storage goes down, you can easily point the DFS target to the backup storage.

We will actually switch the AD from Windows 2008 R2 to Zentyal. The question is whether we can switch the fileserver from Windows 2008 R2 to a FreeNAS. But for this we need FreeNAS to connect to our two NAS Storages (Iomega).

Live long and prosper,
Marcelo Magalhães
 

PhilipS

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So does FreeNAS do not have an iSCSI initiator? So I can only use local disks in FreeNAS?
But for this we need FreeNAS to connect to our two NAS Storages (Iomega).

FreeNAS is a NAS, you don't connect it to disks in another NAS. You lose pretty much all the benefits if you do that. FreeNAS would replace the Iomegas in your network diagram and can also replace the Windows file server at the same time as well.
 
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