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What's an Apple tech to do with an aging FreeNAS two-drive PC HW RAID

Joined
Sep 5, 2019
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#1
Hi! I'm new to FreeNAS and my client is using a FreeNAS RAID running on this HW & SW to share files over the network:
PC tower - HP ProLiant ML110 G7 14GB memory (circa 2011)
Internal two-drive (6TB drives) RAID running FreeNAS-9.3-STABLE-201605170422 (circa 2014?)
Contains about 500GB of data (.5T)

This ALERT is flashing in the FreeNAS Dashboard
  • WARNING: smartd is not running.
  • WARNING: The 9.3-STABLE Train is now in Maintenance Mode. No new features or non-essential changes will be made. Please switch to the 9.10-STABLE train for active support.
I can see it needs an upgrade, but am not certain to just click upgrade....

There is no a backup system

I can provide whatever info is needed

There is a budget for replacement or upgrade, etc

Best course of action?
 

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PhiloEpisteme

FreeNAS Guru
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Oct 18, 2018
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#2
Hey @macman, the warning you're seeing isn't indicative of bad drives etc so much as monitoring disk software not running. You may already be familiar with it, but if are not, smartd is part of the S.M.A.R.T suite of tools used to monitor disk health and attempt to determine when a drive is likely to fail so that a replacement can be performed prior to actual disk failure. In this case the warning is telling you that the software is not running and so if a drive has a certain type of issue you won't be notified. This could be due to a poorly configured system or it could be due to some bug etc. Check out the user guide for your version to determine how to enable smart monitoring and if that works you're all set.

Best course of action?
The best course of action is likely to ensure that the data is in good shape and that a reliable backup exists. You should consider checking the output of zpool status, and if all looks well there consider running a scrub on the pool preceded by a smart long test, there are useful docs for how to run the test, the command is basically smartctl -t long <device>. If you're unfamiliar with smartctl and its output it is worth researching which test values actually matter to you. It will often report that a test succeeded with no errors despite some values from the test indicating the possibility of a soon-to-fail disk.

These steps will tell you how the pool is structured, the health of the pool and disks, and the health of the data. If no errors occur in any of these areas you can rest assured that it likely isn't an emergency in so far as data integrity is concerned. If you get issues here your first step is likely to address it and how to do that will depend on what the issue is.

There is a budget for replacement or upgrade, etc

Best course of action?
Once the data is safe specifications and cost for a replacement or upgrade depends a lot on what the client will use the system for and what kind of performance and data integrity they are looking for.
 

PhiloEpisteme

FreeNAS Guru
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Oct 18, 2018
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#4
I'd prefer to discuss here in the forums, that way anything we come across will live here for posterity. Other users may find themselves in a similar situation and our discussion could help them. Furthermore, I'm not a FreeNAS, ZFS, or FreeBSD professional and if I make a mistake here someone with more knowledge will correct me.
 
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#5
Than you for the response. Here are more specific screenshots and more specific questions

Scrubs Status
Volumes Status (report is healthy)
Disks Status (Unable to load)
Crashplan Status (Off)

Regarding backup- With this old version of FreeNAS is it best to enable Crashplan plugin so it can backup or should I copy all data to another local drive? Or both?

Regarding updating to current FreeNAS
Is it simple to update to current FreeNAS? With macOS, depending on version, it can be as simple as a couple clicks, a download and a restart (plus time)?

Regarding S.M.A.R.T
Under Disks its unable to load. Would a RAID restart help? Or something else?

That you for your help. I'm learning :)
 

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PhiloEpisteme

FreeNAS Guru
Joined
Oct 18, 2018
Messages
433
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206
#6
Regarding backup- With this old version of FreeNAS is it best to enable Crashplan plugin so it can backup or should I copy all data to another local drive? Or both?
I'm not familiar with Crashplan so I can't comment on it. But any backup which can hold the data and be used to recover it is better than nothing.

Regarding updating to current FreeNAS
Is it simple to update to current FreeNAS? With macOS, depending on version, it can be as simple as a couple clicks, a download and a restart (plus time)?
Generally yes. Though, I think it may be safer to first make sure the data is safe before anything is reset.

Regarding S.M.A.R.T
Under Disks its unable to load. Would a RAID restart help? Or something else?
TBH I'm not sure what a RAID restart is. FreeNAS doesn't use traditional hardware raid, in fact it uses software raid via ZFS. SMART is in fact not related to rate but is instead a disk monitoring tool.

Can you go to the command line on the machine and show the output of zpool status? To be honest I'm not familiar with the UI from versions so old so I can't tell you exactly where it is.
 
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