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Old 05-05-2012, 12:19 PM   #1
able72
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Looking to build a File Server (a.k.a. NAS) for use with my home network


Ok, I am interested in building a File Server for use with my home network. This network currently consists of 3 desktop PC's (2 using Windows XP and one running Windows 7x64) and 3 laptops (1 running XP and 2 running Windows 7x64).

I want this File server for general data storage of media(pictures, movies, music) and software, data files, etc.

I need it to be just as easy to save files to the networked file server (once it is setup) as it is to a local hard drive (my wife, while she has come a long way, is still technically challenged).

I would like it to have the data storage setup in a single RAID 5 array and I'd like to be able to expand the existing array, once in use, with additional disks as the need arises in the future; all while maintaining a high level of data stability/reliability and loss prevention.

Through my research I have come to the conclusion that some distribution of Linux will offer the best and most reliable solution for what I am looking to do.

Please bear in mind that while I have extensive hardware knowledge in terms of PC hardware, I have limited experience with networking, and next to no experience with Linux (my web-host uses Linux and I did manage to setup a TS3 server on it).

I ask the following:

What distribution of Linux offers the best capability to do this, with the most 'Linux newbie' friendly setup and operation?

Is there an option for a 'software' raid solution? or should I only consider a hardware RAID controller?

Thanks in advance for your help.

**If this should be in a different thread, please move it to the appropriate one**
 
Old 05-05-2012, 01:01 PM   #2
TobiSGD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by able72 View Post
Ok, I am interested in building a File Server for use with my home network. This network currently consists of 3 desktop PC's (2 using Windows XP and one running Windows 7x64) and 3 laptops (1 running XP and 2 running Windows 7x64).

I want this File server for general data storage of media(pictures, movies, music) and software, data files, etc.

I need it to be just as easy to save files to the networked file server (once it is setup) as it is to a local hard drive (my wife, while she has come a long way, is still technically challenged).
A Samba server will accomplish all this. Your Windows computers will see it as a simple network share.

Quote:
I would like it to have the data storage setup in a single RAID 5 array and I'd like to be able to expand the existing array, once in use, with additional disks as the need arises in the future; all while maintaining a high level of data stability/reliability and loss prevention.
Keep in mind that a RAID is not a backup solution. It will not prevent data loss in case of hardware malfunction (for example an amok running disk controller or corrupted data because of a faulty RAM module), software errors (bugs in the driver for the disk controller or the file-system), malware (comprimising your data or simply deleting it) or simply an user error (like a technically challenged person accidentally deleting your holiday photos). You can only prevent data loss with a good backup plan.

Quote:
What distribution of Linux offers the best capability to do this, with the most 'Linux newbie' friendly setup and operation?
Samba has to be configured via a text-file, software RAID using some commands (there may be a point-and click-solution, but I never looked for something like that, since setting up a software RAID is really easy). I have a file server running for more than 2 years now 24/7 with Debian on it. Runs fine, easy to maintain. I maintain it with a remote connection, text only, but there are solutions to run a GUI over network, if you want to do that. There are also some specialized distributions for task like that, like FreeNAS, which you can manage with your web-browser.

Quote:
Is there an option for a 'software' raid solution? or should I only consider a hardware RAID controller?
Software RAID is good enough for home use. Good hardware RAID controllers will cost the same amount of money a small home server will cost, so I would not consider that. For software RAID you will want to have a look at mdadm.
 
Old 05-05-2012, 03:59 PM   #3
lleb
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instead of a FRAID (fake software raid) you might consider LVM, you can still set the LVM up as a SAMBA share, plus it will give you the ability to grow/shrink on the fly the "drive" size. This will provide much better performance then any FRAID can dream of.

but to be very blunt for roughly $200 you can invest in a buffalo linkstation 2TB NAS device that will just work out of the box.


http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&key...l_3lvshwsps7_b

http://www.buffalotech.com/products/...on-learn-more/
 
  


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