PS:344 – The NAS Project – Ready!

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Done! Fully converted from 2 Drives (RAID1) -> 3 Drives (RAID5) – Took about 2 days, and this time ZERO use on the NAS, just wanted it to be chugging on core data.

So the real world tests begin. I’ve got the Mac Photos app using the library stored on the NAS, so even right now have it downloading all of the photos off my iPhone to see how long it takes. 2057 photos to import, so at the end of writing this post (which I’m doing in chunks, working on other things) I should have a rough idea with the help of a handy-dandy-stopwatch app 😀

Software upgrade on this did improve the UI greatly, happy with the overall smooth functionality, however one thing I’m bummed about and I haven’t reached out to support yet is the remote access. It does say you can remotely access your NAS, however, I’ve kicked my ISP provided Router/Modem into bridge mode, and it still won’t connect. Very odd – so one thing on the to-do list.

Apps so far I don’t have anything I really need. The core reason for this NAS was storage in-office, and while it does offer some LAMP builds and such, not where I want my dev to live.

Once the overall setup is done, I do want to do some real world speed tests, it’s not the fastest going at 90-100MB/s Write/Read – but we shall see what I’m getting on that with a Gigabit hook up network wise but accessing it via Wifi (5Ghz).

As I wrap up here 16 minutes passed and 53 videos/photos copied from my phone. Bear in mind, iPhone 7+ which has big photos, and I shoot everything in 4k video – so could be big stuff, but the network is chugging along:

Again more real world tests in sustainable speeds vs. lots of smaller files soon. For now? Wrap up and sleep.

PS:343 – The NAS Project – NFS Mounted

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For whatever reason, and mind you all I have is previous experience on a Mac is NFS tends to be faster. Not sure why that is, but currently have the NFS services fired up and my first NFS shared I’ve got rolling is Mac Photos, it had lived on the 5TB drives, but this allows it to live on the NAS which honestly has been great.

Data sync did take forever, but these aren’t NAS drives. They are honestly USB drives which were meant for storage, not speed. Long-term maybe I’ll swap them out slowly for something a bit more speedy in the NAS world of drives, but honestly? Not sure I’ll take the investment.

I will say the AS1004T is a great little NAS. Again don’t expect enterprise level speeds, storage, software, etc. but honestly? If you are a home or small office user you will NOT notice. I am running mine directly into a Google OnHub (1 Gigabit port), and over Wifi to the OnHub from my Hackintosh – decent speeds. Initial backups and such if you are doing TimeMachine are going to honestly take days, not hours, days. Be aware of that if you are going after this and have a LOT of data.

In the end, once the final sync of the RAID 1 array is done (I’ve been moving data around not letting it finish) but once it’s done I’ll have 10GB of usable storage, 1 failover option and I’m going to be happy. The move from RAID1 -> RAID5 in the software looks easy enough but might be the end of this week before the 3rd drive even gets a chance to work on the system aside from being plugged in internally.

Going to do a full write-up on TechFriendly.help later this week. Some pics, going to clean up the desk a bit and snap some shots but honestly a great investment – once it’s 100% synced and data is moved around into the folders I want to make it easy to manage long-term, I’m going to be very happy and all my video footage for FlockUpdates and such will no longer have to live in a pile of USB3 storage drives, looking forward to better storage setup.

I’ll post a link when things are online and posted @ TFH.

PS:342 – Thinking…

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What a day… well yesterday at least! Oi!

The day was a wash for the most part – first half of the day I wrapped up various projects but sadly the Mrs. car died and well that was our afternoon/evening. In fact, the kid passed out on the way home and the Mrs. followed suit as her car was left at the dealer to see what’s wrong in the AM (fearing its the alternator died)  – but we’ll know more tomorrow.

The thing I’ve been thinking about is some of the current web hosting servers I have in place, I think I might be able to change things up a little bit, improve performance again, and see some network gains in the process.

I feel like anymore I’m constantly changing things up, but in the last 12 months alone I’ve reworked a lot of things, and this one would actually bring about some of the growth I have in mind! There are some pros and cons:

PRO:

  • Bigger Server
  • More RAM
  • More Storage
  • More Control
  • Not much change in price

CONS:

  • Migration
  • IP Changes
  • Time Needed

Some of this honestly was sparked by my interaction with GoDaddy.  I don’t really compare myself to GoDaddy, we are in two different spaces of hosting, but I just feel like as-is, things could use a refresher, and it would really benefit the customers!

I’ve used this new DC for about 2 months now, I’ve read countless reviews on forums with folks who’s input I trust, and even tonight testing out my test server I snagged on a deal it maxed out on data usage getting the whole of my 100Mbit connection. Quite snappy really – and while the hardware I picked up for testing isn’t what I’d get for final, honestly? It is well worth it, and again benefit to customers would be amazing.

Throw in cPanel adding Rsync backups in cPanel 66 – I’m excited about what I could do.

Again just thinking, but have to do a little more research here tonight. I finished some things, others I actually got a few customers who said it could be done anytime over the weekend in a follow-up email, so really I can check on it in the AM and maybe just maybe catch up on some sleep. Night.

PS:341 – GoDaddy Hosting.

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Having been in the hosting space for the better part of two decades I’ve seen hosting companies rise and fall, rise and be bought out, and some just a whisper of what was.

GoDaddy is one of those companies that seems to be “Easy” for some, and insanely complicated for others in what should be an easy set of fixes.

I recently got pulled into a migration project from a design shop I work with, they had a client who is a die-hard GoDaddy fan, they have a “Windows” hosting package which leaves a lot to be desired. Sure they could probably talk to someone and upgrade, but honestly? They just wanted their new pretty site, and that’s it.

In the process of the migration I had PHP suddenly stop having MySQL support, and if you’ve ever used WordPress at all, you’ll know it is a big fan of MySQL access and if PHP doesn’t have the support it tends to complain a lot.

If anyone should come by this thread and you are having issues with GoDaddy’s Windows Hosting platform and can’t seem to get PHP working and you are a designer and at the mercy of a customer in getting this working here’s what worked for me:

web.config

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<configuration>
 <system.webServer>
<httpProtocol>
  <customHeaders>
    <add name="Access-Control-Allow-Origin" value="*" />
  </customHeaders>
</httpProtocol>
  <rewrite>
   <rules>
    <rule name="wordpress" patternSyntax="Wildcard">
     <match url="*"/>
     <conditions>
      <add input="{REQUEST_FILENAME}" matchType="IsFile" negate="true"/>
      <add input="{REQUEST_FILENAME}" matchType="IsDirectory" negate="true"/>
     </conditions>
     <action type="Rewrite" url="index.php"/>
    </rule>
   </rules>
  </rewrite>
 </system.webServer>
</configuration>

php5.ini

[PHP]
memory_limit = 384M
post_max_size = 128M
upload_max_filesize = 128M
allow_url_fopen = Off
allow_url_include = Off
default_socket_timeout = 60
log_errors=On
extension_dir = C:\\php5\\ext
[mail function]
; For Win32 only.
SMTP = relay-hosting.secureserver.net
smtp_port = 25
[SQL]
sql.safe_mode = Off
[ODBC]
odbc.allow_persistent = On
odbc.check_persistent = On
odbc.max_persistent = -1
odbc.max_links = -1
odbc.defaultlrl = 4096
odbc.defaultbinmode = 1
[PHP_BZ2]
extension=php_bz2.dll
[PHP_CURL]
extension=php_curl.dll
[PHP_GD2]
extension=php_gd2.dll
[PHP_GETTEXT]
extension=php_gettext.dll
[PHP_MCRYPT]
extension=php_mcrypt.dll
[PHP_MYSQL]
extension=php_mysql.dll
[PHP_MYSQLI]
extension=php_mysqli.dll
[PHP_OPENSSL]
extension=php_openssl.dll
[PHP_PDO]
extension=php_pdo.dll
[PHP_PDO_MYSQL]
extension=php_pdo_mysql.dll
[PHP_SOAP]
extension=php_soap.dll
[PHP_SOCKETS]
extension=php_sockets.dll
[PHP_SQLITE]
extension=php_sqlite.dll
[PHP_XSL]
extension=php_xsl.dll
[PHP_ZIP]
extension=php_zip.dll
[PHP_MSSQL]
extension=php_mssql.dll

Put these both in your root folder, then under the control panel in IIS restart the application pool so it reloads everything no matter what and for me, this got me working again. Now bear in mind if they have you using a lower version of PHP (I was at 5.2.x build) then in time WP and other plugins may not have support, so may want to have your customer long-term contact support about moving to a newer build, or maybe get a small VPS/Linux Hosting package for WordPress for a bit more ease of staying up-to-date.

If you have the option to switch out, feel free to comment here, I can host a WordPress site no problem! But hopefully the above has you squared away.

PS:340 – The NAS Project – Copying & Building

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So far I must say – not a bad NAS.

I’ve had experience with a few before, both custom built FreeNAS setup or two (even a simple build on my own) and commercial NAS products from other companies, but honestly? ASUS has done a great job for this price point. Very nice.

Now I won’t know the overall performance for another day or two, as I’m copying 2.8TB of data to the RAID1 to clear off the 3rd drive, but even that is chugging along while finishing building the array.

Software wise, I have looked around and overall? Not too shabby. Once it’s not copying and rebuilding data I hope to have a better look and install a thing or two for some testing, but as-is, logged in via SSH using rsync to mirror the USB 5TB drive (Formatted HFS+ which it was able to mount without issue!) and it’s not too shabby! It contains a lot of various things including a few old Time Machine backups from Mac’s long gone.

I’d say about a day more of copying, then it’s letting the RAID1 finish building, once that’s done then after I do a few spot checks of data (ensuring the Photos are safe is a big one) then I’ll get the 3rd drive moved into the array and running smoothly as RAID5.

For now, a night of work ahead, picked up a new contract, and some data to get moved around… honestly makes me a little tired just thinking about it lol. So off I go.

PS:339 – The NAS Project – Prepping!

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So here we are the day of delivery, and I’m set. Both active drives are rsync’d over to the 3rd 5TB drive, so that’s done. They are also actually backed up on Backblaze as well which is awesome!

I’ve removed the two drives already from their enclosures – wasn’t too hard, pocket knife worked perfectly, a phillips screwdriver to get the control board off and remove the side screws, 2 drives ready to go.

Now the plan is pretty simple honestly:

  1. Setup the two pulled drives as RAID1.
  2. Connect the 3rd Drive as USB External Storage
  3. Sync the contents of drive 3 to the RAID1 array
  4. Remove the USB Drive when finished.
  5. Remove drive from enclosure
  6. Add 3rd Drive upgrade from RAID1->RAID5.
  7. Take a nap.

Pretty straightforward all things said and done. I plan to video and document things a bit too for a piece on TechFriendly Help which is online and operational, I think I’ve finally settled on a mostly completed look, going to add some minor tweaks here and there – but this is going to be too one of my first video projects that is not a FlockHosting Update.

I want to document this model because the AS1004T hasn’t been reviewed in the US for some reason, the AS1002T has (the 2-bay unit) but the 4-bay unit I got isn’t really covered and honestly? If it lives up to its specs and functionality – it’s an amazing deal.

This NAS project should really make life a bit easier long-term, a lot of things coming up in the next few months, likely one way or another moving, tech is going to be one of those things which may be a bit hard to have access to sadly, so trying to up my game and really streamline the office.

For now, its nearly 4 am – and I’m dead tired, but can’t get to sleep again, so watching my Omega2+ update my cryptocurrency – going to try and sleep again if I can. Morning is going to come insanely early – hopefully my NAS will be delivered before nap time 🙂 and who knows maybe a small pile of checks will be waiting too!

Happy Monday – Enjoy the eclipse!

PS:338 – The NAS Project

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Over the last 48 hours, I’ve been re-arranging data, I have 3 x 5TB Seagate USB External Drives, of course, they are all really 3.5″ drives just come in a handy enclosure to use externally.

I’ve managed to rsync one drive to the 3rd, it only had about 500GB, however, the primary drive I’ve used is 2.6TB in storage used. Rsync has been building the list for about an hour now as I’m trying to do the final syncs to shut down another drive – all in all I have the first round of data, but just want to be sure all is ready to go.

Since I’ll have 2 drives cleaned I can make myself a RAID1 array setup on the NAS for starters, then I’m going to mount the USB drive that’s left as an external drive and rsync all from it to the new RAID1 array, once done, I can migrate the array to RAID5 array and expand it out to give me 10GB  total storage, leaving one drive for tolerance for fail.

Long term I’d love to go RAID10 with all 10TB drives, but for now, RAID5 with 3 will do, maybe add a 4th and give myself another 5TB of active storage but don’t directly need that yet, though I do have a few price watches out there for insane deals on standalone 5TB drives or the same Seagate external drive I have now 🙂

For now, it’s nearly 5 am… I haven’t slept well tonight and didn’t eat yesterday other than a bag of popcorn, so going to try and close my eyes again and see if things improve. More on my NAS adventure probably Monday once it comes in.

PS:337 – Storage.

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I’ve been toying with the idea of bulk storage for a while. I picked up several 5TB USB Drives from Target as they were discounting them, and they work just fine, however, they are not easy to have on the desk, 3 power bricks, 3 wires, it’s a mess.

So I’ve been exploring building my own NAS with FreeNAS, however, the hardware to build it is picky, and while I am sure I could make it work – Size, Cost, Power. So enter a NAS. They aren’t always cheap, in looking at a few models without disks I’d be looking easily at around $500 for something entry level with 2 bays.

Then I came across ASUSTOR which happens to be part of ASUS, so I took a look, and for the price point? Amazing pieces of hardware, this is the ASUSTOR AS1004T 4-Bay:

Simple, easy. No drive bays to have on the front, instead, you slide off the case and install the drives.  Not a huge deal at all, sure that’s nifty, but for half the price? I’m really good at mounting drives with thumbscrews 😀 The 2 Bay unit actually has a few good videos here and there, so figured if I got really wild maybe mount the YiCam and a few other of the cameras and film the setup and such and share it on TFH’s YouTube Channel? Maybe the start of really digging in? Anywhoo…

The plan is to take the 3 drives I’m using now and clear off 2 drives, make it into a lovely RAID1 build first, then migrate all the data over, simply plug the external storage in, copy the data off (may even clean it up a bit) then once the drive is clear and on the RAID1 array, format and add the 3rd drive and convert it to a RAID5 array, thus doubling my storage and having continuing to have a single drive failure, long-term I’d love to find a deal on a 5TB drive again and expand some more (15TB ain’t bad) but long-term it’d be great to have 4 x 10TB drives in there and be able to archive video, photos etc. plus storage on Backblaze’s B2 is cheap, maybe sync it for archive purposes?

All in all, it’d save me some money, make the drives easier to access on the road and on the network, and since too it’ll talk to a VPN, figure maybe re-work my VPN so on the road I can securely connect to everything.

It has been a long week, and with this new setup going to continue the journey of re-working my office a bit, a lot to do over the next few months, busy busy busy. Tired. For now going to try and wrap up my evening projects, get invoices out, and go to bed. Night.

 

PS:336 – Relaxing by Coding.

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So one of my side little projects of late has been the coding of tools to better keep me up-to-date on my coins – my previous post (334) I mentioned the small coding project and I think I may write a small page for it and update the code as I have updates, currently on version .04:

<?php

/****
Coins.php (v.04)

A simple API call to get the value of a coin in the user's desired currency, great for using in Google Sheets (Use: =IMPORTDATA("yoururl") or if you simply want to grab
the current value of a certain coin. Currently geared towards USD, but hope in next version to add proper currency markings for the amount conversion.


## Changelog

.01 -   First Release
.02 -   Adjustments to code & calling methods.
        Changed from XML output to plaintext for use of IMPORTDATA vs IMPORTXML
.03 -   Removed dual posting of plaintext price for import & added amount conversion.
        Commented code.
.04 -   Added Conversion for ATM without Value Text for Onion pull - Also adding $ for easier formatting on Onion curl call.
***/


//Get Data
$url = file_get_contents("https://min-api.cryptocompare.com/data/price?fsym=".$_REQUEST['coin']."&tsyms=".$_REQUEST['curr']."");
$json = json_decode($url,true);
//Check for Amount to Convert
if ($_REQUEST['atm'] != '') {
$value = $_REQUEST['atm'] * $json[$_REQUEST['curr']];
$tvalue = round($value,2);
echo "$".$tvalue;
} else {
//no amount? provide plaintext response for dollar amount.
print $json[$_REQUEST['curr']];
}
?>

Well, it’s quite handy, feel free to use it if you need to, but basically, it’s allowed me to use my Ometa2+’s OLED screen to every 5 minutes update the current value of coins! Here’s a peek:

Enjoying it a lot, really neat to look over and not have to re-open my Google Docs, just a glance and the screen presents all the goodies.

Maybe I’ll write it all up and send it over to the Onion forums, it is simple, purely informational, but thinking about maybe converting a bitcoin icon -> LCD file and place it on the right side? Long-term if the value is huge (they say it will be) then it will overlap, but for now, a bash script, php script, and a cron job give me some info at a glance.

PS:335 – Dental Day… Bleh.

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Today was a day of dental work. I went in for a consult on my tooth pain to find that something I’ve been saying to 2 previous dentists, as well as my current, was true: My Tooth is Cracked.

Well, the specialist confirmed it, of course correcting me on where the crack was, and the bummer news that the nerve was dying a slow and painful death thus the reason for my some-days-pain.

So today was a root canal. I’ve had one before which wasn’t bad, but this time…. ouch. ouch. ouch. Not fun, apparently I had “two canals” in which he found one hiding behind some bone? Unless I heard him wrong. At some point I’ll be honest I was in so much pain – I cried and was ready to run away.

I survived, in fact just took my heavy hitter pain meds, so far so good, still feeling pain, but I figure at least a full 30 before they even begin to take a dent off, but the hope is it’ll let me get back to sleep.

Still, need to get a crown on it, for now, just want to rest and try and if possible get some work done. Lots to do, and I know I should rest, but just that need to knock some things off the to-do list.

Who knows maybe this weekend I’ll be running smoothly, or at least getting some much-needed rest. Night all.