Sunday, May 1, 2011

Adventures with ZFS and Solaris

Ok, this post is somewhat off the beaten path for this blog, but I've been dorking around with Solaris and ZFS for the last month or two as a replacement for my Windows Home Server for serving media.  I'm still keeping the WHS server for backing up the PCs, but as a media server, the hitches casued by some of it's internal 'balancing' services was causing all manner of problems with high bit rate movies.

Using mostly spare parts, I built a X86 solaris box:

Quad core Core2
4GB Ram
7 2TB 7200rpm drives
2 500GB 5400 drives
Antec Twelve Hundred case

The two 500GB drives are mirrored and hold most of the filesystems (and the OS, swap, etc.)  I mirrored them using ZFS.

The seven 2TB drives are in a raidz2 configuration, which is much like raid6.  Which is to say that I can lose up to two drives of the array and be OK.  Gives me a net of 10TB.

I'm sharing the 'shares' pool via SMB across gigabit to the theater and my media machine, running XBMC, and so far, it's been awesome. Narry a hitch in sight.  So far, so good.

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