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Hardware iSCSI Storage: What is it, and why you should be using it

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Sifter3000, 25 May 2010.

  1. roughrider

    roughrider New Member

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    I am about to get a 160g HDD to upgrade my old laptop into a WHS machine (well, VAIL). I will put an iSCSI partition on a NAS for it so I can use PS3 Media Player forthings like transcoding, playing ISO's, but will use the otherhalf of the NAS (separate volume / discs) to duplicate the media files as backup, and run NAS software for things WHS dosn't do so easily at the same time (mostly the IP cam thing but may be better for some other functions e.g. hosting website for YAMJ). I know most people on here will think it's not cheap but the way I see it trust mysel fto get this working, and it is still cheaper than the £8k media server / movie jukebox I read about yesterday, by more than £7k! Also, a laptop uses little power, so do NASes, I coule make a media centre PC but I want to run a home server with low power needs not a whole PC if I can
     
  2. alecamused

    alecamused Member

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    AoE is pretty funny too. Just to mention the "competition" :)
     
  3. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead It's big, and it's clever.

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    I'm not understanding that. Do network drives not report the correct free space normally?

    Mine are telling me I have 1.88TB left... which is true.

    [​IMG]


    Explain please?
     
  4. Nature

    Nature Member

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    The very first picture on page 1 shows

    Music Nas Y://
    2.17 TB free of 445 GB

    Does this mean you guys have almost half a terrabyte of music>?
     
  5. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

    No, I explained it above.

    My Windows Home Server box has five drives in it. The FIRST drive is 500GB in size - that's all the Windows 7 sees, but it is also confused by the 2.1TB "total size". It's just Windows 7 not being able to read Windows Home Server correctly.
     
  6. logan'srun

    logan'srun following the footsteps of giants

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    Well hurry up then!!!! I'm on the fence about building a server or a NAS since another site put out this great guide and makes it sound likes it's super easy and a even a monkey could do it.

    Would it really take a month for you to get some drives? Aren't you the allmighty and powerful Bindi that's taken over Taiwan? Kip over to WD or Seagate at lunch and get some!
     
  7. Jamie

    Jamie ex-Bit-Tech code junkie

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    Doesn't look particularly simple to setup for the majority of normal home pc users.
     
  8. LoopyJuice

    LoopyJuice Astronomical

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    I saturate gigabit when writing and reading to/from my NAS - Netgear ReadyNAS Pro - crap NAS boxes get crap speeds but it is certainly not universal across all systems. As for transferring 1.5TB - under 4 hours.
     
  9. TomH

    TomH And like that... he was gone.

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    You would have to re-share from the initiator. On the target, the exported volume should never be mounted locally at the same time, unless you know exactly what you're doing, i.e there aren't any initiators connected to it and/or the target service is disabled.

    This is the biggest problem with block-level targets against file-level software targets, i.e. SMB/CIFS & NFS - shared access. You can, of course, implement a shared file system, but these aren't always the simplest things to deal with (and why re-invent the wheel if you want to shared files - that's what NFS is for) and likely aren't supported on the white-box NAS devices.

    Then there's the idea of using quotas, 'slicing' a single volume into multiple iSCSI exports that can be grown/shrunk based on quota. But again, NFS can do this.

    iSCSI is great for some things though. Most thin clients can take advantage of etherboot/gPXE to boot from an iSCSI target (or ATA over Ethernet!) without any internal disks. Hell, you could even save a bit of power by not including a boot disk in your media PCs/extenders.

    So for enthusiasts like us, iSCSI has uses. For the majority of people at home, NFS/SMB is more than sufficient.
     
  10. logan'srun

    logan'srun following the footsteps of giants

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    What looked difficult in your mind? It was a step by step guide on building a Linux Server. With ton's of pics. And it's on a High user site like BT, so I don't think it's the 'normal home users' that are reading it anyways.
     
  11. dark_avenger

    dark_avenger Well-Known Member

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    iSCSI is awesome if your using one computer to access the drives but for multiple computers generally SMB is easier.

    unRAID is what i'm using on my NAS box and so far it has been really good, i would differently recommend it.
     
  12. koli

    koli Member

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    I have a file server running latest Ubuntu desktop with shared smb drives.

    When I upgraded my main rig, I relegated my old components into the server: C2D E6750, 8gb of ram, 4HDDs and GT9400 gpu. Having a proper OS on it enables me to use it as a seedbox 24/7. It is also my media pc connected to my LCD in the living room so when I want to watch HD movie I just boot it into Vista take the advantage of the hardware acceleration.

    I know I could buy some more efficient components but what would be the point spending more money to save money on electricity? Now my main rig only has SSD with OS in it so it is all peace and quite in my bedroom.
     
  13. capman

    capman New Member

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    Here is another reason for iscsi. If you have Windows 7 home premium edition and use the backup functionality you may have noticed that backup to a network share is not supported. Only local hard disks are accepted as backup media. Using an iscsi target circumvents this restriction.
     
  14. Saivert

    Saivert New Member

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    haha thats why home premium (premium lol?) edition sucks. MS disabled way too much in that edition in order to push people over to the better editions.

    Also iSCSI is seriously easy to setup but for home use it is really not that useful.
    It is meant to be used in SANs or something.

    One at home usage scenario that I can think of is this one:
    You build a server closet, add a fileserver, then you put in a storage server with only HDDs and iSCSI that the fileserver connects to as initiator. You also make some targets that all of your desktops boot from (yes you can boot over iSCSI). Removes HDDs from desktops and you could also fire proof the server closet so even if the desktops burn down, the data is kept safe (with the OS and everything).

    I recently downloaded a VMWare image of openfiler (something similar to FreeNAS) and it had very easy iSCSI support. Had it up and running quickly. Then I lost sanity and attempted to use it from multiple computers and I just corrupted the NTFS volume (hey, it had to be done).
    I better search for some free (gratis) clustering system out there. There is ZFS but that seems complex.
     
  15. logan'srun

    logan'srun following the footsteps of giants

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    How's this guide going? ETD?
     
  16. Bluefan

    Bluefan test 123

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    In linux, NFs is completely transparent and no different from any other harddrive or directory. This arcticle sounds like news from over 15 years ago.

    And yes, I posted a few months late.
     
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