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Old 09-11-2005, 11:06 AM   #1
Registered: Jul 2003
Posts: 153

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Unhappy help with Network Attached Storage


i am quite ok with linux. i do linux servers mostly in the networking arena.

now, i am trying to dabble into cheap,flexible,available and scalable STORAGE solutions using linux.

i have backhaul fibre link of 2 Mbit duplexof Internet bandwidth. And i want to start giving out bandwidth and storage space to some of my clients(corporate clients) who are now requesting for storage and backup solutions.

1. what kind of setup do u think i need

a. NAS (network attached storage) --- this supports ethernet and can do disk mirroring, backup and storage.i know of
b. RAID configured boxes, although i think they form a component on the NAS system
c. SAN (storage area network)--- i think this is more of a bigger NAS but i am not sure.

2. What can of solution can i get

a. shud i go for proprietary (EMC,NETapp) -- coz i think they are quite inflexible, unscalable and quite expensive
b. rack servers with RAID disks
c. ordinary Inte boxes with SCSI disks or RAID

3. what kind of linux OS

a. can an ordiary redhat 9.0/fedora core do the job and how can it be configured
b. can an enterprise linux distro do the job like RHES or SLES 9
c. shud i just go with proprietary hardware solutions with embedded linux

4. what roles does the following do:
d. NFS

I really need some explanation and collab on this one.pls feel free to holla me i am online on Y! messenger with the same ID. or simply reply back.

Old 09-11-2005, 02:49 PM   #2
Registered: Jun 2005
Location: q3dm7
Distribution: Mandriva 2010.0 x86_64
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The biggest limiting factor in this is your 2Mbit internet bandwidth which is far slower than even the slowest of IDE drives. Unless you need terabyte capacities, I think NAS and RAID striping solutions are complete overkill for such a low speed requirement. For redundancy, go with a RAID1 mirror or a second box rsyncing to the first. Just about any Linux distribution will be fine in these roles.
Old 09-12-2005, 12:56 PM   #3
Registered: Jul 2003
Posts: 153

Original Poster
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Hi Snowbat,

Well i think 2 mbit aint bad from the part i can come (west africa)

well i am trying to narrow down a simple storage solution for my clients.

i am trying to start an offsite storage service for my clients. its a situation whereby i sell storage space to corporate bodies. the clients come and say i need 250GB of storage space. They are either connected to the storage facilities through my link or through their present internet access they have onsite.

Now, i provide them or their backup administrator with an easy to use interface (probably free and open source or better still a free windows client) to be able to login to the storage server and perform the backup with easy to use buttons on the interface. The interface is just want they need to perform the connection and backup on their site and they can also do retrieval on the same interface.


1. HARDWARE: i am looking at getting dual processor p4 2.8 ghz rack boxes. i am also considering getting normal cloned x386 intel cpus in order to make consolidation esir for adding more storage space. I would like to know ur view about the hadrware.

2.SECURITY: i dont believe a pricely cisco solution can do the trick. i would like to believe iptables, ssh or rsync or stunnel can do the trick on security and encryption. i want to be able to make sure that my clients files are safe and the right access permissions and encryption will be gotten

3. INTERFACE: i am trying to look at a free client software that can do connection login, file upload and retrieval and also scheduling. i know this is a long shot but i believe.

4. CONNECTION: men this is africa, aint too much fibre running up everywhere, in fact fibres just started and i have a small bandwidth of 2mbit to play with. i feel it shud serve coz for starts, i am not expecting too many pple just like 2 interested clients for now. pls what do u advise, any connection experts out there?

5. OS SETUP: this is my part. i am trying to use redhat 9. i know raid is definitely in. also ssh and rsync for sure. some mirroring will take place.i am trying to c if LDAP has a place. Lets see. i have 5 200G disks. i try to partition and give like 100GB each to 10 clients. i will do raid on those partions. probably raid 1. but probably rsync doesnt have a place here except if we are the ones managing it. well my head is turning loose. pls help out.

Thanks for reading and hope u reply
Old 09-12-2005, 10:39 PM   #4
Registered: Jun 2005
Location: q3dm7
Distribution: Mandriva 2010.0 x86_64
Posts: 338

Rep: Reputation: 31
No disrespect to your 2 Mbit connection (wish I had 2 Mbit here!)... just that your hardware requirements will be substantially lower than you'd need for a backup solution for a corporate LAN.

Some thoughts:

Hardware: Dual-processors will likely be wasted in this application. File transfer with encryption over a 2 Mbit line for a handful of simultaneous users will not place heavy loads on a processor. I'd look at regular x86 (AMD or Intel) hardware for this - anything faster than 1 GHz should be fine. A UPS for each box is essential. A rackmount case with 5 x 5.25 bays for removable caddies, desirable:

Security: Iptables and regular security updates for your distro.

Interface: For Windows or Linux, or both?

Connection: Ideally this would match the bandwidth of your fastest customer.

OS Setup: Use what you know. Think in terms of redundancy - RAID 1 will cover you for single drive faults but if your primary fileserver develops a power supply or ethernet fault, do you have a backup server ready to switch in at a moment's notice? rsyncing to another on-site box, even a low spec with IDE drives, will give you one up-to-date backup server you can switch in with a quick change of interface ip address while you repair the primary. Do you have a backup router and switch?


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