A non-windows SMB/CIFS file server...

This topic was created by J. Cook .

  1. J. Cook Silver badge

    A non-windows SMB/CIFS file server...

    I have a stupid question, and my google-fu has failed me.

    Can I use something like FreeNAS virtual machine or even a 1U pizza box as a file server head, and have the storage be an iSCSI LUN that's been presented to the FreeNAS head? I know for a solid fact that windows 2012R2/2016/2019 can do this all day long, but I reallly would prefer a non-windows SMB/CIFS server for sharing files, because there's too much that can seriously wrong.

    This is for a medium business- We already have a rack mount QNAP that we've been playing with for archiving files, but in all honesty I don't think it would be able to cope with nearly 1000 users and 17+ TB worth of files being thrown at it. the windows file servers we are currently limping by with are not keeping up at all.

    Our current alternative to the windows file server is getting an entry to mid-level Netapp (FAS 2750 or perhaps an 8200), which will fit the bill, but be as expensive as all hell. (I did pitch the boss the idea of buying an 8300 or higher end unit, and adding all flash shelves to it next fiscal as a replacement for our aging nimble appliances, which are going EOL in 2 years. He's somewhat receptive to it, but would prefer something all flash for replacing the nimble appliance.)

    Pure Storage says that we can bolt on a Windows Storage Server to one of their all flash arrays, but again- it's windows.

  2. katrinab Silver badge


    Don’t know about FreeNAS, but it would definitely work with vanilla FreeBSD or Debian or something like that.

    Mount the iSCSI device onto the filesystem. Point the smb.conf share at it.

    1. JamieKeener

      Yes I agree with you @katrinab, you are right, this is a good idea that would certainly work with vanilla FreeBSD or Debian or something like that

  3. Cybersaber

    You may be buying a ticket on the pain train

    This is one of those answers that start with "absolutely it can be done" but followed by "I'm not sure if it's a good fit for you"

    SAMBA has been around forever, so you could use Debian or RHEL (or Rocky) but the fact that you didn't know about SAMBA (which is is well known in GNU/Linux circles) makes me fear the depth of Linux experience in your IT bench may not be sufficient to really support that stack in a production environment. I could be totally wrong.

    Penguin power is like an IT power tool. A chainsaw in the hands of Bruce Campbell is a crowning moment of awesome. A chainsaw in a babe's hands is terrifying.

  4. 21dfsg



  5. Androgynous Cow Herd

    If you are serving SMB at that small scale

    Widows has the best implementation of SMB one the planet. SAMBA is eternally playing catchup.

    THe only reason to look for an alternative is that it is perceived as "too expensive" by someone.

    Don't work for penny pinching companies. If they are cheap about critical infrastructure, they are cheaper about salaries.

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