Azathoth is the name of our file server. We've had "it" since 2000, although it was replaced many times. One of the goals we had after we moved to the house was to get rid of the 3 boxes full of CDs and DVDs; however, that goal was not attainable without replacing the file server (or at the very least its disks), as it was full.
Last week, I ordered the hardware I needed to build a new revision of Azathoth. This included an Antec micro-ATX case, a micro-ATX PSU, a rather weak Celeron CPU (the weakest I could find, actually) along with some RAM and a micro-ATX motherboard, and a backplane for the disks and, well, of course, disks (4x 3TB SATA disks).
I actually made a few mistakes (this tweet being quite relevant):
- the description of the Antec case said "3x 5.25-inch bays" which was right, of course, but it really was "2x + 1x";
- I searched for the RAM by frequency, and didn't bother to actually read the description - turns out I ordered DDR2 instead of DDR3...
So I had to find an unused ATX case, and I "borrowed" some RAM from Ju's computer (and ordered replacement RAM). Here are a few pictures taken during the hardware's installation:
I then installed and configured the server's software. I installed a lovely Debian Squeeze using an USB key, using the disks as a software RAID10 array with a LVM on top, then configured a NFS server and a Samba server, in addition to the usual stuff I tend to pollute my systems with (Nagios's NRPE and a NTP server, mostly). A few things worth noting:
- I gave up on NFSv4 for now, as I don't have Kerberos set up (and this situation will probably last for some time, as I need another server for that - I wouldn't want the whole LAN to become unusable if good ol' Tulzscha dies, now, would I?)
- NFSv3 does not support IPv6, so Azathoth will be one of the last few things that are not using IPv6 on the LAN.
- I attempted to set up transport-level IPsec between Azathoth and the NFS clients. While I was successful at setting up racoon with X.509 authentication, I gave up on that as well for practical reasons (see below); this was obvious from the start but I seem to have forgotten to think before I did it. Ah well, at least now I know how to set up transport-level IPsec
|Configuration||dd if=/dev/zero of=...|
|Azathoth rev. 5||11.3 MB/s|
|Azathoth rev. 6 (no IPsec)||55.8 MB/s|
|Azathoth rev. 6 (with IPsec)||9.4 MB/s|
I'm not completely done with that yet: I intend to convert Azathoth v5 (an old LaCie NAS - which is actually an undercover Intel NAS) into a backup system for a part of Azathoth v6's RAID array (that part has been left unused for now; I'm considering using DRBD to simply "clone" it, along with LVM snapshots). However, I'd rather wait for a few weeks just to make sure that the new Azathoth is stable before I destroy the data from the old one.
Back in 1990, I had a 30MB hard drive. And it was full.
Then, in 1994, I had a 400MB hard drive. And it was full.
In 1996, I got a 1GB hard drive. And before I knew it, it was full.
In 1998, I got a 4GB hard drive. A few weeks later, it was full.
We have a 1TB RAID array, and it is full.
We've just ordered hardware for a 6TB RAID array.
How long will it last?