This is what I am looking for: A NAS storage/backup solution (hardware/software combo) which has

  • RAID for redundancy
  • full-disk encryption for security
  • snapshot capabilities (multiple/regular snapshots)

It must be affordable (<1000 USD), and not require lots of coding and manual operations to maintain e.g. snapshots.

Any suggestions?

  • define affordable. – Zypher Jan 4 '10 at 20:22
  • And I wanna pony! – womble Jan 4 '10 at 23:00

Install FreeBSD 8.0. GELI-encrypt the physical devices you want to use, then add those devices in a mirror or raidz configuration. Then run your Samba, NFS, or whatever file sharing protocol you need.

I run GELI+zfs on my FreeBSD workstation, and it works very well. The home-rolled solution may not have all the bells and whistles of a commercial NAS, but an experienced UNIX admin should have no trouble with FreeBSD, given how good the online handbook and communities are.

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  • OK, if I understand you correctly, I set up encryption of the drive, then software raid, and then I can stack any FS (like ZFS) on top of that to use the fetaures I need (e.g. snapshots). Seems promising, will investigate! – grojo Jan 8 '10 at 9:04
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    ZFS includes various forms of data redundancy. You can use type "mirror" or "raidz" (a form of RAID-5) with the zpool command. Say you have 3 devices to use for your main data repo: sda, sdb, and sdc. First, you would use GELI to encrypt them, setting them up so you'd need a password or keyfile (or both) upon boot-up (study "man geli"). That would give you the devices: sda.eli, sdb.eli, and sdc.eli. Then, you'd do something like: "zpool create nasdev raidz sda.eli sdb.eli sdc.eli". There is a bit of minutia in such a setup, but it's not overly difficult. – Geoff Fritz Jan 8 '10 at 18:08
  • I've been experimenting with FreeNAS/GELI/ZFS in a VM, and so far it looks very promising. The only challenge I've had is setting up cron jobs for the snapshot scheme. Thanks for your help. – grojo Jan 18 '10 at 8:53

Any cheapo PC running the very latest beta of OpenSolaris will provide you with what you've asked for via ZFS.

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  • encryption as well? I thought this was currently not available in ZFS. – grojo Jan 4 '10 at 21:10
  • "latest beta" ;) – Chopper3 Jan 4 '10 at 23:13
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    latest OpenSolaris beta (i.e. dev builds) hasn't yet on disk encryption. It is scheduled for Q1 2010. – jlliagre Jan 5 '10 at 6:45
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    However, I would still recommend ZFS on OpenSolaris latest dev builds. It provides, beyond many other features, data integrity guarantee, self healing, deduplication, compression, automatic snapshot management (creation and cleaning), NFS and CIFS internal support and very simple disk and filesystem management commands. – jlliagre Jan 6 '10 at 9:32

Install CentOS on a stock PC. The install program of v5.4 is very easy to use, and will allow you to setup software raid, crypto and LVM right away.

You then just have to set up Samba. There are GUI tools installed by default to operate Samba and LVM.

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  • hmmm...as far as I know, LVM supports snapshots, but mostly for backing up live systems, DBs etc. Does it support multiple hourly/daily/weekly snapshots? – grojo Jan 5 '10 at 14:44

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