I finally got around to building a highly reliable storage system. Currently, that requires two disk drives and ZFS. And ZFS, in turn, requires something other than Linux. I ended up with FreeNAS. With mirror (RAID 1), ZFS will “self heal” the other mirror on bad reads. With a normal RAID 1, when you lose a drive, the act of rebuilding the array could reveal a read error on the surviving disk. If that happens – blam – you’ve lost the entire RAID. Here is a pretty good article on the analysis as per RAID 5.
The new FreeNAS image requires 2GB of space for the OS image. It turns out that most of the 2GB SD Cards I have are about 40KB short of 2,000,000,000 bytes required. So I ended up putting the image on an 8GB card. Later, I found out that my 4GB HP USB Flash Drive works as well.
A word of caution about the USB drives and SD Cards – it has been hit-and-miss on whether the system will boot. Make sure you have lots of options available.
As usual, prices include taxes and shipping, and reflect discounts. All product links are from the actual vendor.
|CPU||Intel Core i3-2100k Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz LGA 1155 65W||$120|
|RAM||Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600 PC3-12800 CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9B||$45|
|Motherboard||ASUS P8Z68-V Pro/GEN3 LGA 1155 Z68 HDMI||$160|
|Power Supply||Corsair Builder 430W 80 Plus Bronze||$45|
|Video||Motherboard, Intel HD 2000||–|
|Case||NZXT GAMMA Classic ATX Mid Tower||$31|
|HD Drives||2x 2TB Western Digital Black WD2002FAEX||$299|
|USB Boot||4GB HP USB Flash Drive||$8|