Setting up a CentOS 6.3 linux box as a RAID networked attached storage unit

One customer has been set up with Paragon backup software for a Windows 2008 SBS installation. Whis is frustrating about SBS is that the Server Backup tool taunts you to use it but MS states that it is not meant to be used on anything except R2 2008. It was a nightmare but we did get it running on a 2008 Enterprise installation after fixing the VSS shadow copy service. That took 5 hours of time – luckily it was for a friend and they did not pay for it.

OK back to a wonderful tool called Paragon which does work and restoration of files is MILES easier than restoration using Symantec’s Backup Exec. It too works – but it is a huge hassle to understand. The home edition works too but not necessarily for a server installation.

We set up a CentOS 6.3 box (I say we because it was a good friend of mine who taught me what he was doing). I have set up DOS partitions long ago and this is similar just super involved on Linux. Here is what we did

Made a RAID of 2 x 3TB drives partitioned to have 1 boot partition,1 temp/log partition 1 swap partition, 1 OS partition and another one for the /home. In short, the theory is that if the logs filled up a partition the whole box would not come crashing down. Most partitions were set up with RAID to mirror each other in  case of drive failure. Cent OS 6.x was needed for these larger drives – and CentOS 5.x failed miserably.

We took off all unnecessary tools and then I added VNC setup which is a whole article unto itself, smb which is still not working despite both of us working on it – one hint is that Selunix fights smb and there is a setting that you have to apply to get the home directories to be sharable. See Dan’s article here and look for the word selinux in the smb.conf file – sure enough it tells you why it is will not work without proper setup right in there. We are still working on why things mounted one day fine and not the next day. Mac or PC cannot connect via smb.

Netatalk was setup (Appletalk) so Macs could put their time machine backups on the large partition. See this article for Netatalk and this one for TimeMachine on a NAS.

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