Insync is a very powerful and full featured Google Drive client for Windows, Mac, and Linux. I ran across Insync when I was looking for a Google Drive client for Linux after I kicked Dropbox to the curb and switching over to Google Drive for all my cloud storage needs.
In all honesty, if it wasn’t for the Insync client I do not think that I would have made the switch at all, as Google does not even offer a basic GUI client for Linux. Really Google?
PSA: The integration that Google Drive provides into Google Photos, Google Music, Google Docs, and Gmail is well worth the switch from Dropbox in my opinion, and 1TB for only 9 bucks a month is hard to beat (100GB is only $1.99 a month). Just having a Gmail account gives you access to 15GB of free space… so there is no reason not to give it a try.
Ok now back to the topic at hand.
Note that a personal license of the Insync Google Drive client is not free, rather it costs $15. However you can download and try it risk free and without entering any credit card info. This one time fee for a personal license allows you to run and install Insync on multiple machines. Currently I have it installed on 4 separate Linux workstations/laptops. Its well worth cash.
Installing Insync is very easy and well documented so I am not going to go into that topic here. Rather lets talk about using Insync on Linux.
Recently I picked up a Buffalo Linkstation 220 to play around with at home as I felt that I could use a bit of additional storage to play around with. Note that this previous statement is pretty much a lie. I have tons of storage, and was really just looking for an new toy to play around with. Basically I just had a few disks laying around that I wanted to put to use.
However, much to my dismay the I was unable to configure the device once I shoved in the disks, powered it up, and connected to it with the Buffalo Smart Phone Navigator. I figured that this was not a big deal however, so I tried the installable Windows App from my Windows 7 Vm. The Buffalo NAS Navigator was also able to connect to the device, however the device showed that it was currently booted in what was called “Emergency Mode”. Not sensing a real emergency, I did not panic.
Fortunately the site that I borrowed the above image from (here) and this site (here) give advice on how to fix the issue. First step is to download the Buffalo Linkstation Firmware Updater that you can get here. Both pages advise you to modify the LSUpdater.ini file. However their instructions did not work for me. The exact changes, and the LSUpdater.ini in its entirety are below.
Title = BUFFALO LinkStation Series Updater Ver.1.62
WaitReboot = 1200
WaitFormat = 600
WaitFileSend = 600
WaitDiscover = 120
At this point you launch the updater again, and select “Update“. This fully partitions the drives and then updates the firmware. This process takes a while, so be patient. Now you can launch the NAS Navigator and configure the device.
So I am not going to lie, I am a very sick man, but I am also not afraid to admit it. I have a terrible, terrible addiction which is my homelab.
It all started out so innocently… An old Sun Ultra 5 to learn Sparc Solaris at home.. A couple of desktops converted over to rack mount cases and racked in a cheap telecom rack in my unfinished basement. This was very early in my career when I had a lot to learn and plenty of free time to study. However that was many moons ago.
I measure the time that has past since then by the amount of gray that has crept into my beard. As I moved from one role to the next, I found that I had the pick of the litter when it came to retired equipment.
Previously I would have been lucky to land an old Xeon (without virtualization support) to take home, something chock full of PCI-X cards (or worse, SCSI) that were useless to me in a desktop. However now I was landing quad core Nehalems (perfect for virtualization) with handfuls of memory and sexy pci-e SAS/Sata raid controllers. Oh and tons of SSDs that were considered too small not 6 months after they were unboxed. Lets not even get into my networking setup… as that is a tale for a different day.
Once I had a deployed a couple of very nice and fully loaded ESX servers, I came to find that the performance bottleneck in my lab was storage. Sure I had terabytes of SAS and SATA disk, but it was all local. I had nothing that allowed me to fail over between host. Thus began a quest.. a quest for the ages.
Knowing myself as I do, I knew that I was not going to be satisfied by throwing a cheap NAS together out of a couple or SATA disk. No, desktop performance was not going to cut it. I needed 15k SAS, a raid controller with battery backup, a handful of spindles, and a beefy tower to allow for plenty of expansion (yes, all my machines were converted to towers). I also knew I was going to need to use LACP or some other network bonding to cable my creation into my network. Heck, I even dared check out the cost of a cheap 10Gb small business class switch (yup too expensive… lets wait a year or so).
Which brings us to today. The day I fired up my first freenas box.
My rough specs are as follows.
Intel Core i3 3.8Ghz
5x600gb 15K SAS -Raid-Z1
2x4tb 7k SATA – Raid 1
LSI 9260 8i
So now what – move some VMS onto it and call it a day. Well that’s no fun. Lets see what kind of performance we can push through this baby. I mean after all, we are not using 15k SAS drives for nothing.
Side note, its not exactly plug and play when it comes to using SAS drives in a standard tower. Even if you have a SAS capable controller, you are going to need a backplane of some sort to provide power and i/o connectivity. Finding something that will fit the bill, without having to use a cheap one-off backplane is a challenge to say the least. For my lab I picked up a couple of these. 99% of what you see in the box stores will not support SAS drives, and its not always obvious at first glance… you have to check the specs on the side of the box. Also don’t walk into Fry’s thinking you will find one… I have tried. Microcenter seems to be the only large chain that stocks an internal SAS enclosure.
For testing I am have ssh’d into a linux desktop that is on the same network as the freenas box. The desktop has only 1gb network interface. Both systems a cabled northbound to a Cisco 3560g.
First let’s mount up our RaidZ-1 volume by sticking this in our /etc/fstab and running mount /mnt.
Boom, there it is our new fancy mount. Now to run the tests. However that will come in part 2 as I plan not to rush through this. As far as I understand, there can be a bit of tuning in Freenas, so it might take me a bit to get everything dialed in.