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FreeNAS vs Raspberry Pi's for jails

Joined
Sep 22, 2017
Messages
2
Good Evening,

So I have finally started working on my server rack and getting my networking gear all sorted out. Something I am having a hard time deciding on is having multiple raspberry pi's for my jails or multiple jails on my freenas server. I want to run things like, plex (which I think i will put on the freenas box), homebridge, pi-hole, unifi controller, Lovelace, and a few more things down the road. I don't want all of these jails to slow down/impact the performance of my box. I have tried to research these things but I can't get a definite answer. I can get a few Pi's for cheap which isn't a big deal but I don't want to buy them if there won't be any difference in between having the jails on the NAS vs the Pi's.

Thanks for you help in advance!

Brandyn
 

Tsaukpaetra

FreeNAS Experienced
Joined
Jan 7, 2014
Messages
213
In my opinion, if a task is low-resource enough to run on a pi, you won't even be able to tell it's running on a full system such as what you'd need for a FreeNAS system. For instance, I have 5+ jails including Plex, Minecraft, Zoneminder, NAMP, and others, and my system is still mostly idle (until I actually start doing things like watching Plex movies).

I used to have a whole setup of laptops and small ARM devices that I replaced with a single FreeNAS system of adequate spec and never been happier.
 
Joined
Sep 22, 2017
Messages
2
In my opinion, if a task is low-resource enough to run on a pi, you won't even be able to tell it's running on a full system such as what you'd need for a FreeNAS system. For instance, I have 5+ jails including Plex, Minecraft, Zoneminder, NAMP, and others, and my system is still mostly idle (until I actually start doing things like watching Plex movies).

I used to have a whole setup of laptops and small ARM devices that I replaced with a single FreeNAS system of adequate spec and never been happier.
Thanks for the reply!

So when you are running plex, do you notice any issues with your jails? I am running a PMS right now on my server and usually have a couple people streaming from it almost every day. I don't want that to take away from the performance of the jails or run into any issues with the jails.
 

Tsaukpaetra

FreeNAS Experienced
Joined
Jan 7, 2014
Messages
213
Again, it really depends on what you're doing. For instance, running pihole doesn't take nearly any resources. It likely won't be affected unless you're (for example) torrenting with 2 million DNS requests for all the peers (and even then...).

For me, when watching with Plex things are usually transcoding on the CPU because I don't have hardware acceleration working (I'm pretty sure my CPU doesn't have a graphics processor capable of it built in), but even then I don't see an appreciable slowdown even during the initial buffering (my CPU can typically transcode at about 2x speed so it spends two minutes buffering and then calms down). During this time other services are unaffected (because it automatically nices itself), and all is well in the world.

iocage (the jail system FreeNAS is using) used to have Resource Limits, but that apparently hasn't been re-implemented in the latest version. If you're really concerned, a workaround using rctl could be implemented, but in my opinion your best bet is to try it without and see if you notice anything.

For my system, I have to have the whole family playing minecraft while watching plex and frantically browsing the fileshares before I notice anything start to slow down (usually minecraft).

For you: Watch top while you're doing your Plex thing. If your CPU is pegged at 100% (note, that would be for a 1-core system. It will be more if you have more cores!) at all times when using your most heavy application (likely, again, Plex when transcoding) then maybe a small cause for concern.
However, if it's hovering at 90% or lower, then you likely have room enough for all of the other things you mentioned in OP, which all (for the most part) sit idle waiting for something to happen.
 
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