NAS Project


So we set out this week to build a NAS. And for the most part we were successful. I did get the NAS up and running, but I ran into sooooo many issues that I couldn't fit it into a video.

The main issue I ran into was with the software I decided to use. 

To run the NAS I decided to go with OpenMediaVault

I also had decided to to a JBOD setup using SnapRaid to take snapshots for periodic backups. This all looked great on paper because there's a Snapraid plugin for OpenMediaVault, to incorporate it into the WebUI. In practice however, The current release version of OMV is 2.xxx, but there is a log running beta version 3.xxx. I also suspect some of the issues stemmed from my flash drive I was installing on to. After fighting with the SnapRaid plugin for an hour or so, I finally got a message that it required version > 3.xxx... So I did some research and found out that you could do a system update to go from 2->3 on a running system. So I ran the command: omv-release-upgrade 
After the update finished it seemed to work, so I installed the SnapRaid plugin. This also looked fine and it asked me to reboot. When the system came back up, it could no longer mount the file system. I spent an hour or two trying to recover the root file system to boot from the existing install, but nothing I tried would get it to come back. 
So I decided to start over and reinstall, since I knew what steps to take now. During the installation, the GRUB installation failed and I had to use LILO for my bootloader instead. No big deal, Lilo isn't as configurable, but it does the job. So I went through the upgrade process again and re-installed SnapRaid. It all looked good, so I rebooted and again it refused to remount the file system... 
A few installations and several hour later I decided to give up on trying to get SnapRaid working and just get a stable system up and running. 
So I ended up just doing a standard install (v2.xxx) and gave up on SnapRaid for now. I decided to go with a Union Filesystem and built a MergerFS array. So we ended up losing the redundancy in favor of more storage and easy expand-ability. I will be setting up Snapraid to take snapshots of this array for backups, but not to manage the raid itself.

Setup Procedure (Install #10 that actually worked)

Hook up the machine to a monitor and keyboard and make sure there is an internet connection.
Install From the USB Stick
Reboot
Login using the root password you set up during install.
Make a note of the ip address displayed, if you don't see one run: ip addr 
Run the following commands: 
apt-get update
apt-get upgrade

This will take quite a long time to finish and that's normal.
Once apt-get finishes, in a web browser of another computer on the same network, put the ip address from earlier into the address bar. This will load the OpenMediaVault WebUi.
Log into the NAS using the default credentials:
User name: admin
Password: openmediavault

Go to General Settings - Web Administrator Password and change the password.

Follow the instructions here to install the OMV Extras plugins and hit apply.
On the plugins page install the union filesystems plugin.
After the page refreshes, go to the File System Page, Name and format each of the disks into your preferred file system. I went with ext4:

Once these file systems show as online, go to the Union Filesystems page. Click add and Give your volume a name and click each of the drives to include, in my case, all of them, and save.

Setting up Shares

To actually get the NAS to show up on your network, we need to set up shares. To get started, got to the Shared Folders page. You can set up as many shares as you like or just one with sub-folders inside. I went with separate shares to allow me to manage who has access to each folder very easily.
You can now share these folders on the network using the service of your choice. I mainly have Windows machines on my network, so I will be using Samba. Go to the SMB/CIFS page and click on the shares tab and add a share for each of the folders you want to share on the network.
Select the share you set up in the last step from the drop-down, give it a name, and save.
Enable each of the shares, apply changes, and you're good to go.
You should now be able to see the shares on Windows machines on the same network.
From there you just load it up with files and whatever else you do with mass storage!

That's gonna wrap it up for now and sorry again that I couldn't get this into a video, but I hope you guys enjoyed the project and I'll see you next time!