[CentOS] OT: Replacing Venerable NAS

Wed Nov 18 19:55:18 UTC 2015
Warren Young <wyml at etr-usa.com>

On Nov 18, 2015, at 12:16 PM, Chris Adams <linux at cmadams.net> wrote:
> Once upon a time, Warren Young <wyml at etr-usa.com> said:
>> - They’re serious server-grade machines, not borderline flimsy boxes competing largely on price.  Built in and supported from Silicon Valley, not China. :)
> iXsystems sells rebadged SuperMicro stuff, nothing special (not made in
> Silicon Valley).

Good to know, though I must say, the SuperMicro stuff I’ve used is a cut above typical desktop PC or commodity grade hardware.  Not on par with super high end stuff, but well above average.

> iX found and fixed a FreeBSD kernel NFS bug, but it was a
> painful experience.

I see that story in the exact opposite way: iXsystems found and fixed the problem, expending heroic levels of effort to do so.  

By contrast, I’ve had several $300-500 NASes become unmountable for one reason or another, and the vendor was no use *at all* in getting it remounted.  I had to rebuild the NAS from backups each time.

It’s rather annoying to buy a NAS, then later realize you need to buy *another* NAS as a mirror in case the first one roaches itself.  Isn’t that what redundant storage is supposed to avoid?

Meanwhile, I’ve never had a ZFS pool become unmountable, even when the disk enclosure hardware was failing underneath it.

> Then, early this year, we had a node fail, and it took them almost a
> month to get us a replacement.

That’s not good.

But have you gotten better turn time from the $300-500 NAS providers for the same service?

Did you opt for advance replacement, and if not, why not?

> Their idea of HA is to monitor the ethernet links, not the services;

Do the $300-500 NAS boxes even try to do HA failover?

> even though we have multiple links in a LAG

I’ve also had trouble with FreeBSD’s lagg feature.  Fortunately, my use case allowed me to switch to a round-robin DNS based load balancing scheme instead.  I don’t think you can do that with NFS, by its nature.

> And today, when trying to open a ticket, their website is broken because
> one of their DNS servers is returning for part of their
> website (where the CSS is served).

Yes, I noticed their site was running awfully slowly.  Embarrassing, but I don’t see what it has to do with the quality of their FreeNAS boxes.