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It’s quite difficult to find good, reliable, consumer-priced SATA drives for RAID use. In seeking desirable drives, one looks for drives containing the fewest number of platters from the low noise, low vibration, low heat and good reliability perspectives.
As of January 2010, 500GB per platter is the highest available data density, so for 1.5TB drives look for 3-platter drives, and for 2TB drives look for 4-platter drives.
Doesn’t quite have the same ring to it as ‘A Year in Provence’, does it? After a year of using Solaris and ZFS for a home fileserver, I thought I would share my experiences here to give an insight into things that worked or did not work.
Also, others have asked me to give a summary of my experiences of using ZFS to highlight strong and weak areas, and to give a critique.
In reality my upgrades meant having to: I am quite aware that this pain is often not encountered by enterprise users as they have more resources and thus buy large amounts of storage up-front when they plan purchasing of storage kit.
And when they upgrade existing storage systems, they are likely to be adding multiple drives at a time, like one or multiple additional vdevs of multiple drives per vdev.
Also, Intel’s Atom processor and associated chipset and D945GCLF2 motherboard look interesting for very small NAS systems utilising a simple 2-way mirror.
Due to the fact that (1) I wanted to keep a single vdev for simplicity and (2) the fact that to-date (2009-05-01) it is still not possible to attach additional drives to a vdev, upgrades have been more painful than should be necessary.In short, this was not really using this NAS as it was intended.In time though, having used it for over a year now, and having experienced no data loss, and not even one pool scrub error reported (checking integrity of all files), my trust and confidence in Solaris and ZFS have grown.I think Western Digital has made a really big mistake recently with their Green drive range.First of all, they appear to have some serious technical issues with these drives.
Also, as Intel have worked very closely with Sun to ensure Solaris/Open Solaris has great support for their new Core i7 processors, you can be pretty sure that support for power management has advanced greatly in the last year.