Ikke85
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Advice requested for use as small file server

Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:15 pm

Hello Everyone,

I'm totally new here. So first of all, I hope I'm posting in the right place. If not, please point me out in the right direction.

The goal of this post is to kindly ask for advice.

My set-up: I have approximately 10 PC's and 1 all-in-one copier connected to the same network. I would like to use the Raspberry Pi to host a network folder. This way, when a document is scanned to the network folder, it will be accessible for all the pc's in my network.

My question to you: Is the hardware of the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B powerful enough for such a use ? Preferably, I will run Lubuntu on the Pi (since that's the only Linux distro I'm a little familiar with).

Thanks in advance.

Kind regards.

PS: Sorry for my English. I'm dutch.

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allfox
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Re: Advice requested for use as small file server

Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:20 pm

Raspberry Pi got 100MBits/s Ethernet, which is a bit slow for today, but could be adequate for a small server.
I think it's strength is the support. There are guaranteed working software suites available, and a paid team working on it. And its forum is helpful.

And Debian has a list of cheap server box: https://wiki.debian.org/CheapServerBoxHardware
The NAS stands for Network Attached Storage. Those small computers would have 1000MBits/s Ethernet and fast SATA interface to connect a hard drive.

I would suggest just buy a Pi or someone from the Debian list, and try it. They are cheap anyway.

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davidcoton
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Re: Advice requested for use as small file server

Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:27 pm

How many documents are you scanning each hour/day/week?
What size are the scan files?
How many accesses to each file?

Subject to the data rate (and storage capacity, but that is solvable) a Pi3B should be suitable.

The standard OS is Raspbian, another Debian variant, but much better supported than Lubuntu (I don't even know if there is a ready-made Pi distribution of Lubuntu. Ubuntu-Mate is available.)
Try Raspbian first, stick with it unless there is good reason to change.
"If it ain't broke, fix it until it is."
“Raspberry Pi is a trademark of the Raspberry Pi Foundation”
The Pink Unicorn is a symbol of commitment to sensible discussion of future versions of the Raspberry Pi ™


Ikke85
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:11 pm

Re: Advice requested for use as small file server

Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:35 pm

Dear davidcoton,

Thanks for your reply. I've used the quote function to answer your questions.

Thanks for the OS suggestions.
davidcoton wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:27 pm
How many documents are you scanning each hour/day/week?
Depends from day to day or week to week. I guess an average of no more then 5 docs per day.
davidcoton wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:27 pm
What size are the scan files?
Only a few Mb per scan file.
davidcoton wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:27 pm
How many accesses to each file?
Max 10 accesses to each file.

Judging by your answer, I suspect that the Pi will be suitable. Is this correct ?

Thanks in advance.

Kind regards.

Ikke85
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:11 pm

Re: Advice requested for use as small file server

Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:36 pm

Dear PhilBr,

Thanks for your answer. I'll save this page for later.
PhilBr wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:57 pm
You might find this useful:

https://www.howtoforge.com/tutorial/ras ... d-windows/

Phil

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davidcoton
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Re: Advice requested for use as small file server

Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:50 pm

Ikke85 wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:35 pm
Dear davidcoton,

Thanks for your reply. I've used the quote function to answer your questions.

Thanks for the OS suggestions.
davidcoton wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:27 pm
How many documents are you scanning each hour/day/week?
Depends from day to day or week to week. I guess an average of no more then 5 docs per day.
davidcoton wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:27 pm
What size are the scan files?
Only a few Mb per scan file.
davidcoton wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:27 pm
How many accesses to each file?
Max 10 accesses to each file.

Judging by your answer, I suspect that the Pi will be suitable. Is this correct ?

Thanks in advance.

Kind regards.
The Pi is easily capable of handling that workload. You just need to consider where you will store the data. SDCards can be used, but there are some long-term reliability concerns and regular backups would be essential (they are necessary with any solution, unless you retain original documents and can re-scan them in the worst case). Alternatively you could use USB memory sticks or a hard drive (mechanical or SSD) connected by USB. In any case you will need to decide what size drive to use, based on how many documents you want to keep online.

EDIT:spelling
Last edited by davidcoton on Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"If it ain't broke, fix it until it is."
“Raspberry Pi is a trademark of the Raspberry Pi Foundation”
The Pink Unicorn is a symbol of commitment to sensible discussion of future versions of the Raspberry Pi ™

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Lob0426
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Re: Advice requested for use as small file server

Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:21 pm

An inexpensive USB 2.0 HDD would be best, if you will be keeping the files long term. Long term storage stability. If short term then USB sticks would work fine.

I have had a WordPress server up and running for years. It survives power outages and brownouts and keeps ticking along. Some card corruption problems early on, but those have been cured long ago. Not the same use but still indicates long-term stability and reliability can be had on a Raspberry Pi. Back up the SD card every so often like when you update the OS.
512MB version 2.0 as WordPress Server
Motorola Lapdock with Pi2B
Modded Rev 1.0 with pin headers at USB

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rpdom
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Re: Advice requested for use as small file server

Thu Feb 15, 2018 8:11 am

I use a Pi 2B (original version) as a file server, with a 2TB USB3.0 disk (Yes, I know it only runs at 2.0 speeds). That has been running continuously for over a year now with no problems. The Pi also runs a few small websites, the DHCP, NTP and DNS for my house and several MySQL databases. It's not amazingly fast, but it copes.

I'm planning to replace it with a Pi 3B one day, but there's a lot of stuff that will need updating first.

jahboater
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Re: Advice requested for use as small file server

Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:13 am

allfox wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:20 pm
Raspberry Pi got 100MBits/s Ethernet, which is a bit slow for today, but could be adequate for a small server.
If you use a USB/Ethernet adapter you will get around 3 times that (my USB3 Anker adapter gives me 318Mbit sec measured with iperf).

I'd stick with Raspbian Lite, even if you know Lubuntu better.

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allfox
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Re: Advice requested for use as small file server

Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:19 pm

jahboater wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:13 am
If you use a USB/Ethernet adapter you will get around 3 times that (my USB3 Anker adapter gives me 318MBsec measured with iperf).

I'd stick with Raspbian Lite, even if you know Lubuntu better.
A file server would receive data from the storage, then send them to Ethernet. So the throughput on Ethernet would be halved.

I don't quite understand the IO speed to CPU power relationship here.

I remember when I with an original Pi 1B, the 700 Mhz processor can not fill up the 100MB/s Ethernet.

Then there comes the Pi 2B with quad core. But by default, the kernel would only trigger interrupt on the first core, and the processing function would be on that core either. This 900 Mhz could work with 100MB/s. And we could do the processing more fluently if we turn on Receive Packet Steering to balance the load around the quad core.

Then I see the Debian list of cheap NAS claims a dual core 1000 Mhz CPU could handle 1000MB/s Ethernet, as they say it's efficiently wired.
100MB/s to 1000MB/s is 10 times.
But 700Mhz to dual core 1000Mhz is only about 2.9 times. How could this be?

I thought about the DMA, but I think the transport protocol overhead can not offload to DMA. They can't have a chip able to talk Samba, right?

I'm planing get something with 1000MB/s Ethernet and watch how it works.

jahboater
Posts: 2521
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2015 6:38 pm

Re: Advice requested for use as small file server

Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:34 pm

allfox wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:19 pm
I'm planing get something with 1000MB/s Ethernet and watch how it works.
The Odroid C2 has GiGe Ethernet which is directly connected to the SoC.
It also supports eMMC cards, 2GB of memory, and a higher clocked CPU which runs in 64-bit mode.

In turn you will lose the ecosystem, support, and community you have with the Pi.

Ikke85
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:11 pm

Re: Advice requested for use as small file server

Thu Feb 15, 2018 8:32 pm

allfox wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:19 pm
jahboater wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:13 am
If you use a USB/Ethernet adapter you will get around 3 times that (my USB3 Anker adapter gives me 318MBsec measured with iperf).

I'd stick with Raspbian Lite, even if you know Lubuntu better.
A file server would receive data from the storage, then send them to Ethernet. So the throughput on Ethernet would be halved.

I don't quite understand the IO speed to CPU power relationship here.

I remember when I with an original Pi 1B, the 700 Mhz processor can not fill up the 100MB/s Ethernet.

Then there comes the Pi 2B with quad core. But by default, the kernel would only trigger interrupt on the first core, and the processing function would be on that core either. This 900 Mhz could work with 100MB/s. And we could do the processing more fluently if we turn on Receive Packet Steering to balance the load around the quad core.

Then I see the Debian list of cheap NAS claims a dual core 1000 Mhz CPU could handle 1000MB/s Ethernet, as they say it's efficiently wired.
100MB/s to 1000MB/s is 10 times.
But 700Mhz to dual core 1000Mhz is only about 2.9 times. How could this be?

I thought about the DMA, but I think the transport protocol overhead can not offload to DMA. They can't have a chip able to talk Samba, right?

I'm planing get something with 1000MB/s Ethernet and watch how it works.
Dear allfox,

Thanks for your reaction. However, I'm sorry to inform you this is way to technical for me to understand.

Kind regards.

Ikke85
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:11 pm

Re: Advice requested for use as small file server

Thu Feb 15, 2018 8:33 pm

Thank you all for replying.

However, I have some additional questions.
davidcoton wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:50 pm
In any case you will need to decide what size drive to use, based on how many documents you want to keep online.
The documents doesn't have to stay online. The network folder will just be used for sharing easily.
davidcoton wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:50 pm
You just need to consider where you will store the data.
Is it OK to store the scan files on the SD card itself if they only need to be kept online for 1 day ?
Lob0426 wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:21 pm
Back up the SD card every so often like when you update the OS.
Since I've only backed up laptops using a Acronis Boot CD, I would like to ask what's the best way of backing up the SD card of the pi.
jahboater wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:13 am
I'd stick with Raspbian Lite, even if you know Lubuntu better.
If I'm correct Raspbian Lite has no GUI. Since I don't feel comfortable to use the console, I would rather prefer Raspbian as previously advised.

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davidcoton
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Re: Advice requested for use as small file server

Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:10 pm

In that scenario storing the scans on the SDCard is fine.
Raspbian has a program called PiClone that will write a backup of the SDCard.
Stick to Raspbian with Desktop. The only disadvantage is that it carries some extra software "bloat" that you won't use in a server.
Even with the GUI available, you will soon learn to use the console for updates and some other admin tasks.
"If it ain't broke, fix it until it is."
“Raspberry Pi is a trademark of the Raspberry Pi Foundation”
The Pink Unicorn is a symbol of commitment to sensible discussion of future versions of the Raspberry Pi ™

Ikke85
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:11 pm

Re: Advice requested for use as small file server

Sun Feb 18, 2018 5:34 pm

davidcoton wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:10 pm
Raspbian has a program called PiClone that will write a backup of the SDCard.
Dear davidcoton,

Thanks for your reply. Is the program PiClone integrated in Raspbian or do I have to download it manually ? I've found a demo video (https://vimeo.com/153731437) of the program but the site they are refering to is no longer online.

Thanks in advance.

Kind regards.

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davidcoton
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Re: Advice requested for use as small file server

Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:42 pm

AIUI PiClone is a part of the Stretch with Desktop download, not sure about Lite. I haven't checked so I may be wrong.
"If it ain't broke, fix it until it is."
“Raspberry Pi is a trademark of the Raspberry Pi Foundation”
The Pink Unicorn is a symbol of commitment to sensible discussion of future versions of the Raspberry Pi ™

Ikke85
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:11 pm

Re: Advice requested for use as small file server

Tue Feb 27, 2018 10:45 pm

davidcoton wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:42 pm
AIUI PiClone is a part of the Stretch with Desktop download, not sure about Lite. I haven't checked so I may be wrong.
Dear davidcoton,

Thanks for your quick reply and sorry for my late reaction. I have had to deal with a lack of time in the last days due to a large workload.

I have one last question before I order my pi. Since there are many and contradictory reports about heatsinks, I wondered if this would be necessary for the use of the pi described above.

Thanks in advance.

Kind regards.

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