Longer Term Performance Questions for those with Experience - FreeNas to OMV Move

  • Hello All,

    I'm hoping the community can help me out with some advice or experience prior to me making hardware investments.

    1. I've Run Freenas Ver8 for about 8 Years from a USB Stick BUT I've heard mixed news on this being a bad idea on OMV, is there any basis to the negative things I've heard or should I be okay as long as I make a backup to a spare USB from time to time?

    2. As Freenas has aged I've heard it gets memory hungry the more storage you add, I want to understand if I can expect a similar issue with OMV? I'm running a low spec HP Microserver Gen6 with a AMD Turion™ II Neo N40L 1.5ghz Dual Core with 8Gb's of RAM and I want some idea if I'd be asking too much of it to run two or three RAID configs 2x2tb RAID1, 2x8TB RAID1 and 4x 2.5" 2TB Drives in the 5.25 Bay with a conversion kit on RAID 5 Total Approx 16TB Storage all Redundant. - I'm currently testing with 3x2tb's in a RAID5 and the LOAD was averaged at 2.20 (25% to 50% CPU) whilst re-syncing the RAID which worried me but after that was done it settled to 0.09! and has happily served up music and shares without issue the entire time.

    3. I'm considering making one of the RAID volumes (2x2TB RAID1) LUKS encrypted and served up as a share, Encryption always seems to hit hard, I've tried various solutions with Freenas including Encfs, Ecrypt2f, and client side Veracrypt. Sadly they all hammered the transfer with a 2gb file going into the hour+ range. Does anyone have experience with the LUKS volumes over SMB on OMV and comparisons to standard unencrypted traffic? My base network isn't superfast as i'm using powerline adapters but I'd still like to see 100MB/s!

    Apologies for the random questions but I'm hoping to finish testing and build the final solution soon, my FreeNAS box is on it's way out, it's failing fast.

    If money was no issue I'd just fill the box with 8TB NAS drives and test from there but realistically I only have budget for two new NAS drives and I have a few 2.5" drives hanging around so an additional Sata controller and 4bay 5.24 conversion kit is the most cost effective option.


  • These sorts of generic questions are very hard to answer because it depends on a lot of factors, such as the nature of the files - small, large - you'll be using, the concurrency, speed of access, what else you're running on the box, etc. With encryption you already have a problem because I'm pretty sure that processor does not have AES acceleration support, so you are doing the whole shooting match (running the environment/OS, RAID checksumming and encryption) all on the CPU - and it only has 2C/2T. So everything should work fine in your base state in paragraph 2, and then I would expect everything to go right out the window performance-wise as soon as you encrypt and/or try something disk intensive - multiple file reads and writes simultaneously, etc.

    So, in order :

    1. Not optimal given there are a reasonable number of reads and writes to the boot volume, although there is a plugin to reduce the wear on a USB stick when using it as an OMV boot drive if you must. Instead though why not save yourself the pain and buy a small SSD, 128GB or thereabouts, which is going to be the price of a nice dinner at most?

    2. I can't see 8GB being an issue unless you run something like ZFS + a bunch of containers. I run ZFS over a ~12TB array and around 30 containers - some fairly chunky - and it uses about 70% of 16GB of RAM (but under 10% of CPU unless I'm running a large search or index workload). As long as you don't use encryption (point 3) + virtualise all the thingz I can't see the CPU struggling.

    3. I don't think encryption is a great idea until you move to a stronger CPU. Do you really need encryption? The likelihood somebody wanders into your house and steals your drives so as to be able to read stuff off a whole disk are low, surely? Why not just encrypt individual files or a special directory if it's really needed? And if your powerline adapters are anything like the ones I've used, you will be lucky to get 20-25MB/s, even on the "1GBit" ones. This has nothing to do with OMV, you'll get the same off FreeNAS. Unless you mean 100Mbit/s, in which case you should get that (~8-10MB/s) unless your house power wiring has issues. Personally I use a pair of Ubiquiti Nanostation Loco m5s to link the two floors, replacing a powerline solution. I get 30-40MB/s and it is much more stable and predictable than powerline.

    After years of using things because they were interesting technically, lately I've moved firmly into using things because they work. I don't want running my home infra to feel like a job - OMV works OOTB and it's dependable, there's no need to make a rod for your own back in this area or others. (In a similar vein I would suggest biting the bullet and simplifying your storage with some larger drives, buying a second hand HP Microserver Gen 8 for iLO access and speedier CPU options, spending ~$80 on 8GB more RAM and an SSD boot drive, etc. but I totally understand that financial constraints can prevent this.)

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