Freed from storage failure by FreeNAS

Today I’ve been freed from storage failure by FreeNAS.

From time to time technology is a real pain in the backside. We’re all more reliant on it than we’ve ever been before and when it goes wrong these days, generally it means you’ll end up suffering. Storage failure is always the worst kind of technology issue because it generally means losing something that’s important to you, e.g. family photographs.

Today though in a first for me, storage failure reared its ugly head but was slapped down by FreeNAS. Keeping a long story short, one dying drive + one next day delivery replacement drive + one set of FreeNAS wiki instructions = No need to restore from backups and NO LOSS OF DATA!

Now whilst some people might attribute all this to the components that make up FreeNAS (e.g. FreeBSD, ZFS) without the work done by the FreeNAS team to wrap these all up in a friendly, usable package, surviving a storage failure like this would have remained a pipe dream for me.

Thank you FreeNAS team!

Fiddling with FreeNAS

A few months ago I purchased a HP Microserver because it had become necessary to improve my storage arrangements at home.  Before then I had stored things, well actually everything, on a ReadyNAS Duo that had a been running on a pair of 500GB that mirrored each other for redundancy.  This was not an ideal situation and because I was running out of space I had considered removing the mirror.

Switch to something like the HP Microserver seemed ideal because:

  1. I could run whatever I wanted on it because it was effectively a PC in its own right.
  2. I would have 8TB of storage which was a vast improvement over the ReadyNAS.
  3. 4 drives would give me improved redundancy and there would be various configurations that I could choose to suit my needs.

Skipping forward to today I have had my Microserver for a good few months and have run it using FreeNAS but now I’m getting that nerd itch because it’s not running quite exactly how I want it.

Currently I have it so that it’s running FreeNAS and Serviio on top of that to serve my music up to my PS3, etc. but the current method of having to dig into the console to get it all working again every time FreeNAS releases an update is not sitting well with me.

With this in mind I’ve just decided to follow this guide over on the FreeNAS forums and set up a build environment which with any luck I will be able to use to slipstream Serviio into FreeNAS.

Cross your fingers!