Open source NAS device using FreeNAS and iSCSI drives (howtos & video))

FreeNAS LogoDave Lawlor has put together some really easy-to-follow instructions on how to install and configure FreeNAS.

FreeNAS is a free NAS (Network-Attached Storage) server, supporting: CIFS (samba), FTP, NFS, AFP, RSYNC, iSCSI protocols, S.M.A.R.T., local user authentication, Software RAID (0,1,5) with a Full WEB configuration interface. FreeNAS takes less than 32MB once installed on Compact Flash, hard drive or USB key.
The minimal FreeBSD distribution, Web interface, PHP scripts and documentation are based on M0n0wall.

There are a couple of other good howtos available but this one by far the easiest to follow, AND the screenshots are of the latest FreeNAS version (changed GUI).

So far Dave has posted 3 tutorials:

1. Build Your Own Open Source NAS Device Using FreeNAS – Part 1

(Downloading, installing and accessing FreeNAS for the first time)

2. Build Your Own Open Source NAS Device Using FreeNAS – Part 2

(Setting up and accessing drives, and testing the FreeNAS installation)

3. How to Setup iSCSI Drive Using FreeNAS

(What is iSCSI and setting it up)

Hopefully we’ll see more posts from him over the next few weeks.

I came also across another interesting FreeNAS related video where Chris, from Jupiter Broadcasting, shows how FreeNAS can transform an old PC into a full blown NAS server:

More information on NAS servers can be found on NAS, SANs and Storage Server Technology

Released: FreeNAS 0.69 Kwisatz Haderach

FreeNAS LogoThe FreeNAS Team has released FreeNAS 0.69 Kwisatz Haderach (revision 4276) today. Congratulations to the team for their hard work!

Links: Release Announcement | Full changelog | Download | Website

The following additions and changes have been made since 0.686.4. 

Majors changes:

  • Add TFTP service. It is accessible via ‘Services|TFTP’ in the WebGUI.
  • Add Samba patch CVE-2008-4314.
  • Upgrade nano to 2.0.9.
  • Upgrade PHP to 5.2.8.
  • Add WOL support for misc NIC’s. Thanks to Tobias Reber for porting WOL patch to FreeBSD 6.4.
  • Upgrade nfe driver. 
  • Finally fixed Samba lock file problem (they are located in /var/db/samba now).  You can increase the memory filesystem size for /var for LiveCD and ‘embedded’ installations by modifying the rc.conf variable named ‘varsize’. This is necessary if you are running out of file space for *.tdb files (this normally happens on heavy Samba share usage with many users). The default size is 32MB.
  • Replace FTP server pure-ftpd 1.0.21 with proftpd 1.3.2rc3. Please note that there can be set additional options via rc.conf variables which are not displayed in the service WebGUI. Please have a look into /etc/rc.d/proftpd script for a detailed list of options.
  • Add TCP Wrappers. All applications linked against libwrap support this feature, for example services like FTP, TFTP, SSH, NFS… The rules can be configured via WebGUI ‘Network|Hosts’.
  • Upgrade ATAidle to 2.4.
  • Upgrade transmission to 1.42.
  • Upgrade rsync to 3.0.5.
  • Upgrade cdialog to 1.1.20080316.
  • Upgrade msmtp to 1.4.17.
  • Add ability to create a SWAP partition during installation.
  • Enhance the ‘System|Advanced|Swap’ page to select a file or disk device as swap space.

Continue reading

Build a NAS device using FreeNAS

Dave Lawlor at trainsignaltraining.com has created a beginners friendly tutorial for installing and configuring FreeNAS

In this demo I am going to walk you through setting up one of those alternatives, called FreeNAS.FreeNAS, as you might have been able to garner from its name, is free open source NAS software that is pretty robust.

It supports CIFS/SB, FTP, NFS, RSYNC SSH, AFP, Unison, UPnP, ISCSI, local and Microsoft Active Directory authentication, SoftRAID, disk encryption, and has a WebGUI interface. FreeNAS can also be configured to run off a USB Key to keep all that hard drive space for storage. It is built on the FreeBSD platform but you won’t need to know any Linux to get it up and running.

For this demo I am going to setup a RAID 1 drive and make it so I can access it from Windows Vista.

The step-by-step instructions are really easy to follow, with many screenshots.

Why we designed our own NAS Servers for use in our Data Center

This is a great story (Why we designed our own NAS Servers for use in our Data Center) where a company moves to open source software (i.e. FreeNAS) due to poor and expensive customer service.

Technetium Inc, hosting solutions, moved from Adaptec Snap servers and software to FreeNAS for their data centre NAS servers.

We need an OS now, and for that I picked FreeNAS which runs on FreeBSD. You can’t ask for a more stable operating system. And by the way, the FreeNAS OS runs from memory and boots from a CF card (no chance of the hard drive crashing and destroying the config). This custom built NAS system has turned out great, and our client is very pleased with the money we saved them.

Thanks Tod for sharing.

Quad-Core Storage Appliance with FreeNAS

iXsystems, the corporate sponsor behind PC-BSD and many BSD related Conferences, has released a NAS server wth FreeNAS: Titan FreeNAS Storage Appliance.

The Titan FreeNAS storage appliance provides security, scalability, and flexibility at a low total cost of ownership. Attach the Titan FreeNAS to your database, e-mail or web server for immediate access to additional storage and never run out of storage space again.

Titan 2120 NAS Storage Appliance Features

  • 2U form factor
  • 12 hot swap drive bays
  • Up to 12 terabytes of data storage capacity
  • Browser-Based UI for simple management
  • Advanced Journaling File System
  • Integrated RAID Support
  • Monitoring Utility
Full details for the Titan FreeNAS Storage Appliance can be found here.

FreeNAS 0.69 RC2 release (Kralizec)

FreeNAS LogoVolker Theile has announced the availability of the second release candidate for FreeNAS 0.69, a FreeBSD-based operating system providing free Network-Attached Storage (NAS) services:

This will hopefully be the last release candidate before a stable release can be published. So please test this version and report any problems.

Changes:

  • upgrade to FreeBSD 6.4-RELEASE;
  • add system firewall, please note that this is only for the local system and not for the network (this will also never be implemented, use pfSense or m0n0wall instead);
  • upgrade Transmission to 1.40;
  • introduce new WebGUI look (also fixes some MSIE rendering bugs);
  • add UPS service WebGUI option to define shut-down mode;
  • add option ‘Use sendfile’ to ‘Services CIFS/SMB Settings’;
  • check if configured port is already used (e.g. UPnP, BitTorrent, DAAP);
  • fix web server security hole….

Full Release Announcement | Changelog

Learning FreeNAS – Local User Management

Learning FreeNAS“, by Gary Sims, is a useful book for anybody new to FreeNAS and also handy for the advanced user to check something every now and then.

This book will show you how to work with FreeNAS and set it up for your needs. You will learn how to configure and administer a FreeNAS server in a variety of networking scenarios. You will also learn how to plan and implement RAID on the server as well as how to use Storage Area Network technologies like iSCSI. The standard FreeNAS documentation walks you through the basic configuration, but this book will tell you exactly what you should do to plan, work, and deploy FreeNAS. This book has a comprehensive troubleshooting section that will point you in the right direction whenever you need help.

Packt Publishing, the publisher, have a free chapter on their website, describing how Local User management is done in FreeNAS.

Read the free chapter.