I have less time to spend on the IT side and also a lot less interest in building a complex system.

Firewall

For a long time I had a firewall applicane it worked well was a 1U rackmount unit, rather expensive and eventually it failled. Looking all the hardware solutions and software. I decided to test zeroshell not as easy my applicance, however a long list of howto and an active forum. I had an old u4 Rack case lyind around around installed the hardware : Old mother board with AMD Celeron, 1.5GB Ram and an old harddrive. The product worked great. Eventually the power supply died and it was replaced by an old one. The hardware did fail and I used an old disk which I no longer used.

Over the years things have changed my internet has gone from .5/10mbs to 11/99mbs the hardware keeps up well for a 10+ year old hardware. if it fails I still have enough old spare parts but will also buy a small industrial PC intended for this use. Zeroshell does have a very large list of uses. I use mine for the most basic need: LDAP, DNS, Firewall and at times the proxy. I say at times because services like Netflix usually cause more trouble when the proxy is enabled.

For me one of the most comfortable features is that all my network configuration is stored and manged in a single box. And the backup/restore process is super easy. When I change my internet access, get a new router, … I can configure them not linked to the network. replace the existing one and it is completely transparent.

Fulvio did release this month a new release 3.4.0, about 1 year ago he had added a packet management system to make this easier. It did take me less than 30 minutes to upgrade and reboot the server to the new version with no loss in my configuration. Over the years I have seen many projects grow and die. Zeroshell is a great product with so many nice features I will never use. I love how easy it is to manage all the things I need to do. But be aware we are talking network security. Don’t expect a graphical wizard.

This new release has also a 64-bit kernel. The firewall has now been running for 2 month I am impressed by the stability. Despite the increase in bandwidth and better performance on my backups the CPU load is very reasonable it did go from 2% to around 5. I have had short term spikes but never above 18% even at full speed download and upload. Crashplan was using about 5-7MB consistently as upload speed. I say was because all the initial seeding of my 18TB of storage is now complete and only increments are loaded. A photo assignment usually means 30-40GB of data which are uploaded in less than 48hours.

I can only recommend Zeroshell it is really an impressive software, when my current hardware eventually gives up. I will order a smaller piece of hardware and copy my image

 

NAS

For years I had been building and maintaining my own Storage servers. Eventually I did get tired of it. I still have an old storage server as my main server which really should be replaced and will be on the next hardware failure. IT is a 9 year old dell with an external enclosure with 12 drivers. For the backup I have bought a Synolog DS1812+. This tiny box is so quiet, easy to manage and expand. I have recently reached the maximum capacity and the next upgrade will be by using an expansion unit. I also use this to mount my linux server and workstation files. It is then very easy to use the synology as a proxy from a windows workstation. To replace my existing storage server I plan to get 1 DS2414+ this should give me enough storage and power. I would also add 1 drive as SSD cache to wok on my files. Today working on the NAS, Server or locally I see no difference when processing pictures or working on large files.

The NAS is also used to store videos which we watch from the Xbox and we run the Logitech sqeezserver to deliver music to all of our rooms. It is a totally pain free simple solution

 

Backups

I wish this was as simple as everything else. I use Rsync on my file server to replicate the data to another set of drives to prevent any raid crash issues. Then between the Workstation, Server, NAS and cloud I use crashplan. I love how easy this software is to setup and manage. But running crashplan on the NAS is not officially supported and does fail very frequently when ever a new update is applied. Today my average backup to the cloud does happen at about 3-7mb/s or 30+GB/day. I really hope that in the future Crashplan does make the life better for NAS users or I may have to install a very small linux box just to run crashplan and backup all the other mounted devices

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