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Enhancing macOS SMB Network Share Performance

In my quest to build the ultimate home server, I recently constructed a new Network Attached Storage (NAS) system with powerful hardware and abundant storage capacity. The goal was to create a versatile and efficient home server capable of saturating Gigabit network speeds consistently for both read and write operations. While I achieved the expected results on my Linux and Windows machines, my macOS-based laptop struggled to achieve satisfactory speeds. I’ll share my experiences and the optimizations I employed to overcome the performance limitations on my Mac.

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Home Server Part 3: Do it Right

After the frustrating experiences with hardware-related errors, I knew it was time to do it right. I went back to the drawing board and carefully reviewed the TrueNAS hardware guide, making sure to adhere to the recommended specifications this time. Although it meant spending more money, I was willing to pay the premium for a stable and reliable home server setup.

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Home Server Part 2: Do as I say not as I do

As I continued building and testing my new home server, I quickly discovered the importance of choosing the right hardware for the job. While I initially wanted to try out the new and affordable AMD Ryzen platform, my decision came back to haunt me. In this second part of my home server journey, I will share the challenges I faced with my hardware selection and the errors that persisted despite various troubleshooting attempts.

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Home Server Part 1: I need ZFS!

With more and more devices in my life, I soon started to feel the need for some kind of private and centralized data storage. I don’t want to buy desktop computers, laptops and phones each equipped with huge local storage and copy things from A to B all the time. Cloud providers work great in this case, but if the amount of data you have exceeds a few hundred Gigabytes they can be expensive and for sure way too slow if you don’t access the internet with Gigabit speeds.

Having a small server at home solves this problem for me. My devices all have rather limited local storage and access all the important files remotely by now. To be honest, this can be achieved with any store bought NAS system out there. But that would steal a lot of the fun, right? (And also, you get a lot more bang for your buck when building the system yourself.)

Last fall, after about 7 years, my current system started to show its age. It was build on a RAID-5 with 3x 3TB disks which had filled to over 95% over time. Backup disks had even less free space and I had to start excluding less important stuff from my backups. Bit rot ate up one of my oldest files. And simple tasks like zipping a file for download over Nextcloud would bring the old dual core CPU to its limits.

It’s time for a new server and I started to put a lot more thought into building the new one than 7 years ago.

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