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FreeNAS - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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The FreeBSD based network attached storage ( NAS) solution. Presented, tested and researched by: Elliott Lake FreeNAS What is a NAS? Consider a NAS server to be: A network attached device with: A self contained O/S. One or more mass storage devices shared over the network. Examples:

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The FreeBSD based

network attached storage (NAS) solution.

Presented, tested and researched

by: Elliott Lake

what is a nas
What is a NAS?
  • Consider a NAS server to be:
    • A network attached device with:
      • A self contained O/S.
      • One or more mass storage devices shared over the network.
        • Examples:
          • Hard disk drive(s).
          • Optical drive(s).
      • Specialized device geared for sharing files.
what is a nas3
What is a NAS?
  • “A specialized file server that connects to the network. A NAS device contains a slimmed-down operating system and a file system and processes only I/O requests by supporting the popular file sharing protocols, primarily CIFS for Windows and NFS for Unix.”
project background
Project Background:
  • My employer had a need for Terabytes of storage space.
  • The need for the storage space was unexpected.
  • No budget existed for the project.
  • Throughput required server level capabilities.
  • 2/3 of the IT staff does not seem to handle command line approaches.
  • Must work in a Windows© Environment.
project background5
Project Background:
  • Specific projects:
    • A three system, isolated production network setup has been planned.
      • The project has been placed on an indefinite hold.
      • The project is currently using Microsoft.
    • Possible use for a read-only access for storing aerial photographs.
      • The project has been placed on an indefinite hold.
      • Various managerial staff do believe someone else should store the data.
why was freenas selected
Why was FreeNAS Selected?
  • Installation seemed to be a FreeNAS version of Windows default installation.
  • GUI Web interface.
    • Only one IT staff member seems to be comfortable with command line approaches.
  • Management wants a K.I.S.S. Approach.
    • Lowest common denominator / skill set approach neede.
why was freenas selected7
Why was FreeNAS Selected?
  • Disk backup of the organizations storage area network (SAN).
    • The implemented Windows 2003 backup solution seemed to be inadequate.
    • Tape backups were inconsistent requiring a backup solution for the backup.
    • Total server storage in the Terabyte range.
    • Additional storage space was required for over 0.1TB of data with no disk space available at the time.
freenas system requirements
FreeNAS System Requirements:
  • PC class hardware with:
    • 96 MB RAM.
    • Bootable optical drive.
    • Floppy disk for configuration backup.
    • Mass storage device for O/S.
      • USB.
      • Hard disk drive (HDD).
      • Compact flash (CF) drive.
freenas system requirements9
FreeNAS System Requirements:
  • PC class hardware with:
    • Mass storage device for network data.
  • Virtual system set to emulate the previous configuration.
  • Was supposed to integrate with Windows 2003 Active Directory.
    • Depending on source.
freenas supported drive types
FreeNAS Supported Drive Types:
  • SCSI
  • IDE
  • SATA
  • CF
  • USB
  • Firewire
    • Not listed in documentation or tested by myself as of this presentation.
freenas supported file systems
FreeNAS Supported File Systems:
  • UFS
    • Native for UNIX, FreeBSD, FreeNAS and more.
  • FAT
  • FAT32
  • Ext2
  • Ext3
freenas installation to hdd
FreeNAS Installation to HDD:
  • FreeNAS version being used:
    • LiveCD 0.865RC1
    • Running FreeNAS from a live CD can be done.
      • This ability will be mentioned in the demo slides.
      • The setup and configuration of this ability will be considered beyond the scopy of the presentation.
  • Installation instructions will vary based on FreeNAS version.
    • Consult documentation available on the FreeNAS web site.
freenas installation to hdd14
FreeNAS Installation to HDD:
  • Start system.
  • Insert FreeNAS CD while system boots.
    • If the system is not set to boot off of the optical drive first:
      • Make sure the HDD does not have a valid O/S present (not applicable for VM systems).
      • Set to boot from optical drive in BIOS.
  • Wait for tones from system.
    • The tones indicate FreeNAS is ready.
      • Use as a live CD.
      • Install.
      • FreeNAS splash screen will be visible.
        • Press any keey to change to console.
freenas installation to hdd15
FreeNAS Installation to HDD:
  • Select option 9.
    • “Install/Upgrade to an hard drive/flash device, etc.”
    • This option applies to FreeNAS 685 series through RC1.
    • Previous versions use another option number.
freenas installation to hdd16
FreeNAS Installation to HDD:
  • Select option 3.
    • “Install 'full' release on hard drive:”
    • Creates two partitions.
      • First partition is for FreeNAS O/S.
      • Second partition is for data.
      • Do not format the second partition of the first physical drive as problems are expected.
freenas installation to hdd17
FreeNAS Installation to HDD:
  • Enter the name of the optical drive.
    • The naming convention will be BSD format.
      • Example: acd0 for the first ATAPI CD ROM drive.
      • I hope my research was right.
    • Using acd0 for the demonstration.
  • Select the HDD drive for the FreeNAS O/S.
    • Using ad0 for the demonstration.
freenas installation to hdd18
FreeNAS Installation to HDD:
  • The system will create the mount point for the optical drive.
  • The O/S will be installed on the HDD.
  • The system will automatically reboot.
  • The system is ready after:
    • The FreeNAS splash screen appears.
    • The tones have been heard from the system.
freenas test systems stable
FreeNAS Test Systems, Stable:
  • Intel SR440BX motherboard.
  • Intel 450 MHz PII.
  • 256 MB RAM.
  • 16x Sony optical DVD drive.
  • 3 ~ HDDs.
    • Western Digital 6 GB IDE HDD.
    • Western Digital 20 GB IDE HDD.
    • Western Digital 40 GB IDE HDD.
freenas test systems unstable
FreeNAS Test Systems, Unstable:
  • Intel D850EMV2 motherboard.
  • Intel 2.0 GHz P4.
  • 512 MB DRAM.
  • ASUS CD-ROM drive.
  • 2 ~ Promise Technology TX4200 RAID controllers.
  • 1 ~ Maxtor SATA/150 PCI controller.
freenas test systems unstable22
FreeNAS Test Systems, Unstable:
  • HDDs
    • 1 ~ 20 GB Western Digital HDD for O/S.
    • 6 ~ 250 GB Western Digital SATA HDDs.
    • 4 ~ 250 GB Maxtor SATA HDDs.
  • HDDs
    • Configurations:
      • RAID 5 using 10 drives.
      • RAID 5 and RAID 1:
        • 2 ~ HDDs RAID 1.
          • 1 Drive on each TX4200 RAID controller.
        • 8 ~ HDDs RAID 5.
          • 3 Drives on each TX4200 RAID controller.
          • 2 Drives on SATA/150 PCI controller.
freenas test systems unstable23
FreeNAS Test Systems, Unstable:
  • As of the beginning of this presentation (Thursday, October 25, 2007) the stability issues were not resolved.
    • Further testing will not be possible as the test HDDs had to be reallocated for production use.
configuring freenas
Configuring FreeNAS:
  • FreeNAS setup for configuration and management through web browser.
    • Some management does not work through the browser.
      • Example: Integration with Microsoft AD environments.
  • System accessed by URL.
    • HTTP://IPv4 address or HTTP://IPv6 address.
configuring freenas26
Configuring FreeNAS:
  • Start browser of choice.
  • Enter address.
  • Enter logon.
    • Default logon credentials.
      • User: admin
      • Password: freenas
      • The credentials get you this:
configuring freenas27
Configuring FreeNAS:
  • Interesting Note???
    • For the purposes of the deomonstration, attempts were made to install and configure FreeNAS on a Dell Latitude C800.
      • FreeNAS would install.
      • FreeNAS would identify the embeded NIC with 16 hexidecimal pairs as the MAC address.
      • Problem corrected with further experimentation using a USRobotics PCMCIA NIC.
      • Go figure???
configuring freenas29
Each category contains several subcategories.

Several of the pages include tabbed collections / abilities.

Configuring FreeNAS:
  • What you can configure on web GUI:
      • System settings.
      • Network interfaces.
      • Disk setup.
        • JBOD and RAID.
      • System access.
      • System status.
      • System diagnostics.
configuring freenas30
Configuring FreeNAS:
  • Configure HDDs:
    • Pick the Management link in the left frame, under Disks.
    • Select the + at the right side of the right frame near the column labeled Status.
    • Select the disk to be added to the system as usable storage.
      • Located to the right of the Disk label.
      • Note: If you add the remaining space on the system drive, DO NOT FORMAT THE DRIVE.
      • According to FreeNAS.
    • Select the UDMA mode.
    • Select the HDD standby time.
    • Select the power management method.
configuring freenas31
Configuring FreeNAS:
  • Configure HDDs:
    • Select the acoustic level.
      • No kidding. FreeNAS has the option to run the HDDs at reduced noise level.
        • Was not tested prior to this presentation.
    • Select the preformatted file system.
      • Testing with FreeNAS 685b did not indicate this worked.
        • Manual formatting was still required.
    • Save the settings.
    • Repeat the previous steps if using multiple drives.
configuring freenas32
Configuring FreeNAS:
  • Configure HDDs:
    • Note about RAID drives:
      • Drives being used in a RAID configuration need to have the preformatted file system set to software RAID.
      • This was the only time in testing that the preformatted setting seemed to impact the setup / configuration.
    • Apply the changes.
    • Note: FreeNAS states it can be used for iSCSI.
      • This was not tested.
configuring freenas33
Configuring FreeNAS:
  • Configure HDDs:
    • Configure Software RAID if applicable.
      • Software RAID is beyond the scope of this presentation.
      • Software RAID 1 and 5 were tested.
        • The tests involving RAID 1 and 5 were on the unstable setup.
        • Problems encountered with the RAID configurations are inconclusive at this time,
configuring freenas34
Configuring FreeNAS:
  • Configure HDDs:
    • Format the disks.
      • Select the disk to be formatted in the Disk drop-down menu.
      • Select the file system type in the File System drop-down menu.
      • Select the minimum free disk space in the drop-down menu.
        • This is space made unavailable to the user.
        • Space is a percentage of the disk size.
      • If desired, retain the disk's MBR.
      • Format disk.
      • Repeat as needed for remaining disks.
configuring freenas35
Configuring FreeNAS:
  • Configure HDDs:
    • Create Mount Points:
      • Select Mount Point link under Disks in the left frame.
      • Select the + at the right of the window near the Status column.
      • Select the type of media (HDD or ISO) in the drop-down Type menu.
      • Select the disk from the Disk drop-down menu.
      • Select the partition.
      • Select the file system.
        • This was done in previous steps.
        • Testing has not been done as to the ability to change the FS type in this window.
      • Enter share name.
      • Enter share description.
      • Save the mount point settings.
      • Repeat as needed for additional mount points.
configuring freenas36
Configuring FreeNAS:
  • Controlling Access:
    • Testing did not provide positive results for the following:
      • Using Active Directory Integration.
        • The last documentation viewed indicated this option did not work and a request for those versed in PAM was included in the document.
      • LDAP Integration.
        • Testing did not provide favorable responses for this function.
      • What option is left?
        • Users and Groups.
configuring freenas37
Configuring FreeNAS:
  • Controlling Access:
    • Users and Groups:
      • Pick the Users and Groups link in the Access list.
      • Select the Group tab.
      • Start the add group function by selecting the +.
      • Fill in the fields provided.
      • Save the settings using the Add button.
      • Select the Users tab.
      • Fill in the fields provided.
      • Save the settings by selecting the Add button.
        • Note: Using the available shell option is suspected to provide an increased level of control.
        • Research on the FreeNAS web site seems to verify the idea.
      • This is option 6 in the console setup menu.
configuring freenas38
Configuring FreeNAS:
  • Configuring Network Shares:
    • For Microsoft:
      • Select the CIFS link in the Access list.
      • Enable CIFS (SAMBA) service.
      • Fill in the fields in the Settings tab.
        • Note that testing indicates that these settings are applied to all shares on the system.
      • Save the settings with the Save and Restart button.
      • Select the Shares tab.
      • Select the + to start defining a share.
      • Fill in the fields for the share name and description.
      • Select the mount point for the share.
      • Select desired options for:
        • Set browsable.
        • Permission inheritance.
        • “Recycle Bin”.
configuring freenas39
Configuring FreeNAS:
  • Configuring Network Shares:
    • For Microsoft:
      • Note: Testing of permission inheritance was incomplete and therefore inconclusive.
        • Attempted different masks with success related to the specific share.
          • Suspected overriding inheritance through the shell commands will be possible.
          • This theory has not been tested as of this presentation.
        • Unknown level of control.
        • Unknown level of impact of the setting.
    • For Linux:
      • First testing / research were done using SAMBA.
        • The NAS can be accessed using SAMBA and Linux.
configuring freenas40
Configuring FreeNAS:
  • Configuring Network Shares:
    • For Linux:
      • NFS
        • Select the NFS link in the Services list.
        • Enable the NFS service.
        • Select to allow access to the root of the drive.
        • Enter the network data.
          • Testing done with
          • Testing is in process.
configuring freenas41
Configuring FreeNAS:
  • Successful Network Share Access:
    • Linux:
      • In address bar type smb://IPAddress/shareName
    • Microsoft:
      • In Windows Explorer:
        • Browse to the system and share.
          • Only if the share is set so browsers can see the share.
        • In address bar type \\IPAddress\shareName
      • Note:
        • RC1 seems to encounter a timeout issue with Microsoft requiring a logon after the timeout.
        • These issues were not present in FreeNAS 685b.
support sources of information
Support / Sources of Information:
private implementation research
Private Implementation / Research:
  • The presenter will be looking to implement FreeNAS:
    • On home / experimental network.
    • On research network at place of employment
research testing conclusions
Research / Testing Conclusions:
  • Seems to need:
    • Work on AD integration.
      • Acknowledged by FreeNAS.
    • Additional documentation.
  • FreeNAS has definite possibilities:
    • Inexpensive mass storage.
    • Relatively intuitive GUI through web interface.
      • Relative to user.
  • Watch future versions!
  • FreeNAS version 685b.
  • FreeNAS version RC1.
  • FreeNAS documentation (for version 684).
  • FreeNAS downloads are available through the FreeNAS web site.


Or, please be kind, I never claimed to be an expert…