[CentOS] settings up cheap a NAS / SAN server, is it possible?

Rudi Ahlers Rudi at SoftDux.com
Sun Jun 29 19:29:16 UTC 2008

Les Mikesell wrote:
> Rudi Ahlers wrote:
>> I want to look at setting up a simple / cheap SAN / NAS server using 
>> normal PIV motherboard, 2GB (or even more) RAM, Core 2 Duo CPU 
>> (probably a Intel 6700 / 6750 / 6800) & some SATA HDD's (4 or 6x 
>> 320GB - 750GB). My budget is limited, so I can't afford a pre-built 
>> NAS device.
>> Can this be done with CentOS? I've been looking FreeNAS (which is 
>> built on FreeBSD), and it look like a great project, but since the 
>> hardware support in FreeBSD is limit, I'd rather use Linux for it.
> You can use a stock Centos - just set up Samba if you are serving 
> windows clients and NFS for Linux/Mac clients.  The only thing even 
> slightly difficult is keeping authentication and user mapping 
> coordinated between the windows/linux sides.  You can also run 
> whatever else you might want (web/ftp/email/streaming media servers, 
> etc.) or even run it as a workstation too.  If you are serving mostly 
> windows clients and don't need NFS, you might look at SME server 
> (http://www.contribs.org) as something easier to set up.
I mainly want to use it as a backup server for hosting servers, so I'll 
focus on FTP / SSH / SFTP / iSCSI (if possible), and maybe NFS - I don't 
want SMB (for security reasons). I'll probably also add Webmin to allow 
users to browse their backups via HTTPS, manage folders, etc.

We already use SME Server 7.3 in the office, and it works great, but it 
doesn't support RAID 10, and needs min 6 drives for RAID 6, so I can't 
add a hot spare in this chassis. Also, ideally I'd like to run the OS 
from a USB memory stick / CDROM to keep it secure & fast to boot. I'll 
probably use LDAP authentication, with a seperate LDAP server, or maybe 
a separate IDE HDD / 16GB USB drive for authentication, still need to 
decide on this
>> Has anyone done this? If so, please share a bit in your experiences :)
> Are you pricing the low end NAS boxes (like Buffalo 
> Linkstation/Terastation, etc.)?  It might be hard to beat that if all 
> you want is a file server.  Most run Linux of some sort on ARM or PPC 
> processors and may need to be hacked to add NFS or support >2gig files.
We're limited to the higher end equipment in our country, like Netgear, 
Dell, Sun, etc - which is too expensive IMO. A 4 drive 1U Netgear box 
without HDD's cost about $3500!


Kind Regards
Rudi Ahlers
CEO, SoftDux

Web:   http://www.SoftDux.com
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