Why freenas?

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DeletedUser88470

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Hi,
I am new to Freenas, and have just ordered my server, and now I am looking at which services I would like to install, but I found this link, and got a bit worried: https://www.google.dk/amp/s/amp.red...new_before_setting_up_freenas/#ampf=undefined
I am sure I can find some arguments against Openmediavault, unraid, debian etc. which is mentioned in the link here in the community, but please advise?
In regards to the pools, I have tried to find a thorough explanation in regards to adding more space once the pool has been created, but I am uncertain if and how this can be done? Should I be worried about the statements I have found in the link?
Thanks in advance.

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danb35

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In regards to the pools, I have tried to find a thorough explanation in regards to adding more space once the pool has been created, but I am uncertain if and how this can be done?
Yes, it can, and the manual tells you how. What you can't (currently) do is take, say, a three-disk RAIDZ1* and turn it into a four-disk RAIDZ1 (this is a work in progress at the OpenZFS level). When you add space, you need to either replace disks (turning, say, a 3 x 2 TB RAIDZ1 into 3 x 4 TB RAIDZ1), or add another completely redundant group (for example, adding a second three-disk RAIDZ1).

As to what's at your link, I can't see it from here, and I wouldn't trust reddit for much of anything anyway. What, in particular, are you concerned about?

* RAIDZ1/RAID5 are pretty strongly discouraged for disk sizes above about 1 TB, but I'm just giving examples.
 

kdragon75

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Yes you should worry but only to the point of not mucking with things until you FULLY understand them. If you are just as comfortable with using a webui as installing and configuring all of the packages manually in the CLI then go ahead and muck. Otherwise, ask first. were happy to help and offer guidance. We have a great forum where you can generally get help quickly (Keep in mind its free help. We do not honor any kind of SLA!;)). Keep your NAS (Network Attached Storage) simple and it will be bomb proof! that is assuming you use the replication with a second NAS thats off site! FreeNAS is all about rock solid STORAGE. Yeah it does other things too but be prepared for all the kitchen sink stuff to change as it matures. Also yes the plugin system is garbage. Don't use it. Build a jail. If you don't like the idea of building jails, you won't want Debian. As for the ZFS expanding and related take a look at the end of the User Guide. Lots of great info in there.
 
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DeletedUser88470

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Thanks a lot, I will look into the manual in regards to expanding the capacity.

I have created a couple of device drivers in debian before, but is quite some time ago, and I haven't had time to "muck" around much since then.

What would the advantage be of using debian instead? More work, but am I missing out on something important?
I would like to use it for plex, storage and I might be interested in using it for a Atmos setup later, but until then, I am basically looking for a stable system that is easy to keep updated. I am also planning on running Unify video in a VM.

Why should I stay away from the plug ins?

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danb35

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Why should I stay away from the plug ins?
Plugins, and jails in general, are in a state of transition from warden/pbi to iocage. Warden jails with .pbi plugins (the system that's been in use through 11.1) aren't very flexible and don't lend themselves to being updated very well. Iocage jails/plugins should be much better in that regard once they iron out the kinks.

In the interim, the best practice is probably to create iocage jails at the command line.
 

kdragon75

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What would the advantage be of using debian instead?
If your into pure CLI and don't want the benefits of booting from ZFS (you do want this trust me) and want to shoe horn ZFS into your system Debian is great! Otherwise, stick with FreeBSD/FreeNAS. So really there's no good reason to use Debian over FreeNAS.
 
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danb35

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If you don't want the GUI, and would prefer to do everything from the CLI, FreeBSD (or one of the Solaris derivatives) is the way to go--ZFS is baked in (including ZFS boot, boot environments, etc.) and considerably more mature. ZFS on Linux is pretty good, but it isn't as stable as on FreeBSD, and definitely not as stable as on the Solaris derivatives.
 

garm

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Ya, my two cents is that it’s all about ZFS. Ever sins OpenZFS came out I’ve used nothing else for storage and server backends. Once you loose family photos to bit rot and drive corrosion you really appreciate the magic of ZFS. FreeNAS has had a rocky few years and got some bad press about it. There are other appliances out there who managed their brand better to some extent, but non of them use ZFS and that is the deal breaker. I stick to FreeNAS for rock solid ZFS storage and the configuration database.

After the Corral meltdown I did consider going back to FreeBSD, but running through the backup strategy you quickly end up back at FreeNAS. Storage is all about redundancy, the aim is to have data survive the inevitable degeneration of hardware. The pool is straight forward enough, when your pain point of S.M.A.R.T errors is reached you replace a drive. You keep doing this over the years and you will have really old data living happily. But what do you do if you loose a boot drive? FreeNAS is a package, not a loose bag of kernel and other bits. When you install FreeNAS on a new or rebuilt system you can make a big enough assumption that a configuration file is possible. Just read back the saved config and you are back to the system you had on your old hardware. This is not possible if you build your own server. Sure you can script everything, but make one manual change and your Sunday afternoon is ruined.

This do put limitations on what you can do in CLI. You can not install your own software or do untracked changes, you will in best case see them reverted by the configuration database on your next reboot. But FreeBSD has you covered there as well with the magic of Jails. Spin up a Jail in iocage, the new manager for jails, and you can install just about anything. I have a complicated server at home and I manage far less complicated setups for various other people. As Jails live in storage pools they aren’t affected by boot device or other failures that would cause you to rebuild. Read back the configuration database and your jails are back as well. This makes backups of services really easy, just send your pool off to an offsite pool or two and your data and services is pretty much guaranteed to survive all but the zombie apocalypse.
 
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DeletedUser88470

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* RAIDZ1/RAID5 are pretty strongly discouraged for disk sizes above about 1 TB, but I'm just giving examples.

Which raid setup would you recommend for 2x6TB & 2x3TB discs?
I expect that I will need Raid due to redundancy?

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danb35

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Which raid setup would you recommend for 2x6TB & 2x3TB discs?
With those disks, the only arrangement that makes sense is striped mirrors.
 
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DeletedUser88470

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Still running badblocks, so have a bit of time before I need to define a strategy.

How would I set up a striped mirror configuration in 11.2?

This option was not obvious when I looked last?



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gpsguy

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I'd change the UI back to the classic mode.

Select volume manager and use the wheely gizmo to create the striped mirrors.

How would I set up a striped mirror configuration in 11.2?

This option was not obvious when I looked last?
 

danb35

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How would I set up a striped mirror configuration in 11.2?
Well, you'd start by waiting for 11.2 to be released.
 
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DeletedUser88470

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Ok, so now I downgraded to 11.1 RELEASE once again, but I am still not sure about which option I should choose...
I attached a capture of the volume manager - what should I select?
I know that striped mirrors optimizes for speed and creates a raid 1, but would this also mean that it would be more difficult to add another HDD for more space?
 

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garm

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No, it’s the opposite. A mirror vdev makes it easy to expand as you only need to add two more drives. But you really need to read up on the ZFS Primer so you get the general overview of ZFS. Most users on the forum will argue for RAIDZ
 

kdragon75

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I know that striped mirrors optimizes for speed and creates a raid 1, but would this also mean that it would be more difficult to add another HDD for more space?
Not at all. Generally is best practice to build a pool for the foreseeable future or at least add matching vdevs when growing a pool. The key is that (at the moment) pools can grow, vdevs can't*. If you wanted to add more storage, you could add two more drives and another mirror vdev. At present, it's not possible to add a drive to a vdev**.

Also you CAN add missmatched vdevs to a pool. Its just not advisable as you would end up with some unpredictable performance characteristics.

*The only supported way to grow a vdev in place is to replace each drive with a larger one.
**Unless its a mirror and your adding another mirror.
 
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DeletedUser88470

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I think I may have misunderstood the difference between usual raid systems and the ZFS version - I will read up on this once again...
danb35 wrote
With those disks, the only arrangement that makes sense is striped mirrors.
is this the general opinion?
To get started - how would I go ahead and do this in my setup?
 

danb35

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To get started - how would I go ahead and do this in my setup?
The screenshot above (the one you posted earlier today) would create a pool of striped mirrors.
 
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DeletedUser88470

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Thanks for the replies!

Now I have some reading to do...
 
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