Making a software RAID1 under FreeNAS (video)

These two videos show how to set up a software RAID1 under FreeNAS.

If you’re wondering what RAID1 means, RAID1 uses mirroring to write data to for instance two drives. This means that when you write a file or save a video, the file is written to two disks. If one of the disks fails, you simply replace it and rebuild the mirror, i.e. one disk is an exact copy of they other. The tradeoff with this setup is cost. With RAID1, you purchase double the amount of storage space that your data requires.

Video 1


Video 2


Available: FreeNAS 8.0 RC2

iXsystems has announced FreeNAS RC2. Josh Paetzel writes:

I uploaded RC2 to Sourceforge Friday and am just getting around to an announcement now, some health issues prevented me from gettin as much computer time as I would’ve liked this weekend.

That being said, RC2 is now available! Please check out the release notes when you download, we introduced an upgrade via the GUI feature in RC1, so with this release that can be taken advantage of.

This version contains fixes for issues that were encountered in RC1. It does not contain the list of new functionality that was scheduled for RC2, but it contains enough fixes that it was a significant improvement over RC1.

FreeNAS 8 should be installed to a USB stick or Compact Flash device. It requires a device of at least 1 GB in size. In a departure from FreeNAS 0.7 releases, the OS drive can not be used as a component for a volume, nor can it be partitioned for sharing.

New in this RC:

GUI Firmware upgrades are supported, but do to a bug in the interaction between FreeBSD, lighttpd, and python they work intermittantly. There is a work-around which wasn’t implemented in time for RC2. The procedure involves running commands from the CLI shell. etc etc

Links:

Available: FreeNAS 8.0-RC1

iXsystems has released FreeNAS 8.0 RC1. This RC provides a number of enhancements over previous Beta snapshots that have been released.

The files can be downloaded from the SourceForge FreeNAS-8 page.
More than just a huge jump in version numbers.

FreeNAS 8.0 blends FreeBSD 8.x technology, production ready ZFS, and a web-based GUI with x86/amd64 based hardware to make a NAS device available with a lower barrier to entry.

Some goodies:

1. There is a volume wizard allowing for creating ZFS volumes with cache, log, or spare devices.

2. The GUI now allows creating users without login privileges, as well as removing
passwords from accounts. This is useful for creating an FTP anonymous user, or
removing passwords from system accounts that were previously set. Additionally,
/sbin/nologin is now a valid shell. Useful for adding samba users where you need
a password but don’t want them to have shell access.

3. Numerous fixes to the CLI that runs on the console, including feedback to database
changes, feedback when it restarts parts of the system, sanitation of input so that
only valid information can be entered, better help as to what input is expected, and
also output of what IP the web GUI can be accessed at.

4. Firmware upgrades via the GUI are now possible. Future releases will include a firmware
upgrade file that can be used via the GUI to perform upgrades.

Check out the 8.0RC1Release Notes for a full overview.

Upgrades from previous .8 beta snapshots are supported.  Upgrades from 0.7 or earlier versions of FreeNAS are not yet supported.

FreeNAS has always been the best home/SMB NAS server, but it’s now going be even better.

Links: FreeNAS website |Release Notes (8.0RC1)

“RAIDZilla”, a FreeNAS based, advanced featured NAS appliance

FreeNAS 8 is shaping up nicely (FreeNAS 8.0-BETA available) and developers at iXsystems are putting in a lot of time and work into it. Apart from working on the software side, iXsystems also offers a FreeNAS based appliance, the iX-2120.

I had a chat with Matt Olander, CTO of iXsystems, about a new FreeNAS appliance they’re working on, internally codenamed ‘RAIDZilla’. When launched, it will get a corporate name in line with some of their other products, probably something like iX-NAS XXXX.

“RAIDZilla” is a combination of specially developed hardware running FreeNAS. iXsystems is building an inexpensive, standardised and fast NAS appliance with easy to use management tools. RAIDZilla runs FreeNAS with some closed-source goodies such as like drive failure detection, notification, auto-replacement option and NFS head failover, along with array duplication so both head units can write to the same array.

By providing both the hardware platform and an optimised operating system, iXsystems is able to maximise the appliance’s reliability and speed, as well as to provide a good user experience. iXsystems plans to open-source the closed-coded features in the future.

The big thing about the new iX-NAS, especially enterprises will be interested in this, is that it’s going to be available in Europe as well. A main distributor is getting set up to finish FreeNAS builds in Belgium, and there will be opportunities for VARs (value added resellers) and integrators to sell units at retail price after a channel partner discount and earn additional income providing consultation, setup, and deployment services. If you’re interested, please contact Matt (matt at ixsystems dot com).

There’s a post on the iX blog with an interview between Corey Vixie and Doug White, Senior Test Engineer at iXsystems about RAIDZilla: Doug White on RAIDZilla.

  • What exactly is RAIDZilla?
  • What makes it different than FreeNAS?
  • What does the software platform look like?
  • What about the hardware?
  • Tell me about ‘Head Redundancy’?
  • Speaking of cool features, a little bird mentioned something about Fusion-IO cards being an option
  • So, just how fast is very fast?

I’m looking forward to the launch of this appliance and will let you know when it’s available.

Available: New FreeNAS 8 snapshot (r5788)

The guys from iXsystems have released a new beta snapshot for FreeNAS 8. This image based on r5788 of the SVN repo is very close to being Release Candidate status.

Some of the highlights and new additions are:

  • The TreeMenu GUI is now the default (the old GUI is still available)
  • There’s a far better GUI for managing ownership/group/permissions of volumes and datasets.
  • Dynamic DNS should work.
  • ZFS parameters per dataset have been added
  • A bug that was preventing the system from seeing all available disks has been fixed.
  • FTP is now working.

Be aware, there are still some known issues:

  • AFP generates bogus configs.
  • iSCSI configs don’t work in some environments.
  • Link Aggregation setup is still a bit twitchy, the GUI doesn’t reboot the system even though in some cases that is needed.  Have the console nearby to play with the networking configs.

The latest beta can be downloaded from FreeNAS page on sourceforge.

Should you come across any bugs or quirks, please mail them to the new FreeNAS Testing Mailinglist: https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/freenas-testing

Links: FreeNAS website | Download FreeNAS | Release Notes

FreeNAS is an embedded open source NAS (Network-Attached Storage) distribution based on FreeBSD, supporting the following protocols: CIFS (samba), FTP, NFS, TFTP, AFP, RSYNC, Unison, iSCSI (initiator and target) and UPnP. It supports Software RAID (0,1,5), ZFS, disk encryption, S.M.A.R.T/email monitoring with a web browsers configuration interface.

Android FreeNAS App Updated

Walter of the TechWave Dev team has announced a new version of the Android based mFreeNAS 7. The application’s name was previously known as MobileFreeNAS.

This application allows you to control your FreeNAS Server within your local network.

Supported features are:

  • Wake On Lan
  • Reboot
  • Shutdown
  • System Info
  • HDDs Info

Check out the two new features (System Info & HDDs Info) and please provide feedback to Walter on any new additions or changes you would like to see implemented in future versions.