NethServer vs NAS Server

(Dan) #1

How does “a NAS feature” differ from “a file server”? Because a file server is already available.

Procedure how new features are processed in the NethServer project

A file server is passive, I mean you put files « in this place » and that’s all, even if it’s a share place.

A NAS Server can do this, I entirely agree.
But a NAS Sever can do a bit more, can be ‘active’, like for exemple, not only stocking photos, but have the right app, (even a web app, like Piwigo), to make a showroom, or do the photo streaming.

For films,ma Nas can do more the simple stock, but can do a media streaming…
A NAS can stocking files, and can « do a service »…

I don’t know if I well explain the difference between the active NAS functionality, and the passive only file server.

And I don’t only want to explain the NAS as a fonctionaity, but as a system, a flexible and versatile system.

I already write a lot about small business, like freelance, a small mercantile, that don’t need AD, LDAP but an easy to start SMB Server, i.e for fewer than five computers

(Dan) #3

I think I understand your view, but if I understand it correctly, I disagree with it. A NAS is Network-Attached Storage. You’re talking about other applications that often run on a NAS device, but aren’t inherently “NAS” themselves.

Neth does NAS itself just fine, as a file server. Any additional apps, IMO, should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis (I’d say that a photo gallery would be fine, but I really don’t think a media server belongs in Neth–but that may just be me).

This, unless I’m mistaken, is exactly what Neth is designed to be–it’s certainly what its predecessor of SME Server (and before that, e-smith Server) were designed to be. I can’t imagine that such a user would give two figs about the internal authentication mechanism of that server, as long as it’s reasonably secure–why do you see that as an issue? And in what way to you see that Neth fails to satisfy this requirement?

Edit: I suppose both of these discussions really belong in their own threads, as neither is really relevant to this thread’s topic of how feature requests are handled.


Your point of view is nothing wrong, and NethSether is design as is like you wrote.

But, we are at another age, another time… We are not at prehistoric time when windows was the only system.
We are in XXI Century, we can have tablets, as auxialiaries devices, and theses devices aren’t LDAP fonctionnal… Theses devices are IOS or Android systems.
I think, it could be a REALLY GOOD THING to think about this point.

Can it be a growing point for NethServer and Nethesis?
Can it be a good point to interact easely with such devices?

My opinion, is YES.( I’m an irrecductible optimist :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:)

(Dan) #5

Why does it matter whether the tablet talks LDAP? In what scenario does a client device (be it a phone, a tablet, or a laptop or desktop computer) need to use LDAP? Because I can’t think of any–the client devices authenticate to whatever service they’re trying to use (IMAP, SMTP, Nextcloud, etc.) using the mechanisms of that service. That service then internally uses LDAP to authenticate. The client device never uses LDAP for authentication. Client Windows PCs can use LDAP (specifically, Active Directory) to authenticate, if they’re joined to the domain, but they don’t have to be, and Active Directory is a pretty narrow special case of LDAP.

I’m not much of a fan of LDAP, personally. Its syntax is arcane and opaque, and documentation appears to be nonexistent (or at least well-hidden). But as a user (even as a system admin), I never need to touch it–it’s the backend authentication mechanism. I don’t need to deal with LDAP directly any more than I need to manually edit /etc/passwd.

OTOH, LDAP has one major advantage: an awful lot of applications can use it as an authentication mechanism. Neth already takes advantage of this with its services, but this makes it pretty simple to drop in a web app and be able to authenticate against your existing users (if you can figure out the LDAP magic spell to do so).

So, again–why does the small business owner care (especially as a negative thing) that Neth uses LDAP as its internal authentication database?


So you, I…We are seem to be agree thar LDAP is for big enterprise.

For Small business, LDAP is unecessary, even Microsoft itself drop this tool for Small business edition, if I’m not fooled.

For big enterprise, ( and I will be the devil advocate ), ClearOS did a big step ahead with the HP partnership.
So, what is the best option for NethServer, what NethServer can do, that other similar system does’nt?

Like Robb wrote starting this thread… this subject is straightforward and organic, I will add: This thread can be strategic too.

(Dan) #7

You seem to be associating “suitable for small businesses” with “remove LDAP authentication.” Why? For the third time:


No, no, no…
LDAP is here… It can stay :grin:

Perhaps, the one irritating point, it ‘s the not so optional presence, with time and obscure dependencies, even an NethServer installation without LDAP, has LDAP component…

But it’s not the thread objective… the thread is NEW features :wink:

(Dan) #9

Indeed. So your suggestion was that Neth act as a small business server. In what way do you think it doesn’t currently do this? Or in what way could it be changed to do it better?

(Rob Bosch) #10

I think I am on @danb35’s view in this discussion. If you look at the consumer NAS solutions that are available now (think of synology and such) those devices do primarily offer storage space on a networked device.
Besides the storage, the software they accomodate also offer streaming services for pictures and video’s, sharing of any file to anyone or specific persons/accounts etc…
This is what I think @danb35’s point is: the storage space is already available on NethServer. We could look for additional protocols to support if there is a need for them.
Around the storage space, it is just a matter of adding software that gives extra functionality to get the same functionality those synology NAS systems offer. We just need to identify what functionality we want and what application can do the trick… and add them…


Really happy to see we can arrive to a consensus :blush:

(Rob Bosch) #12

Great @Jim!
When can we expect the piwigo install howto?.. wink wink

(Gabriel GHEORGHIU) #13

My point of view.

I think we are going back to the discussion about NethServer for business environment or NethServer for home environment.
Some of us, unfortunately I guess a little part, are using NS for business.
The others, are using NS for home but, I saw a lot of them are using NS at the edge of business environment. They use NS as a gateway/firewall/proxy, email services for them and also for friends, Nextcloud for them and for friends, file sharing for family using at least ACL (adults and children rules) , wireless for family and for “guest”, video surveillance, …
Some of the NAS appliances, especially those which are for “consumer”, comes with a lot of “apps” already installed. Generally, are cheap and has 2 HHDs.
Other part of NAS appliances are for SOHO. These has at least 2 HDDs (max. 4 HDDs) and comes with “basics” for SO and apps as optional, for HO.
The NAS appliances which are only for business has at least 4 HDDs, the apps are only for business environment. Of course, you can install almost anything you want on these NASs if you are skilled but why?
IMO, NethServer is at the edge between business and consumer.
Because is CentOS based, you can install any app that can run on CentOS.
Any time you can use it as a “consumer NAS”.
Also, any time, you can use NS at least as a powerful NAS Server.
I prefer to see NS as a powerful server, at least for Small Business environment.

Best regards,

(HF) #14

Nethserver + Nextcloud (including gallery module for photos) would make a pretty good NAS to me. What I do not need, I do not install or use, those are just some waisted bits on a huge drive(s)/volume.

Even the ARM efforts of @mark_nl and others would make it even more viable to create NAS solutions on a low footprint and flexible storage.

(Dan) #15

I think this discussion highlights the importance of being specific with feature requests. @Jim has mentioned two: “a NAS feature” and “focus on small business.”

  • NAS Feature

Of course, Neth already offers network file storage, which is the very definition of what a NAS does. But Jim further clarifies with some suggestions of a photo gallery and media streaming, and then notes, “And I don’t only want to explain the NAS as a fonctionaity, but as a system, a flexible and versatile system.” Well, Neth already does that too–there are many modules that can be installed through the software center (even if they can’t be readily removed), and many more community-generated packages.

  • Focus on small business

As far as I know, that’s exactly what Neth is supposed to do, and it’s certainly what e-smith/SME were supposed to do–be an easy-to-install and -administer, stable, secure SOHO-to-SME server, with (at least) web, mail, file, print, routing, firewall, and directory services. e-smith/SME installed all that stuff as part of the base system, while Neth makes it modular, but it’s still all point-and-click through the server manager. And aside from a lengthy digression into the value of LDAP (and why you mentioned that in the first place continues to baffle me), there’s no further clarification of what this should look like.

So at the end of the day, if I’m a Nethesis dev, or even a community developer looking for a project, I can see these suggestions, but have no idea what you think should be done to implement them other than a passing mention of Piwigo. Going back to the initial thread:

The more you’re relying on others to implement what you’re suggesting, the more important it is that you’re clear about what you’re suggesting. Of course, if you’re going to do it all yourself, go for it.

(Alessio Fattorini) #16

Agree. I think we’re discussing that.
As you now Nethesis is focused on the first one even if many of NethServer users are using it for home environment.
Said that, community repositories are full of modules for education and home .
That makes NethServer used in those environments too

Do you want Piwigo? Just follow @robb’s advice.
Procedure how new features are processed in the NethServer project

(Dan) #17

It looks like it should be a straightforward installation–I’ll see if I can throw up a how-to in the next couple of days, unless someone beats me to it.

Edit: Well, that was easy:

(Alessio Fattorini) #18

hahaha great job ambassador!

(Axel Urbanski) #19

first a NAS is a fileserver. Look at FreeNas is one of the best open Source NAS-OS. The Neth File server is deep intergrated in all of the Neth-services.

LDAP and AD, Samba4, NFS, SFTP … you find in the FreeNAS to.

So what is differnt ?
Fileservices are nice but blockorientet can be very usefull. One of them is ISCSI it is like a SCSI harddrive in your network. So can use the ISCSI Service for vitrual maschines or a networknick with a ISCSI firmware can boot diretly boot this device. From the serverside you can handle space and preformance.
Importend is handling the HDDs. With FreeNas (based on BSD) you can ad new harddrives hotplugd and for that easy. FreeNas used ZFS as the filesystem. Its like a LVM- and manager in one person. RAID levels snapshots and mutch more you find in FreeNAS.

But mostly thats 2 mutch 4 home use, mostly a file-Server ist what wie need. If you like 2 work with a lot virtual maschines or real big storage take look on freeNAS. With a nice Sever and a lot of harddrives you can store a lot ;-). FreeNAS is running from 2HDD (one 4 FreeNAS-OS) tho more than 100 HDDs. I saw one very special FreeNAS server with 2,5" HDD, when i remember correctly 128 HDDs with 2Tbyte uses for streaming on a crouseliner…

:wink: Axel