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File server question

WildWestDesigns

New Member
Not much for a CPU to do in a NAS, most of the work is done by the RAID controller, cpu is there to run the UI and some apps. The file reading/writing is all handled by hardware
Forgot to mention, unrelated otherwise to the quote.

I do prefer more of a software based controller compared to a hardware based one (last time I checked Qnap's was hardware). Hardware goes bad on those, no bueno. Also if a drive does go bad, it take a lot longer to integrate into the pool. Qnap will take much longer compared to TrueNAS.

One nasty thing about TrueNAS is how it handles resources (forgot to mention this above). Running TrueNAS on desktop hardware is not something that I would advocate. Can it be done, sure, but running more server grade hardware would be better.
 

WildWestDesigns

New Member
I have TrueNAS on an older Ryzen 1800x, it has been on for 3 years straight no issues
Like I said, you can run TrueNAS on desktop hardware, I just wouldn't recommend it. It places a lot of demand on hardware with it's use.

If you are only going to be using light usage (type of light usage that potato hardware can handle, not a lot of discs, basic file server (and what files one is serving) and nothing else, light amount of user connections etc), yes, you could get some longevity out of consumer grade hardware. But if you have to scale, that setup will not scale along with it and that's why I wouldn't advise going out of the gate with consumer hardware and TrueNAS. Now having said that, people can get lucky and have that consumer hardware last longer and handle everything longer compared to the average.

However, if I'm not mistaken, the 1800x does support DDR4-2666 ECC memory (rather or not you used it, that's something else). So that does put you in a better place. It just maxes out at 64GB.

If "your" going to do it, make sure to do it right and attempt to account for future needs if there is a possibility of needing to scale it upward. I'm always one that even if I don't think I would need to scale something up, I just assume to make sure that base is covered just in case. Otherwise, I wouldn't be looking at that level of need and get something further down the ladder. "Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it."
 
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victor bogdanov

New Member
Like I said, you can run TrueNAS on desktop hardware, I just wouldn't recommend it. It places a lot of demand on hardware with it's use.
This is BS, in 99.9% of cases the only thing that will fail on any computer are the hard drives. Run everything else at 100% use until its obsolete. Hard drives will fail and enterprises have strict retirement schedules for harddrives, mechanical and SSD.
 

WildWestDesigns

New Member
This is BS, in 99.9% of cases the only thing that will fail on any computer are the hard drives. Run everything else at 100% use until its obsolete. Hard drives will fail and enterprises have strict retirement schedules for harddrives, mechanical and SSD.
Actually, Enterprise has a strict retirement schedule for RAM as well. Every 2-3 yrs I do believe. Also, keep in mind, Enterprise is more than likely going to be running server grade equipment as well.

If memory reliability is a concern (and if this is a server with 99.99999% uptime), have to go ECC and this is actually proportional to the amount of RAM that one has in the particular server as well. Chances of error with 4GB of RAM is different compared to 8, 16, and so on (higher memory, higher reliance on software that runs on memory). In the desktop space, this isn't much of a concern for a lot of people (if it was, I don't think overclocking would be a the thing that it is as that does increase the chances of errors, but maybe it still would be), it all depends on what the application of the computer is, but I would say by far for most, that isn't an issue for a lot of people, certainly not to have to worry about the cost or hunting the deals etc.

Bitflipping is a thing and with ECC is better to spot and schedule service compared to just being surprised by the failure. Now, if this is non critical stuff, that's a totally different thing, don't worry about it. If this server isn't running all the time (mine are on 24/7) or if it is, but if the lifespan is already determined not to be that long (3-5 yrs), don't worry about it and if it isn't mission critical, even moreso not to worry about it.

I think the Qnaps run within that lifespan as well. I had one last 5 yrs, had another that lasted 10, but everything was going out on it (but these were older ones as well, I haven't bought a new Qnap in a long, long time, not that they weren't good, just needs changed). Board, controller, everything, it definitely lasted and got my money out of it.
 
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victor bogdanov

New Member
Actually, Enterprise has a strict retirement schedule for RAM as well. Every 2-3 yrs I do believe. Also, keep in mind, Enterprise is more than likely going to be running server grade equipment as well.

If memory reliability is a concern (and if this is a server with 99.99999% uptime), have to go ECC and this is actually proportional to the amount of RAM that one has in the particular server as well. Chances of error with 4GB of RAM is different compared to 8, 16, and so on (higher memory, higher reliance on software that runs on memory). In the desktop space, this isn't much of a concern for a lot of people (if it was, I don't think overclocking would be a the thing that it is as that does increase the chances of errors, but maybe it still would be), it all depends on what the application of the computer is, by I would say by far for most, that isn't an issue for a lot of people, certainly not to have to worry about the cost or hunting the deals etc.

Bitflipping is a thing and with ECC is better to spot and schedule service compared to just being surprised by the failure. Now, if this is non critical stuff, that's a totally different thing, don't worry about it. If this server isn't running all the time (mine are on 24/7) or if it is, but if the lifespan is already determined not to be that long (3-5 yrs), don't worry about it and if it isn't mission critical, even moreso not to worry about it.

I think the Qnaps run within that lifespan as well. I had one last 5 yrs, had another that lasted 10, but everything was going out on it (but these were older ones as well, I haven't bought a new Qnap in a long, long time, not that they weren't good, just needs changed). Board, controller, everything, it definitely lasted and got my money out of it.

All of my computers run 24/7. Oldest one I used at the shop is a 3770k system from 2012. A couple of years ago I retired an XP emachine from 2006, ran for 15 years, no issues and still works. Only had to replace hard drives in these computers nothing else.
 

WildWestDesigns

New Member
All of my computers run 24/7. Oldest one I used at the shop is a 3770k system from 2012. A couple of years ago I retired an XP emachine from 2006, ran for 15 years, no issues and still works. Only had to replace hard drives in these computers nothing else.
I have a Win95 laptop that still works to this day. Nothing has been changed on it. All of the parts that it came with are ones that it still has and I'm still able to play my games on it (now, not hardcore at all, mainly just a few minutes to see if it still works every few months or so). Still won't change my mind on server usage.

All of what you mentioned is without knowing the workloads. The emachines if I'm not mistaken were low end computers, I doubt much serious work was being done on them, unless I'm remembering wrong, weren't they discontinued in the early 2010s? I've had a netbook last 10 yrs without any work on it, doesn't mean that I was running the same software that I run on my main rigs. Especially considering I VM things as well (although mainly for compilation targets, so that need isn't all that big, but a small amount of work, depends on how much llvm is working).

Again, after all this, was data integrity and/or memory reliability a concern for you along with the uptime? If not, all of this is moot. To me, if I'm storing something for especially a business, data integrity and memory reliability become a factor. If those aren't a factor for the next person, getting the hardware that checks for this stuff is moot. Although, ironically, that doesn't mean that their importance is moot, especially depending on workload and how much memory is being used. The smallest server that I have is 64GB of RAM. The odds of errors on that server is going to be different compared to a server running 4GB of RAM (as well as it's usage).
 
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Stacey K

I like making signs
All of my computers run 24/7. Oldest one I used at the shop is a 3770k system from 2012. A couple of years ago I retired an XP emachine from 2006, ran for 15 years, no issues and still works. Only had to replace hard drives in these computers nothing else.
Mine is Lenovo from 2014 only 8GB, i5-4460, as long as I don't store anything on it, it works fine. Everything goes on external drives and I delete downloads and empty recycle bin every couple days, defragment often. There's zero unnecessary programs or junk on it. As I advance and do more complicated jobs it's not fast enough for some of the files or photo editing. I think I spent about $1500 on it? I can't remember. It's been randomly crashing for 2 years. I'm going to get a new one soon as it's time.
 

victor bogdanov

New Member
Again, after all this, was data integrity and/or memory reliability a concern for you along with the uptime? If not, all of this is moot.
A cheap consumer PC will have 99.999998% uptime and be error free 99.999998% of the time running TrueNAS, if someone wants to spend 10x the money to get 99.999999% uptime in TrueNAS with server grade hardware go for it
 

caribmike

New Member
What cloud back up service are you using? I'm looking at either a Qnap, or Synology NAS, that can backup directly to an online service.
We use Crashplan for Small Business from Code 42. I couldn't believe it was only $9.99 a month for unlimited storage and the special offer was for LIFE. We've had them for fours years and the price has never gone up. We back up 12 TB and never a problem.
 

WildWestDesigns

New Member
A cheap consumer PC will have 99.999998% uptime and be error free 99.999998% of the time running TrueNAS, if someone wants to spend 10x the money to get 99.999999% uptime in TrueNAS with server grade hardware go for it
No, there will be errors, rather or not they are consequential (needing error checking etc) or not is going to be the question. Also, what was the longest time with that server, not desktop computer uptime, but server uptime? I think you said 3 yrs with that older Ryzen? That would be in that 3-5 yrs range I gave for a small static file server. And eventually, especially if this is a WAN facing server, there will be updates at some point that will require downtime (not all will, but some will). Now if it's not WAN facing (mine aren't, except only when they upload to my offsite backups, which are mine, not 3rd parties), this isn't an issue as much.

People choose ZFS because there they care about data integrity (and TruNAS has tools to check that via software), but there is no protection for memory integrity (as with most file systems that I am aware of an the resulting data corruption from those errors). To do it right, in my mind, would need to cover that basis as well. If not worried about then why would what ZFS does over other file systems make a hill of beans?

Why choose something that has a memory cache first design (you know something that memory error checking would benefit from) for performance in the first place?

I equate it with using or not using a seat belt (not thinking about whatever legal concerns there may be in one's jurisdiction). It's fine to go without a seat belt until something bad happens and then it's not. How many people didn't care about backups until it become an issue with their business files? Same thing. Again, I firmly believe if going to do it, do it right. Already most of the way there with the choice of software, why not go all the way with the hardware, especially in a business application?

If one doesn't have that need, especially in the business application, there really isn't a need for the other as well.
 

ikarasu

Active Member
If you're google, Microsoft, or some.other company where any downtime costs you hundreds of thousands of dollars.... It makes sense to go enterprise and follow a strict schedule. Most servers are rated for 5lan5 year turn over - who in their right mind will spend 10-20k on a server then retire it when it's still functional, because it has a .1% chance of failing?
Hospitals, and other critical infrastructure it makes sense.

A sign shop? Not so much.

I have a r720 bought in 2012 - 256gb of ram, 30ish hds... Aside from a mechanical drive or two failing, the machine runs 24/7 and never has issues. Dual cpu, sits at about 30-40% load 90% of the time. It's got about 8 VMs running off it and handles everything from file storage, to Plex transcoding, smartphone settings as well as a slew of other things. It's on a ups, so it's uptime is like 3 years right now - according to standards I should have retired it 5 years ago...it's now done double it's "life expectancy"

Theres so much waste - the only good thing about people retiring their servers every 5 years is I can buy them super cheap, and they work just as good!

A 10 year old pc may not cut it for critical infrastructure. But there's nothing wrong with using it, and with the proper setup... There's no risk in continuing on using it.

Old PC's are perfect for file storage / serving. I probably wouldn't put my stuff on a 10 year old hard drive... But CPUs / motherboards / rarely die, and ram is usually pretty stable too.
 

victor bogdanov

New Member
Theres so much waste - the only good thing about people retiring their servers every 5 years is I can buy them super cheap, and they work just as good!
I have a buddy that manages servers for HP (their internal server systems) and they replace all SSDs every 2 years, it's crazy, Thousands of server grade SSDs replaced just because they hit 2 years old. Not sure what they do with the old ones
 

WildWestDesigns

New Member
I have a r720 bought in 2012 - 256gb of ram, 30ish hds... Aside from a mechanical drive or two failing, the machine runs 24/7 and never has issues. Dual cpu, sits at about 30-40% load 90% of the time. It's got about 8 VMs running off it and handles everything from file storage, to Plex transcoding, smartphone settings as well as a slew of other things. It's on a ups, so it's uptime is like 3 years right now - according to standards I should have retired it 5 years ago...it's now done double it's "life expectancy"
r720, that's a rack server if I'm not mistaken.

The retirement schedule is actually what I was thinking when if hunting the deals can get server components for cheaper and still have a good portion of life left in it.


A 10 year old pc may not cut it for critical infrastructure. But there's nothing wrong with using it, and with the proper setup... There's no risk in continuing on using it.
To me, this would depend on what it is one is doing. Again, 4 disks, single digit amount of RAM to low double digits, serving static files with few connections. 3-5 yr life expectancy, probably not much to worry about. Scale that up, there could be issues.

I just don't understand if one is at the stage of using something like TruNAS, why pick a file system that is memory caching first (why when one scales up the amount of memory, usage etc, the chances of errors scales with it) before it flushes to the discs, no way of checking for errors on it's own (as with most file systems), why not at that point? Especially knowing about the retirement schema of the parts? Just choose something else at that point. That's were a Qnap actually could work as well. Even the higher end ones can support VMing at times.

Old PC's are perfect for file storage / serving. I probably wouldn't put my stuff on a 10 year old hard drive... But CPUs / motherboards / rarely die, and ram is usually pretty stable too.
Simple storage/serving potato hardware can work. I'm not to sure I would trust it with business files and a business environment. Home environment/usage, sure, business, for me, not so much.
 

ikarasu

Active Member
$15 a month to backup unlimited data to google drive -

A 10 TB Mechanical HD is about $200 right now.

So my cheapo, 10 year server PC can run truenas, Realtime sync to the cloud, and to a 10 TB Mechanical, for very, very cheap. I'm fighting with our current IT because they don't want to take our server off of raid incase a HD fails... It's the same argument... right now it's setup in mirroring... Why pay for 2X the HDs (These are server hds, so like $200 a TB, when you can run it raidless... and have a backup option for a fraction of the price? I don't mind Fast SAS drives to dish out the files, but I'm not paying a premium to back them up when I'll be mirroring it to a NAS...

Their argument is it takes days to get a new HD in, so if one fails we'll be done for a week. My argument is I'm mirroring the whole thing to a secondary NAS, so if one fails we update our DNS records and point it to the clone, and we're back up in seconds :frustrated:


I'm not arguing that ECC isn't better, or using a not near the end of "Specified" life isnt better - For critical stuff, it's a no brainer. But for a file serving dishing out 5 TB worth of data.... 5% Of shops even have a backup option, then 99% of those shops buy a shitty external USB and back data up to it once a month and call it a day.

Theres different use cases for different hardware / software! Nothing I do is ever critical enough for me to spend on ECC ram, or spend on HD's to raid.


Even at home - I have 180 TB Of HD's at home...some are 2 TB HD's from 15 years ago. When a drive fails... I pop it out, replace it with a new 10 TB, then run my backup software and within I get close to 1 TB re-downloaded a day - so even if a 10 TB died... I'd have my data back in 10 days, at the cost of $15 a month. (Less if I cheat and use multiple accounts). And in the meantime...if theres a file I need right away, I just access it from the cloud and download it right away.

I'd never recommend a shop with so much data do what I do - but I also think a Re-purposed PC running truenas will be better for a shop than a Synology is... Even if it's a 15 year old re-purposed machine...so long as the Hd's arent that old. $7 a month for blackblaze unlimited backup - $15 a month for google- Theres so many cheap backup options... not ones I'd trust my If I dont have this file, I'm screwed stuff with - but with multiple accounts, and a secondary local backup... I'm more protected than the hospitals paying thousands using a DATO / Tape backups.


So, your points are valid about whats "Best" and "Best practice"! But do you really think A signshop printing banners needs such a comprehensive storage / backup solution? Most people on here use the same PC For printing / artwork / file storage... switching to something like a truenas, or even just a nas, is a pretty good / big step... scaring them off telling them they need enterprise equipment that'll cost them $15K to do it properly just makes them stick to their current solution :roflmao:
 

ikarasu

Active Member
I will say this..... Truenas is a bit harder than QNAP for setup. You have to install plugins to do backup, and use Rsync to do real time sync. If all your doing is file serving, its not hard to setup... simple cloud backup isnt bad either. But if you plan on doing complex multi-point backups, you'll be spending a few hours reading and installing stuff
 
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