FreeNAS ?'s (Time Machine and mixed network environment)

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by mrgreen4242, Jan 27, 2009.

  1. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    #1
    I'm setting up a backup server in my house using an older P4 desktop and looking at my options. I'm considering Windows Home Server, but it does stuff I don't need, and misses some stuff I do need (although if it starts supporting Time Machine out of the box it might be a preferred solution).

    Anyways, looking at FreeNAS, and wondering if anyone here has some experience with it who could answer some questions.

    First, I've read through many Google search results about setting up Time Machine via AFP, and FreeNAS, seems like a bit of a chore to setup but not terribly bad. Question that I can't find an answer to is how reliable this configuration is once you get it going. I'd like to use TM for it's versioning control, so to speak.

    Second, is setting up FreeNAS to present it's associated array(s) via more than one protocol on a mixed network. I'd like to have access to the full RAID via AFP (for my iMac), SMB (for my wife's PC), and possibly SFTP (for remote access).

    Thanks for any pointers on this one!
     
  2. VoR macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    I don't use time machine, I find rsync much more powerful and reliable - I didn't try it (TM) for any length of time, but it seemed to work fine.
    Using different protocols to share your data is as simple as clicking a checkbox and what you described would work fine.
     
  3. mrgreen4242 thread starter macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    #3
    rsync just keeps a set of your files on the remote server, though, correct? That is, it doesn't keep a copy of files you've deleted or old versions of them like TM does? I like the idea of simplicity and speed that rsync offers, but the archival properties of TM are more appealing.

    Thanks for the response, though. I assumed that was how FreeNAS worked, but some of the documentation is a little sparse and it was unclear of you would have to partition off chunks of the RAID to "present" as different types of shares (FTP/SMB/AFP/etc).
     
  4. VoR macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    rsync is very flexible but it might take a little reading and experimenting to get your head round it - once you have, you can pretty much achieve anything you want. Unless you tell it to, it won't delete any files on either side of your sync (all you're after?), and you can set it up for incremental/rotating/etc updates too.
    I wouldn't trust my data to a single system/array, but if you don't have a problem with it you could consider using a nightly build, dropping the raid and using zfs and it's snapshot (and others) feature. I've been running 0.7.3514 since release on another system to test and haven't touched the machine in about 6 months.

    Documentation is often a bit sketchy with oss, but the forums are pretty helpful and active and there's an ok knowledge base site. It's basically just a completely stripped install of freebsd running 'industry standard' protocols. So if you have specialist needs the webgui doesn't offer you can quite quickly read a man page and set it up how you want - and leave it serving till the hardware fails :)
     
  5. mrgreen4242 thread starter macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    #5
    Hm, I'll check out rsync, could be a faster/lower overhead option. Sounds like the only thing TM might have over it is the "real time" features (or at least near real time).

    As for "trusting my data to a single system/array", well, this RAID 5 will be layer 2 out of 3 or 4, depending on the data type. I have my local copy (layer 1) of anything remotely important. The RAID will hold copy #2 of important stuff. The checksum redundancy of the RAID is my layer #3. Some files (basically DVD rips) will only be on the RAID (as well as on the original DVDs). All my "documents" (any text, spreadsheet, etc) is also remote backed up via Dropbox (layer 4). Photo's are remotely backed to a Flickr account (full res JPEGs) (also a "layer 4"). Home movies are stored (recompressed) on the RAID (layer 1 and 2 of backup), the compressed version is also stored on DVD-R (layer 3), and the original MPEG2 files from the camera are ALSO on DVD-R DLs (layer 4).

    There's more, but essentially, my RAID will be my first place to go grab files in case of data loss. Important things on the RAID are backed up remotely or on optical disc. Semi-important things (things that can be recreated) are only stored on the RAID, counting on the redundancy of the the RAID 5 for some "basic" back up.

    Thanks for your help.
     

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