Data loss means enough is enough

openfilerI have been building a NAS for quite some time. That’s the problem. It was just taking too long to get going. I had it to the point where I had a Linux box with software raid, and LVM, and ssh going. I was using rsync over ssh from my Macs to get data there. But that just wasn’t good enough. I wanted Samba and NFS running securely with user accounts. I have got them to work before. It just takes some work. I decided that I would move on. Get something that was already working. Open source to the rescue.

I took a look at FreeNas and Openfiler. I thought that FreeNas would be everything I was looking for, then I realized that it couldn’t use LVM, so I would have to make static partitions. Not the worst thing in the world, but….

Openfiler looked to be the ticket. I decided to take it out for a spin. However, it would not recognize the data I had on my old raid array, or my other drive that was a backup of some of the data. I would have to repartition. So, I took one of the new 1TB external drives that I just purchased to hold my RAW picture files, and coppied everything over. Then, after making sure the data was there, I set to work setting up openfiler. This is not the most intuitive setup. And I had an idea of what I was doing, and wanted to do. I was getting frustrated. I could not create a share. It took me a couple of days to figure out that you had to create a folder, then tell openfiler that the folder was a share. As well, you must authenticate over LDAP, or Active Directory. They have a built in LDAP server, so I used that, but it was an extra layer of issues that I didn’t need.

If you are getting the idea that I should have just taken the time to get Samba running, I think that you are right. I was then messing with trying to get a rsync server working. You can’t do rsync over ssh. It won’t start anymore. It used to. It doesn’t now, and doesn’t return any error messages. Now I am frustrated.

So somewhere in this mess, I disconnect the “backup” drive from my Mac. (I had added some other stuff from my computer directly, so that when I when to add the data to the new NAS, I could plug in the removeable drive and just move it locally instead of over the network.) For some reason, the iMac does not think that it should be disconected yet. I was sure I told it to eject, but it must not have, because I got the message that says that I am an idiot for disconnecting a drive that wasn’t first ejected. Well, guess what, the fat32 partition table is hosed. Garbage there. Crap.

I am going to need a trip to the GeekSquad to try to get them to recover the data. I will have to spend more money than if I had bought an extra drive and had two backups. Maybe I need a blueray drive to do my 2nd backup. Anyway, I am screwed. Maybe. We’ll see.

readynasSo, I decided enough is enough. I ordered a Netgear ReadyNas NV+ from New Egg. It is a ready to go home/small business NAS that can take up to 4 drives. I will have 3 in a raid 5 configuration. It supports an interesting tech called X-Raid too that I will have to consider. It will let you replace the drives with bigger ones later one at a time, then rebuild when all are replaced. Pretty cool.

The box will do CIFS, NFS, HTTP (WebDav), FTP, and RSYNC. That coveres pretty much all the bases. It will send alerts when errors occur, and automatically rebuild when you put in a new drive. There are other nice things too, such as an iTunes server, and a media server that is auto discovered by media players. You can even set it up to access files remotely through an encrypted channel using netgear sotware you install on your laptop. You can even plug other drives into this box to share them.

I have debated something like this for awhile. What kept me back was the price and the ability to rsync. This device does rsync. This device will be far cheaper than the time is has taken me to putz around with other “solutions”.

I guess I am done for now with the “Building a NAS” series. I just wasn’t worth my time. Sorry.

P.S. It looks like I never did post my bit on getting LVM up. Maybe I will do that sometime.