RAID @ home raid5 Presentation

is a powerful, intuitive browser-based network storage software distribution. Openfiler delivers file-based Network Attached Storage and block-based Storage Area Networking in a single framework.

Openfiler sits atop of CentOS Linux (which is derived from sources freely provided to the public by a prominent North American Enterprise Linux vendor). It is distributed as a stand-alone Linux distribution. The entire software stack interfaces with third-party software that is all open source.

Status: stable, in development
# Developers: __

 version 1.1.1 stable (2005)
2.0beta (2006)
Based on CentOS Linux
  • NFS,
  • FTP
  • more
Network directories support
  • NIS, LDAP (with support for SMB/CIFS encrypted passwords)
  • Active Directory
  • Hesiod
  • Kerberos 5.
  • more
Software Raid 0,1,5,6
Hardware Raid yes if supported by CentOS
Interface Web interface, PHP scripts
Size 4GB
Can be installed On hard disk only because of its size
File system UFS, FAT32, EXT2/EXT3, NTFS (limited read-only)
HardDrive ATA/SATA, SCSI, USB and Firewire
Network All supported by CentOS (including wireless card!)

RAID @ home raid5  Installation

Is straightforward, You only have to follow the flow on screen. But here is a small HowTo:

RAID @ home raid5  HowTo: software RAID 5 install

What I want: software RAID 5, 4 disk of 320GB (real 305GB), using NVIDIA SATA chipset (not a dedicated RAID5 board).

Note: these pictures are not screenshots but picture taken with a sony camera...
Download iso image from sourceforge and burn it to a CD Insert CD, and boot the PC
The first step is to TEST the quality of the medium. Openfiler did not recognize the NVIDIA controller.
choose "Add device"
NVIDIA drivers (both Ethernet and drive controller) are at the end of the list.
I've add both drivers manually. Then "Done" The welcome page. click "Next"
Choose Keyboard language. I am not a novice, so let's look at the advanced configuration.
The 4 disks are recognized. First I add some space for the Operating System. If You do not want to have a fifth disk just for the operating system, You'll have to reserve a small amount of the global space for the Openfiler system. Note: this space will be located on the first disk and wont be in the raid no redundancy.
Anyway it is uncommon to install the RAID engine on the RAID array itself.
Lets have 2GB for System.
And  1 GB for SWAP Then I click on th button RAID, since I have no RAID predefined only the first choice is available: "Create a RAID partition"
I will have to create a RAID partition for each of the 4 drives, I reserved 300GB for disk SDB 300GB for disk SDC, for Disk SDA
and for disk SDD...till all 4 disks contains a RAID partition. I click on the RAID button for the 5th times: and choose "create a RAID device"
My disk array will be named /RAID (mount point), Raid level 5 Result, a /RAID (device /dev/md0) with an EXT3 file system.
Nothing particular, default values are good Language support: English
Choose TimeZone Enter a good Root password. Mine s too small but it is only a prototype for determining performances and reliability of the setup.
Confirm all values entered by clicking Next wait till the raid array initialization

CD get ejected, and reboot. Point your browser to https://box_ip:446/
And administer remotely the box

If all my explanations are not clear enough, or You want more details, visit the official installation page

RAID @ home raid5  HowTo: hardware RAID 5 install

in progress...

RAID @ home raid5  Administration

Check Openfiler Administration guide
point your browser to https://box_ip:446/

RAID @ home raid5  Problems encountered

OpenFiler 1.1
  • The SATA controller was not recognized, this force me to use the 2.0Beta.
  • Unable to read or mount manually 2 different USB keys (FAT32), also unable to read CDROM (closed ISO and CDRW)
  • The network card (NFORCE 4 ) was not recognized by Openfiler 2.0Beta, I fail to copy the NVIDIA driver on the box because of point 2.
  • Is working perfectly, did not ask for any supplemental drivers

RAID @ home raid5  Web Interface GUI


RAID @ home raid5  Performances Tests

in progress

RAID @ home raid5  Conclusions

Why choosing it Why avoiding it
Enterprise NAS features out of the box You do not need enterprise NAS features
Very nice WEB GUI 4GB is too much and need an additional small disk only for starting the OS
A lot of functionalities
Limited choice of file system:
  • no Reiserfs, the swiss knife of all filesystem.
  • no JFS, XFS more adapted for big files
A big communities of users and developers, good online documentation.
No AMD64 version, but it's really not an issue.
Very easy to have a software RAID5 arrays setup working.
Stable, Linux 2.6.9 kernel base.
GPL but an Enterprise version (with support) is also available.


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