FreeNAS file server...which hardware to choose?

Steve Bertrand steve at
Mon Jul 20 01:07:32 UTC 2009

Aleksandr Miroslav wrote:
> I would like to setup a home fileserver running FreeNAS (which itself runs
> on FreeBSD 7.2). Can someone recommend hardware for this?
> I know I'd have to get 3 harddrives. Two will be at home running RAID1, and
> the third will be mirrored about once per quarter and brought offsite.

Right off the bat, YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG.


Have at *least* four disks, in RAID 10 ( 10 as in 1+0, or bin(1010) );

As far as chassis, I prefer anything that says Intel on it. Your RAID
setup will be managed by FreeBSD anyway. I've found that FreeBSD
interacts well deeply with Intel-based hardware.


Don't do 'once per quarter'.

It feels to me as though you are an outside contractor (forgive me if
i'm wrong).

Put a cheap box in that aggregates a daily rsync on a removable drive,
and have one of the staff take that drive home.

If that is not feasible, dump the changes over the Internet with rsync(1).

If both suggestions are not feasible, then you don't want them as your
client anyway, as they are too cheap to listen to reason.

Either way, for reliable consistency:

- use good hardware where the manufacturer has a long-standing
reputation for providing documentation to their hardware API (afaik,
Intel (smack me if I'm wrong))

- learn the difference between ``archive'' and ``backup''

- understand that the hardware is your weakest link... once you figure
out that your storage method is better than the storage mechanism, then
you won't ever have to ask this question again ;)

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