AVS Forum banner
1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've done as much reading as I can on Openfiler, Unraid & Freenas, but I still have a couple of unanswered questions. I'm really not technically proficient enough for most Linux distros.


I'm about to setup a mediaserver and I need to get a better idea on some of the above software's limitations.


Openfiler - Seems like a good choice for RAID5 but can it hide shares from particular users so that they are not visible?


UnRaid - I don't really want to pay $69/$119 for this but it does seem very user friendly. I've read a lot on the UnRaid forums and it seems a lot of people have hardware problems if they don't closely follow the very limited hardware compatibility. Is this a major issue, or are the hardware problems exaggerated?


FreeNas - I like a lot of what I've read about FreeNas, but there doesn't seem to be an easy way to expand a raid5 array.


Flexraid - Not sure if this is ready for showtime yet. Also unsure about whether it can hide shares from particular users?


I would appreciate any information people can give me about their experiences with the above server software.


Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,656 Posts
Openfiler:
  • rPath Linux based - full distro
  • Can run many other Linux programs
  • Is pretty fast - easily do 60-70MBps over gigabit
  • Very little command line knowledge required - very important for folks who are not that familiar with Linux
  • Super Easy install in about 30 minutes
  • Has wide hardware compatibility - (I have tested it with atleast 25 different Raid cards and onboard integrated raid controllers)
  • Very light install - can even install on a flash drive


UnRaid:
  • Easy install
  • Does not do "true" raid, but a kind of mashed up parity implementation
  • However, that implementation is actually perfectly targeted for media files as you don't waste as much space/HDDs
  • Performance sucks - your transfer performance is the lowest common denominator of your disk speeds, and even network transfer isn't that great. Expect 20-25MBps
  • Very limited hardware compatibility
  • Very light install, can install/run off of a flash drive


FreeNAS: I can't recommend it. Too limited.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the detailed summary kapone.


I didn't realise that Openfiler is so much quicker than UnRaid. I would still be interested in finding out whether Openfiler can hide shares from certain users? That's really the only thing holding me back from starting out with Openfiler at the moment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,656 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbud120 /forum/post/14163674


Thanks for the detailed summary kapone.


I didn't realise that Openfiler is so much quicker than UnRaid. I would still be interested in finding out whether Openfiler can hide shares from certain users? That's really the only thing holding me back from starting out with Openfiler at the moment.

Openfiler can certainly implement NT style ACLs, it even integrates with an LDAP or AD server for ACLs. I'm not sure what you mean by "hiding", but if you restrict access based on ACLs, someone may be able to see the share, but not browse it or read/write to it. I haven't really tried to "hide" shares from certain users, but the ACLs work like they should.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sounds good and it's free, so when I get my hardware together I'll probably try Openfiler and see how I like it. The worst that can happen is I won't like it and then I'll just try something else.


Just to clarify, hide probably wasn't the proper word. I just mean I want some folders to only be visible to certain users. That's not a huge deal though.


I still wouldn't mind reading which server software other people are using and why they settled on that choice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
My reasons for using unRAID :


Ease of use and setup (copy OS files to USB drive, run syslinux against its drive letter and then put drive into server - less than 5 minutes).


If you want to add more space you just shutdown the server, slot another drive in, restart server and add it to the devices list then restart the array using the built in web server.


Cost is $69 dollars (nice number !) = £35 ish for support up to 6 drives.


Downside is that if you know nothing (al la ME) about linux then it can be difficult to get it to do anything else other than what comes as standard with the installation.


The read speed isnt really an issue for me as it supports HD streaming ok and thats all that counts.


Having up to 16 drives protected by 1 parity drive is nice
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,165 Posts
I have been playing with Unraid.


I copied a few big files and I got about 75% network write and 85% network read utilization over my 100Mbps network. I'm using 2 x 500gig drives 1 data and 1 parity though and I expect write speeds to be less as I add more drives. Read speeds should not really drop though because it is always reading off a single drive. The new version of Unraid (the pro one I believe) also implements a cache drive option which allows higher write speeds if needed (you write to an unprotected drive and schedule copying to the protected array at a later time).


It allows you to add any size of drive and mix and match the drives. The drive handling seems to be good and allows a lot of leeway. I'll be sticking an older 250gig drive I have into it soon too once I get it out of my other computer. This feature is unique to Unraid unless you go with something like a USR Drobo.


It is very simple to use. I just copied the files to the flash drive, plugged it into the computer, set the bios to boot off the flash drive and then booted it up.


The hardware isn't that big a deal. It should be fairly easy to put together a
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for your impressions on Unraid guys. It sounds really easy to use initially.


I've searched the 3 OS on the forums (via google seach) and UnRaid and Freenas both have 10 plus pages of results. Strangely, Openfiler only has 4. It seems like Openfiler isn't as popular in the AV community as UnRaid and Freenas.


On computer forums it's the exact opposite. Openfiler, Freenas and Linux distros are preferred over UnRaid. I guess people on computer forums prefer more options in a server OS regardless of user-friendliness.


User-friendliness is my biggest concern. So if Openfiler doesn't work out, I'll probably give UnRaid a try.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
I think you will find that unRAID is "ruling the roost" for the pure and simple reason that anyone into HTPCs knows that no matter how much storage you have it will NEVER be enough and being able to simply slot another 1TB drive in ad hoc is sure to be a winner. I belive freeNAS or OpenFiler are both more traditional RAID systems in that they are harder to upgrade due to the way RAID5 works (I could be wrong on this ??).


From my own point of view I just want a server thats easy to upgrade (storage wise) and protects my data (gonna take a whole lot of time to re-rip all those DVDs!). Having it be able to run other tasks (eg. Web Cam, Newsgroups access etc) is a big plus too and this is where unRAID is a little lacking hence I am now looking into flexRAID as I see you are too.


Once you have unRAID working with the free 3 drive version you no longer need to worry about upgrading the hardware as its very stable and theres nothing else that needs doing .... just keep on slotting those drives in once you have paid for the PLUS or PRO version !


Lanstrom
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
But it seems to be close to the exact question I needed answering. I'm setting up a NAS with 1 2tb drive for now, so I would like to have the os on a flash drive.

My biggest thing though other than serving files is torrent support.

I'd also like the ability to add more drives in the future.

Since I'm only doing 1 drive that that put unraid down? The bit of searching I've done on unraid makes it sound slow and very hard to put a torrent client on.

Freenas sounds like it might work but after this thread I get the impression that adding more drives is not easy without losing data?

Help!


I'd like to keep this windows free,

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
161 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by kapone /forum/post/14163601


Openfiler:
  • rPath Linux based - full distro
  • Can run many other Linux programs
  • Is pretty fast - easily do 60-70MBps over gigabit
  • Very little command line knowledge required - very important for folks who are not that familiar with Linux
  • Super Easy install in about 30 minutes
  • Has wide hardware compatibility - (I have tested it with atleast 25 different Raid cards and onboard integrated raid controllers)
  • Very light install - can even install on a flash drive


FreeNAS: I can't recommend it. Too limited.

agree about Openfiler, is nice for a free app. I too did not like FreeNas much


but Unraid:.. love it.. here's why..


UnRaid:
  • Very Easy install
  • does parity protection (think raid4 minus stripping) .. maximizes useable HDD space, and does not strip files across mulitple drives, hence drives can individually spindown when not in use!
  • perfectly targeted for media files, only drives that need to be spun-up are.. so low power consuption, heat, noise.
  • Performance is fine.. on gigabit, i get about 60-80MB/s reads of the drives (which is great for any HD media playback. although writes directly to the array are slow (12-16MB/s), due to parity calculations; but if using a cache drive this works around the write issue (can write 40-60MB/s from my windows machines, unraid then moves files from cache to protected array at a later time in background)
  • slightly limited hardware compatibility for cerain raid card support.. but if knowing this going in, you can purchase your system around the limitations
  • Very light install, can install/run off of a flash drive, also user scripts enable extra features (although minor learning curve).
  • Extremely easy to upgrade drives, add new drives, recover from drive failures. (supports up to 20 drives atm via latest beta)
  • great support, i think worth the price .. very reliable
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,165 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbud120 /forum/post/14170587


I've searched the 3 OS on the forums (via google seach) and UnRaid and Freenas both have 10 plus pages of results. Strangely, Openfiler only has 4. It seems like Openfiler isn't as popular in the AV community as UnRaid and Freenas.


On computer forums it's the exact opposite. Openfiler, Freenas and Linux distros are preferred over UnRaid. I guess people on computer forums prefer more options in a server OS regardless of user-friendliness.

Just to expand on this. The guys on computer forums are likely linux savy and are setting up servers for general purpose use. The name of the game in that application is speed for many, many users. Full hardware RAID is likely preferred as well as a full OS to access other bells and whistles for doing more advanced stuff like mail servers, DNS servers, web servers, database servers, and internet routing.


unRAID is targeted at users who want media storage without needing linux experience or knowledge. It does this very well. It's purpose is more or less to be a simple OS that's easy to impliment and that will serve media.


To add to my first post, I can now saturate my 100Mbps network. The writing computer was a bottleneck. I haven't tried 1000Mbps networking yet.


Peter
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
This would be my recommendations:




Freenas: Home Use, A lot of features(NFS,CIFS,ISCSI,Media Server, **********,and more), easy to use, good performance, tiny OS (It can run on 256MB Ram), Portable, easy upgrade.


Openfiler: Business Use, Commercial supported, contains basic features for business (CIFS,NFS, ISCSI), easy to use, good performance, requires 512MB Ram minimum.


Unraid: I have not really experiences with it ..but it seems that it only provide Media Server and CIFS share, It is not flexible, and it has some issues with Hardware..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
377 Posts
Depending on your needs disParity (windows) is great, no-frills backup tool for media jukeboxes, where files are not changing frequently, just being added to, no dedicated OS/hw needed, can work with drives that have content already, and only needs one drive to store the parity files which can be a network drive(!):

http://www.vilett.com/disParity/


"DisParity is a free backup utility that calculates parity from data on multiple hard drives. If one of the drives fails, disParity can use the previously calculated parity data, in combination with the remaining drives, to recover the contents of the lost drive. It's a fast, free and easy way to protect yourself against data loss caused by hard drive failures on home media servers.


The concept is similar to RAID, but no specialized hardware is required."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,210 Posts
UnRaid has improved a lot in the past year - this thread is very old. There are few hardware compatability problems these days. The speed for writing has improved too. Incredibly simple to set up.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
7,964 Posts
FlexRAID has greatly improved as well. Go to www.openegg.org and take a look around.


There will be a major update soon...soon being up to a few weeks (Christmas slows things down for those who work for free).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
I'm thinking about building an software unraid server or similar. Wondering if anyone has any advice/opinions about unraid. Is it more space efficient compared with FreeNAS or Openfiler? I'm trying to determine what the best combination of hardware and software is best. I don't want to spend a lot money on a $$$ hardware RAID and am trying to hardware costs down to a minimum. Still taking in all of my options right now so any advice/direction would be greatly appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,165 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by fitbrit /forum/post/17695754


UnRaid has improved a lot in the past year - this thread is very old. There are few hardware compatability problems these days. The speed for writing has improved too. Incredibly simple to set up.

Yup, the new versions really improved the disk I/O handling. I can write large files at about 35Mbps and reads are around 70Mbps. Not as fast as a good RAID5 or RAID6 array but fast enough to move media files to the server.


Peter
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,283 Posts
I am looking at some of the above as well. The two things I require are DNLA / Squeezebox support.


Some that I know will run this -

Freenas

WHS

Vortexbox


are there any other options. I am looking to alternatives to Windows stuff. This will be going on a MSI-PC.
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Top