Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Server Changes

Well, I've gotten rid of my Solaris box, and have cut my home servers down to 2, a Windows Home Server (doing backups only) and a Windows Server 2008 R2 machine, hosting all my data.   I've got most machines backing up to Server 2008, so I'll be retiring my WHS machine shortly.

I bought a cheap Rosewill rackmount case, which holds 12 drives and is plenty for the new server.  It's a little noisy and it literally heats the room, so I'll likely move it somewhere out of the way.

ZFS, while great in theory, was awful from a performance perspective, at least as I was using it.  Granted, I didn't install a L2Arc SSD, and while read speeds were fine for my application, write speeds were atrocious.  I rarely got above 12MB/sec, while with my Server 2008 box, I regularly get near 100MB/sec.

I've come to realize that I liked the idea of ZFS far more than the practical application of it.  I've gone away from any kind of software RAID,and in fact, have no RAID at all on the server, having fully bought into the idea that RAID is only for availability and not data security.  I'm backing up the stuff I care about on the server to an external drive (photos, family movies, music, etc.) and will be rotating the drive(s) offsite periodically.

I'm using a couple of disks in a dynamic 'array', kinda like a JBOD, for the big video drives, and they're working great.

My movie library, while fully recoverable if I lose a drive or two, by re-ripping, will probably be backed up to a couple of 2 TB external drives that I'll just put in a drawer somewhere, and if I lose a drive, I'll pull them out again and save myself a ton of time.

Then again, with drive prices skyrocketing, I'm going to have to wait a bit before buying a couple more 2 or 3TB drives.

In any case, we mourn the retiring of the DragonLair and the Smaug servers, and hail the rise of the DragonServer server!

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