Netwroked Storage

Grant Peel gpeel at
Wed Sep 30 14:49:03 UTC 2009

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Adam Vande More" <amvandemore at>
To: "Grant Peel" <gpeel at>
Cc: <freebsd-questions at>
Sent: Wednesday, September 30, 2009 9:07 AM
Subject: Re: Netwroked Storage

> On Tue, Sep 29, 2009 at 10:39 AM, Grant Peel <gpeel at> wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> For the past few months I have been researching methods to create a 
>> storage
>> enclosure, perferably with out spending many 10s of k's of $'s.
>> The intent here is to connect about 10 Web servers, each of them hosting
>> about 200 domains, to a central storage system to house users home
>> directories.
>> I am still looking for feedback regarding what level of hardware ( how 
>> much
>> RAM , cpu bus speed etc) people might be using for a similar setup.
>> The end idea is to lead FreeBSD on the storage system, create one huge
>> /home directory, export it via NFS and share that on all the Web 
>> machines.
>> It might be worth noting that the Web machines host a full array of
>> software, i.e. Mail, Web, MySQL, PHP etc.
>> Does anyone use a similar setup? What kind of I/O bottlenecks are 
>> created?
> Your questions cannot be answer specifically because they do not contain
> enough info.  Here is what I chose to do in a similar but smaller enviro.
> 1.  This a good place for virtualization.  FreeBSD jails are the most
> efficient form that I'm aware of including XEN.  Jails have limitations 
> doesn't however.
> 2.  High load DB's shouldn't be virtualized.
> 3.  EZjails port helps alot!
> 4.  Machine specs would depend on system load, you've given no indication
> other than apps.
> 5.  You should preplan backup and failover setup.  Heartbeat, CARP, rdiff,
> and other utilities should help here.
>> Any feedback would be welcome.
>> -Grant
> -- 
> Adam Vande More
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Hi Adam,

Thanks for the reply.

Whatever software flavour I settle on (I am trending towards FreeNAS at this 
point), I will be be running a RAID 5 array with a specific share dedicated 
to backups. Indeed, I already have a robust backup schemem in place. So no 
worries about loosing data per #5 on your list.

Per #4 on your list, I am not sure if you are asking about the NAS machine, 
or the clients. The CLients are all Dell machines (R200's, PE860's and 
PE#750's). They are all Pent 4 and Xenon machines, currently using 100MB 
ethernet. (LAN AND WAN). All of them are connected to my central switch via 
a LAN vlan, and a wan vlan. The ethernet switch is also a dell 48 port 
Managed 100MB switch, with two GB ports. The current Internet traffic is 
about 2 Megabits sustained. The hard drive lights on each server are 
blinking about once per second, a little more solid when FTP activity is 
high. As far as the NAS machine specs go, I have not decided on anything 
yet, and am looking for input on this, any takers?

I have also just came up with another question:

All of the 200 domains on each server have thier own Real Unix user 
(obviously). Once the NAS is setup, (using NFS), how do the permissions on 
the NAS machine play out? i.e. when user 'hisname' logs into a server via 
ftp, and uploads a file to his home directory (which is on the NAS), will 
the file permissions be the same, and will 'hisname' own the file exactly 
the same as if he were writing to the local (server) disk? In the NAS 
exports do I have to map every user to the NFS or can I just maproot?



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