Raspbian

I have now a Raspberry Pi 2 computer 24/7 running. Raspberry2

It is running on Raspbian (Debian modified for Raspbian). It is about 2 months operational. And it is working great 🙂 .

I have set up a webserver with owncloud, a SSH server and Kodi media center with Amber skin. It works flawlessly. And it uses maximum 2.4 Watt.

I won´t go into the detail, because there are plenty guides on the internet.

I found these ones especially interesting and useful:

– https://www.pestmeester.nl

 samhobbs.co.uk

I am thinking of installing samba and a email server. But I really don´t need it now.

To be continued…

Big changes

After running FreeNAS for several years, I decided to end it. Don´t get me wrong, I love ZFS, but it is a bit overkill for a single home-user. So I have now a HardwareRAID 1 with a thunderbolt connection to my MAC. Every hour my main data is being copied to this RAID.

It does´t matter how sophisticated and secure your server is. Without a backup it is worthless.  The best and most secure way to data loss is a copy.

I do have started a new project: A Raspberry Pi 2, media center and personal cloud server.

A more detailed explanation about this project will come soon.

Freenas 9

Freenas 9 is already out for some months. And it is running fine like I used to run Freenas 8.

It boots faster, Creating new jails is very easy now. It goes automatically when you install a new plug-in.

And one of my favourites: Plex media server http://www.freenas.org/whats-new/2013/09/plex-on-freenas.html . Flex has clients for almost any device: whether it is you pc, smartphone, tablet or smart tv. So FreeNas has become a very nice media server.

But they didn’t forgot the profesional too. Freenas has new features like encrypted volumes and much more. Just check it out on http://www.freenas.org

Update FREENAS 8.3.1 p2 release

Second update this year. FREENAS still runs non-stop and flawless. However with the reboot I noticed a hardware problem. FreeNas didn´t show my L2ARC cachs disc anymore. During a profound inspection I noticed that my  OCZ Vertex II died. Of course it was not the newest SSD generation. And Caching files takes it toll on a SSD.

So my advice for a SSD as a caching disc: Look for a Samsung or Intel SSD of the latest generation.

Nevertheless, a caching SSD will suffer a lot more in a ZFS server than in a normal, average client pc.

However, it wil make your data transfer faster, and all your other discs will possible last longer.

Update Freenas 8.3.1

This weekend I applied the first update from FreeNAS. It is very easy to do. First you need to stop all services in the webinterface. Then, you download the apropiate patch and checksum from their website. After. In the advanced settings of the webinterface you upload the patch, copy and paste the checksum and apply the patch for update. You wait 10 min or less if you have a fast server. The secer will restart twice. After that, you re-enable you services and all is done. Very easy, it is the only thing I had to do, since I configured this server 3 months ago. It is working non- stop and flawless for me.

Benchmarks: ZFSGuru vs FreeNas vs Nexenta, hot from the press!

Nexenta is based on Solaris, which is the home-base of ZFS. FreeNas and ZFSGuru are based on BSD.

http://www.zfsbuild.com/2013/01/25/zfsbuild2012-nexenta-vs-freenas-vs-zfsguru/

It is amazing that FreeNas 8.3 can keep up with Nexenta now. ZFSGuru can´t keep up with  the other two and according to the benchmarks the difference is quite big. The makers of ZFSGuru are looking now if there is a benchmark error or it is because of the version (0.2 Beta 7) used in the benchmarking. Since ZFSGuru comes with a full version of FreeBSD, there are a lot of possibilities of tweaking with the commandline.

However, I personally prefer FreeNas on a production system since ZFSGuru is still more in development (but stable according to many users), missing alot of features in the GUI, and they (still) are missing a good manual (like FreeNas 8) which makes life for noobs like me easier.

RAIDZ

A quick word about RAIDZ, like I promised many posts ago.

What is RAIDZ?

RAID-Z is not actually a kind of RAID, but a higher-level software solution that implements an integrated redundancy scheme similar to RAID 5, using ZFS.RAID-Z avoids the RAID 5 “write hole” using copy-on-write: rather than overwriting data, it writes to a new location and then automatically overwrites the pointer to the old data. It avoids the need for read-modify-write operations for small writes by only ever performing full-stripe writes. Small blocks are mirrored instead of parity protected, which is possible because the file system is aware of the underlying storage structure and can allocate extra space if necessary. RAID-Z2 doubles the parity structure to achieve results similar to RAID 6: the ability to sustain up to two drive failures without losing data. (source wikipedia)

This means in plain language:

RAIDZ is comparable with RAID5: e.g. you need minimum of 3 discs.  If 1 disc will crash, your data will still be safe. If more than 1 disc will crash you will loose your data.

RAIDZ2 is comparable with RAID6: you need a minimum of 4 discs. If 1 o 2 discs will crash, your data will still be safe. If more than 2 discs will crash you will loose your data.

RAIDZ3 don´t exist as a physical RAID: you need a minimum of 5 discs .If 1-3 discs will crash, your data will still be safe. If more than 3 discs will crash you will loose your data.

Practical:

RAIDZ 3,5 and 9 discs.

RAIDZ2 4, 6 and 10 discs.

RAIDZ3 5, 7 and 11 discs.

My ZFS is now running about 3 weeks without problems. I will tell more about it next time