OSX server and storage/backup solution

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OSX server and storage/backup solution

Postby svar » Sat Nov 03, 2007 5:53 am

HI

My plan is to setup a Macmini whid OSX 10.5 server, but I need a storage solution since the mini cant have a lot of internal drives.

I was first looking at the Stardom SR6600
It looks great, it has raid5/6 and can be conected true FW.
But it seems its hase the failure of raid devises generaly, that you cant upgrade the disks one and one and get more space, have to take out the complete raid, change all the HDDs and then build the raid up from scratch.
:cry:

So then I looking at the ReadyNAS, lits looks great, because of the X-raid solution, I can add more and more disks in the future and get use of the extra spase of bigger HDDs.

But, the ReadyNAS cant be atached lokal, and so its not working good whid time machine and Open Directory home/profiles shares I guess.

Using ReadyNAS and a lot of FW HDDs seems like a waste of money too.

Any good solutions?
svar
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Re: OSX server and storage/backup solution

Postby svar » Wed Aug 11, 2010 1:47 pm

Hi again :)

I see a lot has happend since I orginaly posted this, and that somem readynas now support iSCSI.

My needs are the same as before, I want an NAS that alsa has iSCSI support so I can use my mac mini to share folder on the LUN.

I have looked at many different models, bouth readynas and Qnap, and the Qnap units seems nice and powerfulls, but then I read on the forum that many have problems with iSCSI on them and with LUNs that dont work if an drive fails and so on:
http://forum.qnap.com/viewtopic.php?f=142&t=33239
http://forum.qnap.com/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=30963

The readynas units Im looking at are the NVX, pro and ultra.

So far this is my list:

QNAP:
+ have esata
+ dosent make mutch noice (according to reviews)
+Lots of features

-Seems like lots of iSCSI problems
-1year warrenty

Readynas:
+3-5years warrenty
+I have read lots of good things about readynas, compared to others.
+have not read about major iSCSI problems (yet)
+X-Raid2

-none esata
-make more noice (according to reviews


The unit Im gona choose, is going to replace an old PowerMac G4 dual CPU that make to mutch noice for me to have it around (I dont live in an big apartment, so I cant hide it in the closet, hhe)

Anyone have any good solutions?
svar
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OSX server and storage/backup solution

Postby sphardy » Thu Aug 12, 2010 12:14 am

Hello

Iscsi is an excellent solution to your TimeMachine needs - works very well - I would recommend it when backing up a desktop mac

For general data you could also consider using NFS - this is supported natively by both mac & ReadyNAS and the automount capability of the mac makes it simple to use. NFS access is also the fastest protocol for the ReadyNAS devices you mention

Above comments based on my practical experience of running multiple macs in this config with an Ultra-4 - I have no experience with OSX server, but there are other posts on the forum that seem to show very positive results with server

NAS: Ultra-4, NV+ & Duo v2 :: ST31500341AS & HDS723020BLA642 Drives
Network: Netgear GS108Tv2 / DM111P :: Airport Extreme / Express & Time Capsule
Clients: OS X 10.6 - 10.8 :: Ubuntu 11.x :: Win 7 + SP#1
UPS: APC ES-550

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Re: OSX server and storage/backup solution

Postby svar » Thu Aug 12, 2010 3:21 am

Thanks for youre reply :)

I realy want to use iSCSI most, because I want to have the users and ACLs on my mac server, not the nas itself.

Thanks for the conforming about the speed, its seems to me too that the NFS protocol is faster on those units that iSCSI, strange enouth.

As I was saying, I realy like the QNAP units, but with all the iSCSI problems I read on their forums, I dont wana take the chance yet.
svar
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Re: OSX server and storage/backup solution

Postby sirozha » Thu Aug 12, 2010 5:51 am

sphardy wrote:Hello

Iscsi is an excellent solution to your TimeMachine needs - works very well - I would recommend it when backing up a desktop mac

For general data you could also consider using NFS - this is supported natively by both mac & ReadyNAS and the automount capability of the mac makes it simple to use. NFS access is also the fastest protocol for the ReadyNAS devices you mention

Above comments based on my practical experience of running multiple macs in this config with an Ultra-4 - I have no experience with OSX server, but there are other posts on the forum that seem to show very positive results with server


sphardy,

Could you expand on the use of NFS between the Mac and the ReadyNAS? What are the advantages? Does NFS have an advertisement mechanism for NFS-enabled shares so that they show up in Finder or do they have to be manually mounted? I have been using AFP and sometimes SMB/CIFS between the Macs and the ReadyNAS, but I wonder if I should try NFS.

Thanks!
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Re: OSX server and storage/backup solution

Postby sphardy » Thu Aug 12, 2010 1:57 pm

Hi sirozha - below is purely my personal opinion on this based on my own setup:

The key issue with both CIFS and AFP is that you manually mount (or via the usual tricks) a share to a specific mount-point as a specific user. If another user of the same machine wishes to access the same share, they mount that share again but as a different user and to a different mountpoint.

Where you are running a server which uses the NAS for storage, this is not usually the desired behaviour. What is prefered is that a share is mounted to a single mount point, whether a user is logged in or not (so that services can also access that share); when a user does require access to the share they can do so via that same mount point but according to their login credentials (ie not according to the credentials of whoever mounted the share). This is fundamentally how NFS differs to CIFS and AFP - it acts more as a transparent extension to the local file system, at least from a user perspective.

The other key capability to note is the automounter, which is primarily used with NFS. NFS shares are NOT advertised so they appear in the finder sidebar - even if you setup bonjour to explicitly advertise NFS mounted shares, finder won't show them in the sidebar - I've tried! Again, as a transparent extension to the local file system, shares simply appear as folders (which you can add links to in finder sidebar if you wish) which is better when supporting server applications where you typically set the application to use a particular folder and then leave it to run. The automounter allows me to mount a share at any mountpoint I choose, is done automatically even if a user is not logged in, and also reconnects should the NAS connection be lost eg due to a reboot for a firmware update, or a scheduled powerdown. Apple has a great whitepaper somewhere on their site on support for 'autofs' which is umbrella term for the automounter.

EDIT: Found the Apple doc here - http://images.apple.com/business/docs/Autofs.pdf - autofs can be used to mount over AFP and CIFS, but you are still limited to mounting a share with a specific user's credentials or allowing full guest access - see page 14 of the doc

As a test - If you have NFS turned on and enabled for your shares, go to terminal and type:

Code: Select all
ls -al /net/<nas>.local/c

where <nas> is the name of your nas - without having to do anything on your mac you should see, and be able to access, all your NFS-enabled shares.

Add to all this that NFS is the native networking protocol to unix derived OS'es such as Linux and OSX which usually means it is the fastest protocol to use - at least on the x86 boxes, not true on the Sparc boxes - and allows you simple control of permissions (if you sync the UIDs and GIDs on NAS and clients), I find it a good option even for applications beyond server type applications where I'm regularly accessing a specific folder on the NAS.

It's not the solution for all applications - eg iSCSI is great for TimeMachine as mentioned - but it definately has its place. AFP is still my preferred access protocol when I want to get to some data "randomly" - a document, a video file etc. because it's easier due to finder integration and I don't tend to use CIFS as I don't use Windows (often), just linux and OSX. But applications that always access the same data I tend to setup to use NFS and then hardly even think about the fact that they are using the NAS - data access just happens

I have plenty of examples I can share if needed, but this post is already long enough

NAS: Ultra-4, NV+ & Duo v2 :: ST31500341AS & HDS723020BLA642 Drives
Network: Netgear GS108Tv2 / DM111P :: Airport Extreme / Express & Time Capsule
Clients: OS X 10.6 - 10.8 :: Ubuntu 11.x :: Win 7 + SP#1
UPS: APC ES-550

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Re: OSX server and storage/backup solution

Postby sirozha » Sat Aug 14, 2010 1:34 pm

sphardy,

Thanks for the very detailed post. I will be studying the Apple document to which you provided the link and will give NFS a try.
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