Absolute minimal spec ProMox file server, went with Ubuntu/samba server

Klee

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Jun 2, 2016
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I need to build a back up file server that will be temporary and reasonably power thrifty , maybe for a couple of month's or so.

I am currently limited to the one fairly new motherboard that I am not using and that I still have.

Two parts that I HAVE to use:
Biostar B85 chip-set motherboard.
Celeron G1840 dual core.:(

I have 8 gigs of regular DDR3 desktop ram, sure wish I could use ECC ddr3 on that motherboard since I have tons of that.

I have about 1.3 Tb's of very important data so three 2 Tb hard drives in raid would be plenty.

I really like ProxMox and the hardware does meet the minimum specs, just barely but it does.:D

I am thinking ProxMox with ZFS and one vm of probably Ubuntu 20.04 as a simple file server.

Doable?

Intel shows the Celeron to be compatible with ecc ram but biostars website shows absolutely nothing about it.

May have to plug in a few sticks to test for the heck of it as I have a couple of 16 gb sticks just sitting unused.
 

Patrick

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Do you need Proxmox? Why not just Ubuntu?

Check out the hardware that is in 5 bay NAS units. Really low CPU needed for a basic file server.
 
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dandanio

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Also, since it is a "very important data", make sure it is a RAID1 with multiple parity disks. I assume this is just for safekeeping? If so, create a RAID1 with multiple drives, copy the data over, power down the server and take one drive to an off-site storage. Done.
 

Klee

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Do you need Proxmox? Why not just Ubuntu?

Check out the hardware that is in 5 bay NAS units. Really low CPU needed for a basic file server.
No I don't "need" proxmox, it's just it would be super easy to configure and I REALLY like ProxMox.

A simple Ubuntu NAS might be the easiest thing to do.

I just started to put it together so tomorrow i'll give it some more thought.

Also, since it is a "very important data", make sure it is a RAID1 with multiple parity disks. I assume this is just for safekeeping? If so, create a RAID1 with multiple drives, copy the data over, power down the server and take one drive to an off-site storage. Done.
I do have a backup hard drive in my main pc that I also backup to, I just want a second backup since the WD My Cloud NAS is probably needing to be retired since its six or seven years old.

A raid 1 would be ideal.

I will get another commercial NAS in a few months to replace the Mycloud so this is just temporary.
 

vudu

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You're a stingy, STINGY bastard! I think you would get away with it. Patrick's take is better. How do you value your time?

ZFS loves ram. So how about an I5 NUC (up to 32GB RAM) with 2TB crucial SSD and zfs send receive to a backup for the backup? Low power + performance! Proxmox, Ubuntu + vm expansion.
 

Klee

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You're a stingy, STINGY bastard! I think you would get away with it. Patrick's take is better. How do you value your time?

ZFS loves ram. So how about an I5 NUC (up to 32GB RAM) with 2TB crucial SSD and zfs send receive to a backup for the backup? Low power + performance! Proxmox, Ubuntu + vm expansion.
I have to be stingy because I have not worked in almost three weeks because of the coronavirus, and under quarantine here, so I really have to watch what I spend.

I have to use what I have already and a better solution is in my future, just not now.

And it keeps me busy doing something since I have loads of time right now.
 

Klee

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Well I upgraded to a OEM Intel i5 cooler, the one with the copper center, because it was new in the box and still has the factory thermal paste.

And that's important because I can't find my tube of thermal paste.o_O

 

Markess

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Spec-wise your hardware will be fine for your use case. Even with Proxmox. Ubuntu on bare metal will probably be a bit faster when you're starting transfers, but once they are going I don't think you'd notice a lot of difference.

You seem to be concerned that the server will be underpowered with a G1840? If all you're doing is moving data to/from the disks, then the mechanical disks and/or 1Gb NIC will probably be the limiting factor, not the CPU. Its a different story if you're doing something else with it (transcoding, multiple VMs, etc.), but for simple data movement to/from, even cheap ARM based NAS units can saturate a 1Gb connection.

8GB of RAM is fine too. When all you're doing is file transfers, any RAM over and above the relatively low amount needed to run the system is usually going toward buffering the file transfers to ensure your disks and network connection aren't kept waiting. For mechanical disks and a 1Gb NIC, you probably won't need more than 8GB to keep them "maxed out", even with ZFS.

ntel shows the Celeron to be compatible with ecc ram but biostars website shows absolutely nothing about it.

May have to plug in a few sticks to test for the heck of it as I have a couple of 16 gb sticks just sitting unused.
FYI: Yes, Celeron supports ECC, but the B85 chipset does not. Its entirely possible that your system will run with ECC Ram in it, but it won't be in "ECC Mode".

Two words, mergerfs and snapraid
Yeah, what @Marsh said. If the data is going to be largely static, then this is a really good option. Plus, if its only going to be a temporary solution, data disks written with mergerfs and snapraid are readable even when they're pulled from an array.
 
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Klee

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A little update:

Absolutely no ECC ram works with it, that's a shame since I have a few hundred gigs of ECC DDR3.

Installed Ubuntu server 18.04 on the Intel 240 gb SSD.
Zero configuring so far.

But I just had to remove the three big center fans and the two small ones in the rear.

With this setup the three intakes have plenty of airflow through the case and is a bit quieter.

With the dual Xeon motherboard and 14 drives as it had originally the fans were definitely needed but now they are overkill so I took them out.

I'll mess with it some more this weekend, was kind of busy today and did not do too much with it other than finish building it and installing the os.
 
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Klee

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Well apparently Ubuntu 18.04.4 live server image still has issues with installing raid during install.

Had to download Ubuntu 18.04.4 server amd64 iso , so reinstalling with this version.

I prefer to use the live version since it has the newer installer.

EDIT: This version did not crash on raid install. I really can't understand why the Live Server image still has this bug, its been around since the first version of 18.04.

I set it up with /boot, /root and /home on the Intel 240GB SSD, and for the three 2 TB HGST drives in raid1 with hot spare as /srv.

So I just need to update and configure
 
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Klee

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Ok, configured the fileserver as a samba server.

Ubuntu 19.10 box sees the share, windows 10 explore does not see it.

I can map a network drive in Windows to the share, \\192.168.1.158\share, and it finds it ok and i'm able see it as drive Z.

Now I can copy back and forth and delete files from either Windows 10 or Ubuntu pc's.

Windows 98 SE pc sees it and works perfectly without having to map a network drive.:D

Windows 10 has always given me issues like this, to use the MyCloud I have to either map a network drive or use the WDConnector program.

So now copying over the files from the MyCloud nas............
 

Klee

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Jun 2, 2016
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Do you need Proxmox? Why not just Ubuntu?

Check out the hardware that is in 5 bay NAS units. Really low CPU needed for a basic file server.
Seems like I was over thinking things, the performance of Ubuntu 18.04.4 as a simple samba server is more than acceptable on this setup.

I guess i'm too used to cramming as much stuff/work/performance as I can on dual Xeon servers to think a lowly Celeron might not be good enough.:rolleyes:

Thanks for reminding me of sometimes simple is better.:D
 

Markess

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EDIT: This version did not crash on raid install. I really can't understand why the Live Server image still has this bug, its been around since the first version of 18.04.
So, Canonical swears its not a bug and has never been a bug. The official answer has always been that live installer (Subiquity) was designed for vanilla installs only, to give less experienced uses a "more familiar and comfortable live installer experience" :p. The assumption was, or so they say, that if you needed more (like RAID, encryption, or other than totally generic networking), then you were the kind of person that would be comfortable with the traditional installer. At least that was the official position. :cool:.

Now, even though the current live installer is exactly the way Canonical wanted it all along, for some reason they've gone out of their way to announce that they've added RAID and all the rest to the live installer for the 20.04 release. In fact, the current plan is to have only the live installer, and to not have an alternate installer at all. I guess we'll see at the end of the month.

P.S. This isn't meant to be harshing on Canonical...I run Ubuntu on almost everything.
 

Klee

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Had a BIG scare!!

The WD MyCloud shutdown due to a over temp condition. :eek:

It has NEVER done that, even in the summer when the ac was not working.o_O

I let it sit for a bit while I panicked.......:eek:

Turned it back on and it works and the diag screen shows it's ok.

So a temporary band aid with a couple of fans ran off a spare power supply with the 24 pin jumpered to turn it on.

Back to copying files.

 

Markess

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Did you set the transfer up to suck it dry all in one go? Those external units can get pretty hot when there's a lot of continuous disk thrashing over an extended period.
 

Klee

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Jun 2, 2016
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So, Canonical swears its not a bug and has never been a bug. The official answer has always been that live installer (Subiquity) was designed for vanilla installs only, to give less experienced uses a "more familiar and comfortable live installer experience" :p. The assumption was, or so they say, that if you needed more (like RAID, encryption, or other than totally generic networking), then you were the kind of person that would be comfortable with the traditional installer. At least that was the official position. :cool:.

Now, even though the current live installer is exactly the way Canonical wanted it all along, for some reason they've gone out of their way to announce that they've added RAID and all the rest to the live installer for the 20.04 release. In fact, the current plan is to have only the live installer, and to not have an alternate installer at all. I guess we'll see at the end of the month.

P.S. This isn't meant to be harshing on Canonical...I run Ubuntu on almost everything.

During the install using the manual partition option it does give you the option to create a raid on the live iso.

So it gives you the option to do something but it fails to be able to it and it fails with an error.

Real world comparison, you rent a new car with a power convertible top and the switch says open and close.

So its a nice day out and you put the top down for the first time and you enjoy the nice weather that morning but that afternoon it starts to rain so you push the close button on the switch and nothing happens.

So you rush over to the rental company and tell them the top wont go up, they reply oh on your car that's the way its supposed to be and there is nothing wrong with it and to have a car that has a top that goes up you have to have that car over there....o_O