Friday, August 29, 2014

Changing from NAS4free to FreeNAS

I am a great fan of NAS4Free. It houses my most precious data for a long time by now.
However, there is a problem with using TimeMachine with NAS4Free. Actually, I have no clue why...

Incidentally, I was playing with another distribution, quite similar to NAS4Free: FreeNAS. FreeNAS is a bit heavier than NAS4Free, although they share the same origin.
Unfortunately, FreeNAS is a tad to big to fit on the internal SSD of my Acer Easystore (Intel Atom based), which actually houses my precious data.

From another project, I had a box with an AMD FX-6100 processor, which was not doing a lot. So I decided to give it a shot, installed 4 HDDs and NAS4Free on a stick. To that time, I thought that my TimeMachine problem was originated in the lack of compute power of the humble Intel Atom. Well, I was wrong. Even 6 cores and 8GB RAM could not solve those problems.
However, the NAS with the AMD FX-6100 served perfectly in all other services.

My TM-backups were done, you will find that post on this blog, on a FreeNAS-based AMD-APU machine, which I called TimeVault. To the present day, this is a very reliable TimaCapsule subsitute.

However, I decided to give my bad-ass 6 core NAS a second chance concerning TimeMachine. So, I got myself an external 3TB HDD, to temporarily backup the data. It took for ages, with many failures, doing it via AFP and a regular Hackintosh. I discovered that using the Hackintosh, this backup was much faster, not failing at any stage, using NFS (which I had set up for my UNIX machines anyway). Lesson #1: use NFS even on a Mac/Hack!

Now, finally, today, I did the migration from NAS4Free to FreeNAS on the 6 core machine.
And this is was this post is all about!
Buying an HDD, backing up data and all that for just for the bin!
I booted a 1 year old CD version of FreeNAS and installed it.
As soon as the box was up, I could just use WebGui with "Storage" => "Auto Import Volume" to import my 4 ZFS formatted data disks. Everything was done automatically... the process even recognized my ZFS data pool settings! And of course, all my data was fine!

Finally I installed the most recent stable upgrade of FreeNAS.

Presently running it, TM finally seems to be happy backing up to the 6 core box.