Thinking of getting a FreeNas box..

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by HE15MAN, Apr 28, 2010.

  1. HE15MAN macrumors 6502a

    HE15MAN

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    Location:
    Florida's Treasure Coast
    #1
    Does anywhere pre make them? I think it could be a nightmare finding all the parts for them, but I could be wrong.

    Is there any chance that the older Apple G4's or G5's would be able to run FreeNas?
     
  2. gsahli macrumors 6502a

    gsahli

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago
    #2
    As far as I can tell, FreeNAS isn't available built for PowerPC.
    On the other hand, OS X on a G4/G5 should be able to do everything a FreeNAS box can do - without doing much of anything to setup.

    A FreeNAS box is just a cheap PC, with possible upgrades to number of hard drive bays and size of power supply (for more drives). There aren't any special, hard to find parts.

    If you tell us what your objective is, the users here will give you more ideas.
     
  3. HE15MAN thread starter macrumors 6502a

    HE15MAN

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    Location:
    Florida's Treasure Coast
    #3
    Thanks for the response.

    I mainly just want to have a centralized data storage as well as backup for my house computers.

    I would like

    1 massive iTunes library that can also sync with my Mac Mini and Plex
    1 massive video storage area that can also sync with my Mac Mini and Plex

    And then the ability to save all my images and home movies to more than one place for redundancy. My house isn't prewired with Ethernet, so the distance is a bit of an issue, but can be resolved I am sure.
     
  4. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    FreeNas is based on FreeBSD, hence requires a x86 machine.
    Rather than using a G4 or G5 I highly recommend the FreeNas route.
    Although Mac OS can deliver most services FreeNas can, the really tempting ones like iSCSI or ZFS are not supported though.

    I recently build a new FreeNas machine for my home network based on ZFS. These are the parts I bought:

    9 x 2TB WD 20EADS (8 for the server, 1 spare)
    Intel Gigabit CT Desktop PCIe NIC
    4GB Kingston RAM
    Asus P7P55D Deluxe (9 SATA ports, 8 for the storage array, 1 for the system drive)
    Intel Core I3 530 (smallest I could get for the board, plenty of fast for the FreeNas box)
    530W Be Quiet Power Supply
    and a case with 9 5.25" bays for 3 hot swap hard drive bays that each hold 4 drives

    Some silent fans and you're done.
    Total cost was about 1500€. The drives are configured as a raidz2, so two parity drives, which gives me a total capacity of 12TB (advertised of course).
    I haven't measured the power consumption of the machine yet, but I reckon it's below 150W.
     
  5. prostuff1 macrumors 65816

    prostuff1

    Joined:
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    Don't step into the kawoosh...
    #5
    You can also look into something like unRAID. I run it for all my storage needs and it works great. You can read up on it on the unRAID Wiki and the unRAID Forum.

    Feel free to ask questions and I will try to answer.
     
  6. gsahli macrumors 6502a

    gsahli

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    Chicago
    #6
  7. HE15MAN thread starter macrumors 6502a

    HE15MAN

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    #7
    Sounds very nice, but I think I need about 1/3 of that! :D
     
  8. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    You can install FreeNas on almost every machine, just adapt it to your storage needs.
    You could also go with AMD which makes the machine a little less expensive.
    I would have opted for AMD, too but there was no AMD board with that much SATA connectors, which is why I went the Intel route.
     
  9. HE15MAN thread starter macrumors 6502a

    HE15MAN

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    Sep 3, 2009
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    Florida's Treasure Coast
    #9
    Is there just like a check list somewhere of parts to buy that will all be compatible, or is it something you have to piece together on your own?
     
  10. Transporteur macrumors 68030

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    UK
    #10
    Processors / Main boards are generally all compatible, as long as they are x86 (which excludes PowerMacs for example).

    You have to care about RAID controllers though.
    Compatible controllers are on this list: http://freenas.org/freenas_users_hardware
     
  11. spaceballl macrumors 68030

    spaceballl

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    Nov 2, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #11
    So if you like the DIY route, then I recommend building a server on Debian. I used a pretty neat piece of hardware, the sheevaplug. It's literally the size of a wall wart power adaptor. I have it sync my iTunes library over and power music throughout the house via squeezebox server. Works great! I also use it as a NAS and as a web server with the Tonido. I have a few blog articles here.

    FreeNAS is great, but the project is in transition right now so I don't think it's the best time to jump onboard. It's currently based on FreeBSD, but the project is migrating to Debian... so i would wait until that is done and just build your own debian based box for now.
     
  12. Transporteur macrumors 68030

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    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #12
    I don't see the conversion as a real issue. They said that the support for the FreeBSD kernel version will still be maintained.

    I'm just wondering how they will deal with the ZFS issue. AFAIK ZFS is still not implemented in Debian, isn't it?
     
  13. spaceballl macrumors 68030

    spaceballl

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    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #13
    Are you looking for "support" or are you looking to be able to have the most recent software? If you just want support, you're fine. But if you'd like to be able to have an easy upgrade path, then i don't think it's the best time to jump onboard.

    As for ZFS, I'm really not sure.... I THINK it is implemented in some linux distros, though... not sure...
     
  14. Transporteur macrumors 68030

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    Nov 30, 2008
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    UK
    #14
    Never touch a running system. :rolleyes:

    My servers generally run for 3 years without any changes at all. Once they finally do what I want, I don't touch them again. The software (FreeNAS) runs absolutely stable so I don't see any reason to update the software and risk the stability of the machine.
     
  15. spaceballl macrumors 68030

    spaceballl

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #15
    I can't argue with that! I can't tell you how many times I've messed up a perfectly good server by just tweaking a few too many settings!

    However, that's how I learn... and each subsequent build was much better than the previous!
     

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