Super low buck poor mans SAN

Mackintire

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So I figured this out a long time ago and some of you may find it useful.

If you take a cheap nas like this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822165483

You can load up a dekstop PC with truecrypt and create a encrypted volume on the linux based NAS that takes up all the space on the unit.

Using the truecrypt native features you can then mount that encypted volume on a desktop PC as a local storage volume. For Ex. (E:) drive

This will allow you to use backup software that requires a local drive (acronis) or something like backblaze or Crashplan for offsite backup without using iSCSI.

Expect to take a slight performance hit of about 2% for the encryption overhead. Performance is really limited to native SMB performance of the NAS used.

Note: this does not act like normal mapped drive. The volume is presented to the OS like a local volume.
 
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dandragonrage

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If you use this at home, my question is... why bother? It seems needlessly complex and has no production value so I wouldn't even recommend it as a learning setup for a professional networking environment...

If any of you actually implement this idea in a production business environment, let me just tell you this: You're fired.
 
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Mackintire

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If you use this at home, my question is... why bother? It seems needlessly complex and has no production value so I wouldn't even recommend it as a learning setup for a professional networking environment...

If any of you actually implement this idea in a production business environment, let me just tell you this: You're fired.

Nope I use a QNAP connected via iSCSI to a Server 2012 Business Essentials VM at home.


I did implement this in a production environment. My job depended on it at the time. I was given a budget of $500 and told to make it work or I would be fired. I do not work there now, but I did find out that the NAS failed eventually from inhaling dirt. They purchased another linkstation, removed the drives from the old one, and placed them into the new unit. It's still running to this day.
 

Mackintire

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Just to make my case clear, my last storage upgrade was a 72TB EqualLogic unit with full 4 hour maximum support contract.

Necessity gives birth to ingenuity...
 

XOR != OR

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Just to make my case clear, my last storage upgrade was a 72TB EqualLogic unit with full 4 hour maximum support contract.

Necessity gives birth to ingenuity...
Hmm, yes. And ingenuity leads to a remarkable number of "WTF?" moments.

I'm sorry, but the solution you described is one of those "I'm ashamed of being proud of this" solutions. We all have those "solutions" that we're proud of, but we still feel the need to hide it from the world because of how god awful it is*. You met the requirements of the job in front of you, set by folks that didn't understand what they were asking for. Which is cool. But I certainly wouldn't encourage others to follow your lead on this.

KISS in business. That's the ticket.


* - For instance, I once had to setup reverse NAS + CUPS + iPrint in windows to allow a user to print to a printer that was literally right next to their desk but was on an entirely different and secured network. The solution was ugly as sin, I had to bounce the connection through two different routers, natting the return connection, to get the printer hooked up to a spare linux server via cups. Then I had to use a "fake" driver to get it working on the windows XP workstation with iPrint.

I am proud that I got it working when no one else could have, given the complexity involved. However, I'm certainly not advocating anyone follow my example.
 

Mackintire

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Far from best practice....yes.

Would I endorse others deploying this....only if all other reasonable possibilities are expended.

Proud, You bet. I shined the proverbial turd.


Treat this as more of a " Knowledge is power" type of thread.
 

Eickst

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How is this a SAN? Title should be poor mans backup solution....
 

XOR != OR

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Not even.... the key point was more of a NAS that allows the volume to be mounted locally and NOT as a mapped drive.
Oh, then there's an easier way to do that; iscsi. Every NAS I've played with over the past 2 years has had the capability of providing iscsi targets.
 

Mackintire

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Oh, then there's an easier way to do that; iscsi. Every NAS I've played with over the past 2 years has had the capability of providing iscsi targets.

Yeah that would have been nice if it were an option but I'm afraid that wasn't an option at the time.
 

Red Squirrel

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2 bay enclosures are kinda a waste. The only option is raid 1 and you only get to use 50% of your total disk cost. At least get a 4 bay so you can do raid 5. personally I'm not a huge fan of those little NASes, they have their purpose, but I'd rather pay more and get something with like 16 or 24 bays. Cheaper per drive in the end. Put Linux on it and create iSCSI targets.

Though in a business environment you have to work with what you have, which usually ain't much.
 

-Jess-

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Hmm, yes. And ingenuity leads to a remarkable number of "WTF?" moments.

I'm sorry, but the solution you described is one of those "I'm ashamed of being proud of this" solutions. We all have those "solutions" that we're proud of, but we still feel the need to hide it from the world because of how god awful it is*. You met the requirements of the job in front of you, set by folks that didn't understand what they were asking for. Which is cool. But I certainly wouldn't encourage others to follow your lead on this.

KISS in business. That's the ticket.
..............

This x1000.

Moments that usually have the line "holy-balls-i-can't-belive-i-just-did-this" (and sometimes the more surprising "Eureka!") being uttered somewhere.

Given the circumstances, and the more intriguing yet slightly disturbing "do this or your fired" talk was given to you - I can see some of the justification for the setup.

Other than this - no. ;)
 

goodcooper

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I'm sorry, but the solution you described is one of those "I'm ashamed of being proud of this" solutions. We all have those "solutions" that we're proud of, but we still feel the need to hide it from the world because of how god awful it is*.

/thread

we've all been there... lol just never post them on forums :/
 

/dev/null

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2 bay enclosures are kinda a waste. The only option is raid 1 and you only get to use 50% of your total disk cost. At least get a 4 bay so you can do raid 5. personally I'm not a huge fan of those little NASes, they have their purpose, but I'd rather pay more and get something with like 16 or 24 bays. Cheaper per drive in the end. Put Linux on it and create iSCSI targets.

Though in a business environment you have to work with what you have, which usually ain't much.

I like 4+ bay enclosures & turning all raid off & doing it on the pc. Much faster & more reliable & easier to replace if hardware dies.

My main fileserver at home has 4 sans digitals enclosures, 4 disks each.

I have a bunch of raidz volumes. Top disk in all 4 enclosures is one raidz, 2nd disk down in each enclosure forms a raidze etc.

If an entire enclosure drops offline I'm still ok...
 
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