NAS Build - Hardware vs Software (ZFS) Raid and more [Advice Needed]

PithyChats

Active Member
Feb 3, 2015
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Looking to build two NAS's which synchronize over an internet connection. These will be chiefly used for media storage.

I have some LSI 9286-8e available, with cachevault, so RAID-6 write hole is not a major concern. I am trying to decide between those and ZFS. ZFS has the obvious advantages, but requires more RAM, and from what I understand, adding disks to v-devs is not directly possible, whereas it is pretty easy for the LSI 9286-8e. Also from what I understand the LSI 9286-8e will have better read speeds, other things equal.

So my first decision is LSI 9286-8e vs ZFS with HBA.

My second decision is the software. I could roll CentOS, but that might require a bit more setup than going with something like Napp-it or FreeNAS / NAS4Free. Can I use Napp-it or FreeNAS / NAS4Free with hardware Raid or will this be asking for trouble? How about replication across the internet? Is this easy to do with Napp-it or FreeNAS / NAS4Free?

Finally if I do go ZFS, will dual E5630's with 24GB ram be enough for a 30TB raw (24TB RaidZ2) array? Mostly I care about read performance, write is not every important, as the workload will be 90/10 read write. I can easily add more ram, but I figure hardware raid needs much less ram, and at some point the cost is just not worth it.

Is there anything else I am missing?
 

mrkrad

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Oct 13, 2012
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Well what kind of drives do you plan to use? You can get away with some level of consumer drives with ZFS/software raid but the LSI is not very forgiving for non TLER/CERC drives at all. You can also add cachecade 1/2 to the LSI megaraid to improve read/write speeds independent on the OS you plan to use. (ESXi, windows 2012, centos/freebsd).

You can get away with very little ram/cpu with the lsi megaraid true! this might add to possible energy cooling savings as well!

LSI megaraid is not very good to mix with ZFS since it is not an HBA mode controller (no pass through mode!)
 
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PithyChats

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Feb 3, 2015
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Well what kind of drives do you plan to use? You can get away with some level of consumer drives with ZFS/software raid but the LSI is not very forgiving for non TLER/CERC drives at all. You can also add cachecade 1/2 to the LSI megaraid to improve read/write speeds independent on the OS you plan to use. (ESXi, windows 2012, centos/freebsd).

You can get away with very little ram/cpu with the lsi megaraid true! this might add to possible energy cooling savings as well!

LSI megaraid is not very good to mix with ZFS since it is not an HBA mode controller (no pass through mode!)
I was not intending on mixing ZFS with megaraid. If I go ZFS I would use a proper HBA controller (Dell 200E or equivalent). For drives, I am using WD RE4 drives. Does Napp-it or FreeNAS / NAS4Free play nicely if I decide not go ZFS, or is that a requirement? (Say use UFS instead)
 

PithyChats

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Feb 3, 2015
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I plan on doing some ZFS on multiple HBA controllers vs Raid performance this year... but it will take me some time.
Does you have any guesses as to the outcome? Performance is not really my highest consideration. Rather ease of install and maintenance, plus being able to synchronize two sites over the internet are more important.
 

moto211

Member
Aug 20, 2014
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Besides the obvious goal of being able to store a lot of stuff, what are your primary objectives for your NAS? Performance? Data integrity? iSCSI data store performance? No one solution is best, it really depends on what you goals are and what priority they take.

*edit* well, look at that, I guess I should have read the post above me a little closer.
 
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