Advice: NAS setup w/USB as Primary Storage

    • OMV 4.x
    • Advice: NAS setup w/USB as Primary Storage

      I have an old laptop with 500GB that I repurposed as an OMV NAS. I used Docker to run a Nextcloud server, but want to add Letsencrypt, Wiregaurd and Plex in the future. I also purchased an 8TB Western Digital External HDD with USB 3.0 for more storage. Would it be a good idea to reformat my external 8TB to BTRFS and use that as my primary storage space? What are pros/cons of external USB drives as primary storage? What does spin up and spin down matter? It seems like USB has some problems of it's own. What do I need to watch out for?

      ...My goal is to have a NAS that does incremental backups of all Android, Windows and Linux devices on my wireless network (wired not feasible). There are also files I want to store on the 8TB external that would not be syncing with any other devices on the network, but backed up to a 1TB external drive (individual laptop doesn't have enough space for vacation media). In this manner, I can ensure 2 copies of all my files are at home. I've only glanced at Duplicati and Rsync, but am wondering if sticking with Nextcloud would be ideal. I would also like a way to loop-in my other cloud storage solutions (Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.).

      Thanks in advance for the help! :)
    • GuyFromMars wrote:

      Would it be a good idea to reformat my external 8TB to BTRFS and use that as my primary storage space?
      Only if you can ensure that your USB drive correctly implements write barrier semantics. This is important with journaling filesystems like ext4 as well but with ext4 you only get silent data corruption (users realize way too late) while with btrfs your whole filesystem can be gone with a crash or sudden power loss.

      You find a lot of BS, FUD and also information around btrfs and OMV here: github.com/openmediavault/openmediavault/issues/101
    • tkaiser wrote:

      Only if you can ensure that your USB drive correctly implements write barrier semantics.
      How do I go about doing that? Also, is there a file system or way of setting up my NAS that could withstand a power outage of the external drive? Since I'm running OMV on my laptop, I basically have a built in UPS, but that doesn't solve for the Hard Drive. Like someone else mentioned on the github comment you linked to, I'm trying to recycle and make use of electronics, instead of contributing more waste. But, I get it if this is impossible when using an external drive as primary storage.
    • GuyFromMars wrote:

      Also, is there a file system or way of setting up my NAS that could withstand a power outage of the external drive?
      Only by going back into time and not using concepts from this Century. Write barrier semantics are important for journaling filesystems like ext4 as well as modern CoW approaches like btrfs for example. If write barrier semantics are broken your best option is to use an ancient filesystem from the past like ext3 without journaling. After a crash or power loss then it's fsck time which was already a PITA 20 years ago when we measured drive sizes in GB and not TB. With today's drive sizes it's simply impractical and this simple fact was one of the motivations to improve on filesystem design and why we have journaling or btrfs or ZFS and so on --> storage that survives power losses or crashes without the need for an fsck any more.

      GuyFromMars wrote:

      How do I go about doing that?
      You need to try it out. Simply put a btrfs on your WD disk, run some storage benchmarks and pull the plug multiple times. Watch dmesg output for this and signs of broken write barrier support as @crashtest (formerly known as @flmaxey) reported: github.com/openmediavault/open…01#issuecomment-466966476 (check the links there, he even used a WD drive for his broken write barrier tests).

      USB3 storage especially with Linux sucks for various reasons, something else to keep in mind: USB errors when using USB 3.0 external disk and SMART

      In Armbian and as such on the ARM based OMV images we automatically UAS blacklist all WD USB3 disks and I would recommend trying to do this on your laptop too.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by tkaiser ().

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