ReadyNAS With TrueNAS Update

Some time back, I made a series of blog posts going over converting my ReadyNAS from running Netgear’s OS to a modern OS, TrueNAS SCALE. I learned a lot from that process, and I managed to hobble together something that worked. Since then, the flash drive I was using died and I had to replace it. Also in that time, I had 2 HDD failures and swapping them was easy enough. None of these problems caused significant problems with my usage. There has been no data loss.

I really do love TrueNAS and plan to use it going forward.

But I learned something new just this last weekend. I learned I kinda messed up in figuring out how to make things work. I overcomplicated it. I spent too much on keeping it overcomplicated. It was, really, kind of a mess to the point I started planning out a rebuild that would solve my mess, along with upgrade things in my home network, including some consolidation.

I still want to do this upgrade at some point. But it no longer need to clean up my mess.

I made the assumption that it needed to boot via USB and I wanted to maximize my drive usage. I had 6 3TiB HDDs, I want to use them all, damn it! There’s no other internal booting, so USB boot it is. On unreliable flash. I did buy a portable SSD to fill that role, but still, terribly hobbled together.

I had 12-13TiB of usable space. I was using less than 4TiB. My usage wasn’t rapidly growing. I could easily live with less space.

The trays holding the drives have screw holes for 2.5" drives. I tested the fit of one of my old 2.5" SATA SSDs and it mounted where it would correctly connect to the backplane.

I tested booting from that drive. No USB drives connected, all other drive bays empty, it booted and came online.

I had a plan. Clean up some data (I’m a bit of a data hoarder and knew some of it could go, like some of the massive downloaded datasets and whatnot) and move it to all the external drives I had laying around. I managed to get the size of the data to save small enough to fit on 2 old USB hard drives. If it came down to it, I had a 2TiB drive standing by waiting for a new device I ordered that I could temporarily use with an adapter. But I executed the plan.

  • Migrate all storage used by docker containers to the server box running docker (temporary, so they can keep going)
  • Stop all cloud syncs
  • Stop backup jobs
  • Copy data to external storage
  • Destroy backup pool (was living on external storage)
  • Physically remove backup storage
  • Unset data-pool for apps
  • Destroy data pool
  • Backup config
  • Shut down
  • Remove most recently replaced drive
  • Move top drive to removed drive slot
  • Take removed drive out of tray
  • Install SSD
  • Boot
  • Restore configuration
  • Rebuild data pool on 5 remaining 3TiB drives (~11 TiB usable)
  • Reconfigure datasets, with backup now living here
  • Restore cloudsyncs
  • Restore data
  • Reconfigure data pool for apps
  • Profit!

As of now, everything with the NAS is totally self-contained. There’s 3 cables coming out of it: 1 power and 2 network.

This also shows me I can, later, migrate to SSD storage. Maybe even smaller drives to keep cost down, due to my lower usage. It’s likely this is going to be in my future before I get to replacing the whole thing. The rest of the box is pretty good in terms of capability, with the memory upgraded and the dual 10gbit network. The CPU is the weak link.

The CPU part is really the only likely thing to hold me back on this machine. I plan to migrate my docker services to this box through TrueNAS SCALE and pull the NUC out of my network for one less thing to worry about. I think, for the most part, the CPU in the ReadyNAS is going to meet my needs. I will not be migrating Frigate to the NAS box as I am planning a separate replacement for that.

So yeah, in the end, if you have an Intel based ReadyNAS and want to migrate it to TrueNAS, you really just need to remove the internal USB storage and can build up the NAS straight through the drive bays. The larger boxes, such as my 6 bay system, give syou plenty of space to work with. I would say a 4 bay system will work just fine, as well, going with a raid-z configuration across 3 drives. With the size of modern 3.5" HDDs, you can still get a very large amount of storage out of that.