Dr. StrangeRAID, or, how I learned to stop worrying and love ZFS

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So now that we’ve chosen to go with Solaris and use NFS for our filesystem, let’s consider how we’re going to use ZFS to best suit our needs.

So let’s say that I have four 1Tb disks lying around which I want to thow into my new file server. At some point in the future, I’d like to upgrade my capacity by replacing one or all of the disks with larger ones (say, 2Tb).

How do we go about it?

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Upgrading OpenSolaris to the latest Dev version

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At the time of writing, the release buid version of OpenSolaris is 111b, and the latest dev build is 124.

To upgrade, open a terminal and run the following commands:

user@opensolaris:~$ pfexec su -
root@opensolaris:~# pkg set-publisher -O http://pkg.opensolaris.org/dev opensolaris.org
root@opensolaris:~# pkg image-update

Home NAS with OpenSolaris

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After a few requests, I’ve decided to put together a simple howto for building a home NAS with Opensolaris.

The main reasons to choose Opensolaris are simple:

  • Common PC hardware is all you need. No propriatary disk bay system.
  • Gigabit Ethernet. Well, providing your network card and switch support it.
  • Cheap, redundant disk arrays with ZFS, the Opensolaris RAID-like filesystem.
  • Quick and easy setup.

In a nutshell; it’s cheap, it’s easy, and it’s simple. So on the upside you won’t need to spend a great deal of cash to get yourself a nice NAS, but you might miss out on a feature or two. Continue reading