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View Full Version : Best way to store files for now?




HE15MAN
Sep 24, 2010, 03:13 PM
I currently have a one year old Mac Mini HTPC setup with a 1TB WD My Book attached via firewire. There is about 100GB's remaining so it is time to start looking to replace the hard drive. I plan on it the future (next year to year in a half)moving into a new house, and hard wiring it and setting up a Freenas box for my storage. Until then, is buying another 2 TB external the best idea? Transfer the files from the 1TB onto the 2 TB, and use the 1 TB for time machine on my main iMac.

Could I then when I get ready to do the freenas box, remove the hard drives from the external enclosures and use them?

Are there any ideas I am not thinking about?


Also, is there anywhere that sells premade Freenas boxes?



HE15MAN
Sep 26, 2010, 09:44 AM
Bueller...:D

ckny
Sep 26, 2010, 09:51 AM
I currently have my media on a HP WHS box. The box is dead easy to use, mounts as volumes on my Mac, provides file duplication ( though not raid) and has a nice Mac client now for time machine backups. I've been more than pleased with It.

Transporteur
Sep 26, 2010, 09:56 AM
Since you're planning to build a FreeNas based fileserver anyways, I'd recommend not buying another pre-build external hard drive now.

Just buy a separate 2TB drive that suits your needs plus a cheap external 3.5" enclosure. USB is plenty fast for streaming HD content to the Mini, so no need for an expensive FW enclosure.

Next year, simply pull the 2TB drive and put it next to the others in your file server.

With reference to pre-build FreeNas boxes, I'm not aware of them. Basically there is nothing special about a FreeNas server, so you could easily buy a file server from like Dell or HP and put FreeNas on it. What you'd have to consider is the hardware, since pre-build servers generally have RAID cards in them that might not be supported by FreeNas.

Next year, simply visit the HardForum (http://hardforum.com/)s Data Storage Systems section and get help for building a file server if you're not aware of how to do it yet.

Alrescha
Sep 26, 2010, 10:17 AM
Are there any ideas I am not thinking about?

The FreeNAS box, fun as they are, isn't going to do anything that your mini can't already do.

I have several terabytes hung off my mini, shared to the rest of my network.

A.

Transporteur
Sep 26, 2010, 10:35 AM
The FreeNAS box, fun as they are, isn't going to do anything that your mini can't already do.

I have several terabytes hung off my mini, shared to the rest of my network.

A.

Parity RAID, ZFS, fast ethernet transfers, there is so much FreeNas (or better said a dedicated file server) provides over a Mac Mini.

The Mini simply is very limited concerning the storage configuration. You're limited to external drives via FW and data availability is limited to RAID1, which means that you lose 50% of capacity.

HE15MAN
Sep 26, 2010, 12:18 PM
Since you're planning to build a FreeNas based fileserver anyways, I'd recommend not buying another pre-build external hard drive now.

Just buy a separate 2TB drive that suits your needs plus a cheap external 3.5" enclosure. USB is plenty fast for streaming HD content to the Mini, so no need for an expensive FW enclosure.

Next year, simply pull the 2TB drive and put it next to the others in your file server.

With reference to pre-build FreeNas boxes, I'm not aware of them. Basically there is nothing special about a FreeNas server, so you could easily buy a file server from like Dell or HP and put FreeNas on it. What you'd have to consider is the hardware, since pre-build servers generally have RAID cards in them that might not be supported by FreeNas.

Next year, simply visit the HardForum (http://hardforum.com/)s Data Storage Systems section and get help for building a file server if you're not aware of how to do it yet.

Any recommendations for an external enclosure? I want one as silent as possible obviously.

HE15MAN
Sep 29, 2010, 09:37 AM
Can you not just take external hard drives apart and remove the hard drives?

HobeSoundDarryl
Sep 29, 2010, 10:03 AM
Yes, you generally can strip hard drives from external enclosures. So if that's the way you want to go, go that way.

Can you not make your move now for the very basics of the freenas box? Maybe with just a single 2TB drive for starters?

Do you have any old computers laying around with empty hard drive bays? Maybe they could be your bridge server until you're ready?

If not, consider just buying a cheap 1TB or 2TB external; they can always become off-site backup for your freenas server when that's in place (if you don't choose to break into them and strip out the hard drive(s)). I've seen 1TB externals for as low as $100, so you might consider a daisy chain or USB hubbed 1TB to double your current storage, as the quick & cheap way to bridge the gap to your future setup.

HE15MAN
Sep 29, 2010, 10:13 AM
Yes, you generally can strip hard drives from external enclosures. So if that's the way you want to go, go that way.

Can you not make your move now for the very basics of the freenas box? Maybe with just a single 2TB drive for starters?

Do you have any old computers laying around with empty hard drive bays? Maybe they could be your bridge server until you're ready?

! If not, consider just buying a cheap 1TB or 2TB external; they can always become off-site backup for your freenas server when that's in place (if you don't choose to break into them and strip out the hard drive(s)). I've seen 1TB externals for as low as $100, so you might consider a daisy chain or USB hubbed 1TB to double your current storage, as the quick & cheap way to bridge the gap to your future setup.

Thanks for the quick response neighbor!

I am saving money to buy a house, so dont really want to drop the 500-1k it will take to build the free nas box. I dont have any old PC stuff laying around either. I would love to find a nice small new tower so it is easier to hide when the time comes and it is nice and quiet also.

I mean in the long run, $100 bucks for the WD Essentials External with 2 TB's isnt much. Worse comes to worse I can always use it for something else in the future like you said. HD prices will only keep dropping.

HobeSoundDarryl
Sep 29, 2010, 10:23 AM
That's right.

And if you do decide to try some kind of bridge server, check Craigslist. People are giving away PC boxes there, which could become foundational parts for your future NAS. Even $100 will buy a lot of punch for something as commoditized as storage.