NASLite Network Attached Storage

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Task-specific simplicity with low hardware requirements.
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 Post subject: New install questions
PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 3:22 am 
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I've just installed NASLite-2 HDD for the first time and have a question or two.

I have a small IDE drive to boot from and a pair of WD 750s for storage. I think I've told the configuration that I want these two to be a mirror, but I still am seeing "Disk-1" and "Disk-2" separately, and the content isn't the same. Now that I look at the manual, it seems that NASLite may not do this at all, but uses the term Mirror in a completely different way. Does NASLite not do RAID-1?

This motherboard has both 100mbps and gigabit interfaces on it, but so far NASLite is only recognizing the 100mbps interface. I don't see anyplace in the configuration to change this. This is an ECS KV2 board, the gigabit interface is "Marvell Gigabit LAN". A Linux driver for "2.4.13 and above" is on the CD.

Finally, I don't see how to create shares. This system will replace an existing machine I built myself in RedHat, I wanted to get away from that hassle so I bought NASLite. However, the two share names ("Server D" and "Photos") aren't negotiable, it would be a lot faster to start over from scratch with RedHat than to change the share names.

So, have I just shot myself in the foot, or can these things be dealt with?

Van


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 5:37 am 
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Hi Van,

Naslite uses Rsync to Mirror (copy) the contents from one drive to another, This means the source HD will be copied to the the Dest overwritting files present n the Dest.
Naslite does not support software Raid, but does Hardware raid.

if you want copies of files on both HD's copy one HD to the other so that the dest is empty then configure Rsync to mirror the source to the dest this is done at the time to set.

Have you tried disabling the nic card? also there is a setting to select first or last nic in the naslite settings.

You create your shares within the Disk-0 or Disk-1 from your client machine creating a simple folder.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 6:02 am 
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It appears that NASLite doesn't do RAID at all. Scheduled backups with rsync may well accomplish the same thing, other than the risk of a disk failure between the time a file is written to one device and the time it is copied to the other, so it may not be that big a deal. But it isn't RAID.

Where in NASLite do you enable or disable a NIC? After a couple of restarts, NASLite is now recognizing my gigabit card, but is no longer recognizing my 10/100BT card. I'm using an inexpensive gigabit switch, so it's important to keep the 10/100 traffic separate. A high-end switch with a real "fabric" wouldn't have any problem, but the ones under a hundred bucks are port-to-port store-and-forward. When I go into network configuration, switching from "First" to "Last" doesn't change anything, my one NIC is both.

I don't see any place to create shares, although I seem to have some. When I open the machine from the network I seem to have four shares now: Disk-1, Disk-2, Shares, and Status. If I open Shares I see three folders: Disk-1, Disk-2, and Status, but those aren't shares, they're just folders. For my purposes, I need actual mappable shares.

Van


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 6:14 am 
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Hi Van,

Naslite does support Raid, in the product description is states "Dependable hardware RAID support" Another note Raid wont protect you from copying a corrupt file over a perfectly good one.

Sorry I ment enable, disable the nic in the Bios. can you not have both enabled but select last?

you put all your files folders in the Actual Disk-0 Disk-1. the Shares folder is RO.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 1:31 pm 
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Well, I have RAID available on the motherboard, when I enable it NASLite ignores it and writes separately to the two drives. When I don't setup a mirror in the BIOS, NASLite clearly doesn't provide a RAID mirror option. I'll get over it, but am rather disappointed, as Windows NT 4 Server had this covered in 1995. I rather expected a better product than that ancient alternative, if Apple hadn't jerked traditional AFP out of their OS, I'd just run NT instead, which I've already got plenty of licenses for.

Both ethernet ports are enabled in the BIOS. I see eth0 reported as detected when NASLite restarts. In the HTTP network status page I show:
# eth0: Yukon Gigabit Ethernet 10/100/1000Base-T Adapter
# eth0: network connection up using port A
# eth0 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 00:11:5B:89:59:FB

I see no clue how to use eth1, all I know is that the connection lights are lit at both ends of the cable for both interfaces.

It's also a hard to understand why I can't have named shares at any level of the file system. Again, this is pretty basic, a normal part of all the servers I've ever used, and a great convenience. On the Mac, the share name is used automatically, and if I have a document in "Server D:Larkin:Exhibitions:Latimer Green:Program" which contains a hundred images that are in a related folder, if that is now at "Disk-1:Server D:Larkin:Exhibtions ..." instead, opening that document is a nightmare. Windows couldn't care less about the name, but is equally sensitive to the nesting.

I fear I'm going to have to scrap this and set it up again in Linux where I already know how to configure ethernet adapters and have no problem creating the shares I need. It will leave a bad taste in my mouth, but I trust that I won't run around telling everyone about the problems. I will, however, be telling the person who recommended it how far short it came of my expectations.

Van


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 2:14 pm 
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Location: Up State NY in the USA!!!!
Well, from your post it would appear that you miss the whole concept behind this product. There is no software support built into NL. That is because the software RAID is based in a software driver that is written for MS products based on their APIs.

Second is that as soon as you add shares and user controls the administration of the server becomes more complicated, that is the opposite of what the product is about. As a side note it would require more horse power as well. Again this is counter to the design philosophy of the product of being able to run on old hardware.

Mike


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 2:29 pm 
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Could be. My understanding of NAS is that it is a way to reliably expand shared file storage with less administrative hassle and lower cost than continually building bigger servers. Essentially, I expected it to fill the same role as a Windows server without the domain controller. This is my first experience with something specifically called NAS, but I'm surprised that the limitations were never clear in anything I've read over the years since things called NAS have been around.

Van


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 2:48 pm 
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Location: Scotland
You really expected a (nearly) full Windows Server equivalent for $29.95?

What NASLite does, it does exceptionally well and reliably.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 4:41 pm 
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vanhorn wrote:
Could be. My understanding of NAS is that it is a way to reliably expand shared file storage with less administrative hassle and lower cost than continually building bigger servers. Essentially, I expected it to fill the same role as a Windows server without the domain controller. This is my first experience with something specifically called NAS, but I'm surprised that the limitations were never clear in anything I've read over the years since things called NAS have been around.

Van


Your assumptions are broad. NAS is a generic term meaning Network Attached Storage so assuming NAS will do this or that is like assuming OS will do this or that. DOS is an OS and so is Windows, but i doubt you'll assume DOS will do what Windows does. The Naslite docs are pretty thorough and spell out what it does and does not. The name Naslite should also clue you in on what you are getting. And if not, then the size should. It's all in the docs so if you need to learn about Naslite, you read about Naslite and not NAS in general.

In a nutshell, what you have with Naslite is a specialized NAS OS that can provide unrestricted networked storage of any amount hardware permitting, run on just about anything you can dig out of your junk pile and do it without compromising your data. It really does what it's supposed to do very well indeed.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 4:47 pm 
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Location: Delft NL / Brooklyn NY
vanhorn wrote:
I'm surprised that the limitations were never clear in anything I've read over the years since things called NAS have been around


If you would have taken the trouble to read the excellent Installation and Administration Guide, and the Hardware Reference Guide on the Server Elements website, and/or asked a question or two at this forum, this stupid line would never have been written.

NAS means Network Attached Storage, and comes in all kind of flavors, possibilities, and yes, prices.

NASLite is a bargain, and works flawlessly.

See the nice post viewtopic.php?f=10&t=2443


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 7:51 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 02, 2006 9:05 pm
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Location: Up State NY in the USA!!!!
vanhorn wrote:
Could be. My understanding of NAS is that it is a way to reliably expand shared file storage with less administrative hassle and lower cost than continually building bigger servers. Essentially, I expected it to fill the same role as a Windows server without the domain controller. This is my first experience with something specifically called NAS, but I'm surprised that the limitations were never clear in anything I've read over the years since things called NAS have been around.

Van


As some others have pointed out you have indeed missed the boat here.

NAS is a term used in the specialized area of enterprise storage. A NAS is a collection of storage hardware, back up hardware and near line storage that is separate from the servers it supports. It is generally used to manage and export storage volumes and allow for seamless expansion as well as real time backup of the volumes to a diverse array of servers running different OS's. In this context NASLite is not even in the ballpark but to be fair it never said it was.

As others have pointed out, RTFM would have been the prudent thing to do as all was spelled out there. I will bet you that NL will perform more reliably and just about as fast as windows server and with allot less headache for allot longer.

Best of wishes in your quest to get a server/NAS system for only $30.00 USD and have it as polished and well tuned as NL.

Mike


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