Fscking Storage!

Alright. I’ve had enough.

I’m a reasonably demanding home storage user, I guess I have around 3 TB of data and 4-5 TB of capacity at home. Photos take up close to 1TB, I’ve a lot of my own video, transcoded video, and music.

RAID Grave

I’ve tried all sorts of solutions - external drives, Infrant (now NetGear) ReadyNAS, Drobo, etc. They all have their shortcomings. My Drobo, with over a TB of data let go. My ReadYNAS 600 died of old age (it was sad to see it go). Playing with multiple 1TB external drives is fragile and stressful. All of these products (except the ReadyNAS) are black boxes, the most status you get is a green LED or no mounted volume. At least the ReadyNAS has a MIB available, and I’ve used Nagios to monitor my ReadyNAS NV:


I’d also been thinking about failure, and I’ve had controller failures, PSU failures, disk failures; and it occurred to me that even RAID5 may not cut it. It seems I’m not alone in thinking this, and I found that Robin Harris over at storagemojo.com had been thinking this since July 2007. He also thought some more about disk reliability. I also like Joerg Moellenkamp’s presentation about the end of RAID5.

Feeling validated in my concerns, I decided to brainstorm a little and decided I need to have a storage facility to provide the following:

Fast response and transfer time; simply locate it on my GigE LAN at home. Around 12TB storage, expandable Rack-mountable Open Operating System Very configurable Monitorable The ability to support something more reliable than RAID5. Be affordable, budget around $2k

There’s only one thing that meets all these criteria, I have to build my own ZFS Server.


By the way, fsck is not a rude word!