Project: Building a cheap NAS, part 3

Filed Under (Storage, Windows Networking) by Just An Admin on 23-04-2011

Part 3: The controller and disks

Our server parts are coming together nicely. The chassis, motherboard, memory and processor have been added to our wish list. Now it is time to look at the expansion SATA controller and the disk we would like to use.

The controller

Again the choice of brand is forced by several ‘demands’ we have.

The controller must:

  • support 8 SATA disks
  • be supported by FreeBSD/FreeNAS
  • have a decent throughput / IO’s per second
  • have PCI-E 8x support, but most controllers are
  • be affordable

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Project: Building a cheap NAS, part 2

Filed Under (Storage, VMWare ESXi 4, Windows Networking) by Just An Admin on 19-04-2011

Part 2: The Motherboard

Picking the right motherboard for our project was most likely the most difficult part. Besides the overwhelming amount of motherboards to choose from, we had a very strict set of demands:

  • Must have two PCI-E x8 or x16 slots, three would even be better
  • Must be supported under FreeBSD/FreeNAS 7.x/8.x
  • Must offer at least 6 onboard SATA ports
  • Must offer at least two, teamable or Link Aggregation (LAGG) compatible network interfaces, thee would even be better
  • Must have an onboard USB port
  • Must be server grade quality
  • Must have an onboard Video card

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Project: Building a cheap NAS, part 1

Filed Under (Storage, VMWare ESXi 4, Windows Networking) by Just An Admin on 14-04-2011

A NAS storage is no longer a luxury for the big companies that are able to spend 5-6 figures. For the last few years NAS storage has become a common product even to be found in small offices and home environments. Most of these products perform pretty good out-of-the-box and do exactly what they where designed to do; Store data and make it accessible through different protocols.

But….. i am looking for more. Most 4 to 6 drive solutions do not offer me the Terra-bytes needed to store my data. I need more and I’m not willing to pay an arm and a leg to get it. So I decided to build my own hardware setup and use FreeNAS to build our own NAS storage.

I’m going to build this unit on borrowed knowledge and good common sense.  There are some pretty decent sources of information on the web, like the FreeNAS community or different public community forums. And a lot of DiY NAS builders that have paved the way.

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Setting up Wireless 802.1x with Windows Server 2008 and NPS

Filed Under (Windows Networking) by Just An Admin on 25-11-2010

Setting up a more advanced Wireless network within a business, school or other large organization network quickly brings you to use 802.1x for security reasons, allowing you to connect to a LDAP, RADIUS or Active Directory (AD) service. My brand new wireless network, consisting of a Ruckus ZoneDirector 1006 and five Ruckus 7363 Access Points was going to be connected to our Windows 2008 Server using Network Policy Services (NPS). Users connecting to this network have to be registered in the AD and be able to use that account to connect to the Wireless network. I know PSK/Certificate based solutions are offered too, even with the Ruckus product itself, but this is what we decided upon.
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Hurricane IPv6 Tunnel fails on Windows XP!

Filed Under (Windows Networking) by Just An Admin on 22-11-2010

My current internet service provider does not support IPv6, yet. So to get some hands-on experience using IPv6 from my home computers I configured an IPv6 Tunnel offered by Hurricane Electric ( This worked perfectly and never let me down. 

Using IPv6 is not an activity you plan on doing. You just use it… or not. So it has been a few months that I last used my tunnel to connect to IPv6 services and found that is was no longer able to connect.  When pinging an IPv6 host I got errors like Request Time Out or Could not find host.
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