Latest interface: 0.3.1
Latest system: 010

24 posts

Posted on 30 October 2014 @ 09:18
Hi to all,

CiPHER has already had contact with me but to all the rest of you i would like to introduce myself and express my opinion of ZFS Guru.

First off i am semi retired ex military and been into computers since if you had a hard drive rather than a floppy for the program and another for your data you were super cool and floppys were 5 and 1/4 inches and really floppy, I even have used a system with 12 inch floppys.

My son now in his 30s got the bug from me and we now build all our own computers to suit what we want them for games rigs media center etc, so with a house with virtually a computer in most rooms we decided to have a central location that would house all our media and other files that could be accessed from any computer at will.

So being old school was thinking a server for file sharing built on some of the newer desktop mother boards with 16 or 32 gig of ram and as many 1 TB hard drives as we could fit in the box useing the raid 5 setup to give some fail safe without loosing too much data storage in the process. In the past i had aquired some redundant mini servers that had SCSI HDDs and they worked well but raid took up too much space and with each HDD being only 9 gig was basically pointless and new SCSI HDDs were way to expensive to make some sort of upgrade possible to get past the Minister for War and Finance (wife).

So eventually as older computers were upgraded we would use them as some form of file server running SME server which worked well but was as confusing as heck to set up like i wanted it to be.

Eventually we got our present system which consists of a gigabite 890FXA-UD5 motherboard with 12 2TB WD harddrives 4 of these running through an adaptec sata raid card and just the oldest PCIE graphics card we had and 16 gig DDR3 RAM.

Thats when the fun started, first i tried my old fav SME Server but the version available at the time wouldnt support the HDDs, thhen i thought of using an old copy of XP to run it butthat was only 32 bit so wouldnt recognise more than 3.5 gig of ram.In the end we decided well it is a server why not try Windows Home Server which at the time had just released the new 2011 version so hopefully all the bugs were mostly fixed.

So we shelled out for WHS 2011 and when installed HUH? only using 8 gig of ram??? then some long research and what do you know it was locked down to only use 8 gig and not be able to be connected to a domain so it was not able to be sneakily used by Small business users,you could only use it in workgroups and its main security was that you could set up a home group and only share what it stored with the home group. This made all our firewalls and gateway server/domain server useless to protect it and its data. over the past 3 years i have tried different ways to hack it to open it up a bit to use more ram or allow connection to domain without much success and i started to look for something better as the OS for it. Windows had done away with WHS in its new server format and its new low end server OS was a real nightmare and then what level did you need to do what you wanted with it and from that what was the upgrade cost, scratch Win Server from list. SME now supported large HDDs and would do more than raid 1 so looked at it since it was always so reliable in the old days problem no control over the raid setup with more than 3 drives it will do more than raid 5 and so lost data storage but better fail protection but as my HDDs are spread over 3 different controllers it would only see and use some of the 12 not all of them more data storage lost.

Browsing YouTube, as we all do when bored, came across FreeNAS and some recearch discovered what we really wanted was a NAS system (DUH) but though FreeNAS was ok it didnt do much to protect itself and was hard to setup right so everyone could access it. Tried and removed. eventually found out about ZFS and thought WOW what a great way to use HDDs if only there was a good easy to use and setup system based on this that a LINUX/UNIX numpty like me could use it would be perfect and this in time led me to a YOUTUBE item on ZFS Guru, i watched it and said THIS is exactly what we want!!!

So followed the link to the web page here andgot it and since i am a true convert!!!

best points as a newbbie and LINUX numpty:

1 ease of install

2 get stuck stuff something up go to forum and ask for help and you get a reply from one of the developers within minutes or hours depending on time since i am in Australia thats no problem but no waiting for days for a stupid reply that says to do stuff you do automatically

3 IT WORKS from the first setup of the share on samba every windows computer had access and could use it perfectly.

4 These forum pages are interesting to read as its hows you that we is all human and make silly mistakes and you have to laugh at yourself to stay same.

In closing i would like to say to CiPHER and Jason this is a great system your future goals look to make it better than anything i have seen and will do as you started to do in the beginning and show that this idea will work and many people will want to use it once they see it.

I think most of us would like to add to the project in some way if not by some research or trying to actively help with how tos or some financial donation maybe we can spread the word on YOUTUBE etc.

I pointed our local computer shop this way today as he has lots of people asking him about the NAS stuff and he has learnt from me what not to try for home use so hopefully he will also see this as a good way foward and use it and suggest it to people he deals with!

Happy Computing



1199 posts

Posted on 30 October 2014 @ 16:14
Hey Becky,

Thanks for sharing your experience with us!

I'm also very pleased to hear that your experiences with ZFSguru have been very positive thus far.

The mission of this project has been to bring advanced technology like ZFS to a much wider audience, without a too steep learning curve, but still allowing advanced users to do the things they want to tune their installation to suit their needs. Thus, advanced technology that can be operate by novice users, as well as advanced users who want more control.

Right now, ZFSguru is on the right track but still has a long way to go before it can truly shine and grow its user base. The ambitious path that Jason has chosen, means we have to work hard on the infrastructure to make this path a success in the long run. Right now Jason is making good progress with this, with many things behind the scenes. At the end of this year, that hard labour should begin to pay off.

In 2015, a much better website, better servers and many enhancements to the project that are more visible, are to be expected. Hopefully, you'll be around to witness the transformation from an underdog project to a project gaining traction and growing its user base as new users join the bandwagon.

Thanks for using ZFSguru and stay tuned for more goodness! :)

15 posts

Posted on 30 October 2014 @ 21:43
I also want to praise ZFSguru... I'm a FreeBSD administrator for about 17 years now and I want a system that is flexibel for my needs. And sometimes I need a system that has a GUI and is easy to use by others. FreeNas and Nas4Free are closed systems but ZFSguru gives me the freedom of action I want. Also Jason build a great system and several times I can learn another way to configure this or that.

24 posts

Posted on 31 October 2014 @ 09:57
As an addition ZFS Guru has solved a problem we had with our setup getting raid fails with our 2TB hard drives it always seemed to be the same drive and with a raid restore it was all good for a few months then would fail again. We had swapped disks etc and it was always the same one in the box.

Well with the SMART information that ZFS Guru allows me to see the mystery has been solved it was a simple heat problem one bay in the box seems to run hotter than the others and by moving my fan set up and increasing the airflow through the bays all my drives now run at much lower temps even when doing intensive writes.

So add another big plus to your system guys as SMART info in any other system has never been so useful. Not to mention the $ savings it will generate for us with longer drive life.


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