Gauging Interest: FreeNAS / Proxmox Backup Service

Patrick

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I am currently looking to see if I can raise a bit of recurring revenue to help fund the expansion of the DemoEval lab.

One service that I want, for myself, is fairly straightforward. I want a service dedicated solely to hosting FreeNAS/ Proxmox backups.

The idea is that the only way you can reach the service is via VPN. You have one (or many) FreeNAS machines that can each VPN into the data center. Each can then backup directly to the data center server. The only way to get access is via VPN.

I know you can do this fairly easily with colocation and a firewall/ VPN appliance in front (assuming you would not want to have the FreeNAS appliance act as the firewall/ VPN) but wanted to see if there were any STH folks looking to colo boxes for this purpose.

The DemoEval lab uses bandwidth in spikes but during working hours and infrequently. I was thinking a backup service may be a good way to offset that use pattern.

Thoughts are welcome. Feel free to send me a PM/ conversation on the topic if you are interested.
 
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manxam

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This sounds like an interesting offer but, what we'd really need, is a cost per storage unit and SLA. I know that this idea is likely fresh in your mind, but I had to ask... :)
 

Patrick

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This sounds like an interesting offer but, what we'd really need, is a cost per storage unit and SLA. I know that this idea is likely fresh in your mind, but I had to ask... :)
The majority of folks that have sent me PMs have wanted to use their own low power machines for this.

Some of it will likely depend on how much folks need in terms of a SLA. Part of the information gathering phase. Going from three nines to five costs quite a bit and I do wonder how much folks using a free NAS OS will pay for a better SLA.

Great discussion topic though.
 
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msvirtualguy

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I would love to see what this would cost....but not for FreeNAS. One of the reasons I am selling my 1u Nutanix servers is because they are loud and moving to SFF but if I can find a Colo to house the 3u of space, i'd consider it for a secondary Nutanix Cluster for my backups, replication and DR as long as the cost wasn't out of control.
 

chief_j

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This would be pretty cool. I'm sure there are a couple of people like me out there that just host tons of media, and would consider it. I don't even need a high availability, I just need to know it's there and I could get it back eventually. I've been tempted to use backblaze's b2, but have never got around to it.

If I could help out STH instead, that's a bonus.
 

Patrick

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Here is the update:

We currently have four folks trying this service out. I think it is very "beta" at this point but has already caused some bandwidth upgrades.

How it works
  1. User sends machine + spares (as needed). We are requiring that everything is labeled so we can have remote hands move drives in/ out.
  2. Box is installed on its own VLAN and access is provided only by:
  3. On-prem/ mobile device -> OpenVPN -> Internet -> Firewall/ OpenVPN -> Datacenter backup machine.
We are not allowing access to the data center backup machines except through VPN. The reason for that is because we wanted to ensure that nobody has a neighbor getting DDoS'd or similar. I also do not want to have folks hosting objectionable content to the world.

Pricing
Thus far it has been more along the lines of "here is what we have, how much power it uses and we are willing to pay this much."

It still needs to get flushed out a bit more frankly.

@nitrobass24 - That is exactly what we are doing.
@gigatexal - rsync.net provides/ manages the storage. We have sold boxes for this purpose and then racked them.
@msvirtualguy - We are hosting something similar for an analytics vendor FAE who has OpenVPN on their laptop. The FAE's company is paying for it in that case and it is out of our Sunnyvale data center so the FAE can add additional nodes from the DemoEval pool.
@chief_j - Even with spares, it is cheaper than b2 if you have a lot of storage.
@briandm81 - Pricing is set per the above.
@manxam - Apologies, this went from 0-> customers in 72 hours.
 
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Hank C

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I sort of like this idea. I would like to know the pricing for each u and bandwidth as well.
 

OBasel

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Commenting as a beta user...

We have an 80TB 4U machine with @Patrick that we can max out each of our colos' 100mbit/s upload to and it works great. After that happened one night we had to limit on our end to 70mbit/s. We also have IPMI to our box which we liked.

ZFS send/receive ftw! :D:):D

We also seeded the server with current snapshots before sending.

It may have been cheaper to find some random colo, throw a firewall in it and whatever, but I actually like that the network is VPN access only in the colo and that I didn't need the extra box.

We had less than 30s of downtime in month 1. For backups fine.

I like supporting STH as well.
 

Patrick

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@OBasel I was not going to call any of the beta users out.

@Hank C - shoot me a mail or PM. It is still more power/ space based since just leasing extra capacity.

@whitey - the second I set that pricing someone will send a 4x GPU server or a 12x 10TB hard drive server.

Since I have received two questions twice each today:

1. If you did want a server from FS or something else and do a rent-to-own or similar, and just send drives, we can make that happen as well.
2. If you have those little Supermicro SC721's, we can host those.

I will also add that I do want to think about, at some point, standardizing on drives so we can pool spares.