building my first storageserver

Initially i only had some encrypted external USB HDD’s, but having no money for an extra backup of the data (not critical, but i dont want to lose it), i decided to go with raid5. I knew of the possible problems regarding URE during rebuild, but after various test rebuilds using real HDD’s in combination with mdadm errors never occured. I also could have been just lucky given the theoretical chance of a successful rebuild being only ~20% for my case, but i assumed that 3 successful tests where enough so i build it:

  • AMD FX-8320E (8-core,not very power efficient)
  • 5x 3TB HDD’s (two i had already flying around as external HDD’s so i just used them, the rest was the cheapest i could find note: dont do this 😀 )
  • 4GB DDR3 RAM
  • 16GB USB thumb drive for OMV
  • silenced case

My choice for the OS fell on OpenMediaVault, which is based on debian and offered an easy to configure Web UI and monitoring via SMART as well as creating mdadm raids. Using LUKS i set up a encrypted block device on top of the mdadm block device, which gave me better performance than setting up LUKS for every device and then building mdadm on top of that.

The 5x3TB would give me a useable amount of ~12TB which was plenty for the time, with the option to expand the raid with more drives when i need more.

All i had to do then was ssh-ing into the server after boot, mount the LUKS blockdevice and return to the web ui to mount my share which is accesible via SMB.

Setting up my mail using a specially created “servermail” gmail account delivers all my automatic SMART/alert/whatever mails from my servers to my main email (MS live mail, now outlook) which are then delivered via push to my devices, awesome.

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