Moving from Unraid to OMV – part 1

unraid_to_omv

This post mainly for documenting my process of changing my NAS operating system. I guess I have to explain why I am planning to switch NAS OS, but a short back story how I even started with Unraid. My colleague from my previous job introduced me to Unraid back in 2016. Based on my NAS requirements, Unraid met all that I needed for a NAS. I really like Unraid. I like it so much that I purchased another license for my off-site backup.

So why I decided to switch to OpenMediaVault?
Well, I may like Unraid, but I have encountered some problems that I have to find some alternative. These problems are:

  • My USB flash drive died several times. Unraid users can only request a new license for the new USB flash drive once a year
  • The docker.img keeps growing and I could not find a solution to this problem.
  • I could not upgrade my primary Unraid to any version higher than version 6.5.3. This one is really a big deal. If I cannot upgrade my system, that simply means that it opens some vulnerabilities that I would have to deal with
  • My cache drive somehow got corrupted three times since 2016. No idea what caused it.

If I can avoid these issues, I would. The flash drive issue I can live with it. The Unraid folks were kind enough to generate a new license when I had to reinstall a new Unraid to my third flash drive. The docker.img keeps growing, I can live with it even though it is annoying to delete the image then recreate it again. However, the problem with upgrading is something I cannot ignore.

I found a couple of NAS distros that I could use. The most popular one is FreeNAS, but it is based on BSD and I am not familiar with BSD. There is also Rockstor which is based on CentOS; however, to get stable updates, it requires a subscription. I discovered OMV. I got curious and started looking into it. OMV seems to fit what I need. Having a Debian underneath is a bonus. Since my infrastructure is mostly based on Debian Linux (Proxmox VE, VyOS and some Debian VMs), it would be easier for me to fix if I get some issue. I pretty much put OMV on top of my list.

My requirements are:

  • Easy to update
  • UPS support
  • Supports different disk sizes
  • Parity drive(s)
  • Virtualization
  • Docker containers
  • Disk encryption
  • NFS and SMB share
  • Mobile friendly
  • Bitrot protection
  • Debian Linux (this is not require, but a bonus)

Currently, I still have my primary Unraid server, off-site Unraid server, and a spare HP Microserver N54L that I bought back in 2011, I think. I am going to use this spare N54L to install OMV for my onsite backup server.

The 10000ft view of my plan switching NAS OSes.

  1. Backup all data to off-site Unraid server
  2. Build an onsite (OMV) backup server
  3. Backup all data to the onsite server
  4. Install OMV on the primary box
  5. Recover the data from onsite backup server to primary server

This post is the beginning of my journey changing NAS OS from Unraid to OpenMediaVault. For now, cheers!

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