My second experience using ZFS! (as intended!)
I was a complete newbie to ZFS, which I knew at the time. First of all:
- I was using a 4 bay …USB… enclosure (this is not recommended).
- I wasn’t using ECC ram, more important that most people think when using ZFS.
- Using consumer grade cheap ssd’s for my first pool (Lots of checksum errors and poor lifespan).
- Not really a mistake but I was using ZFS on ubuntu server
- No S.M.A.R.T notifications or even ZFS notifications :O scary…
Now to the present!
I will continue to use ZFS for the foreseeable future, that is because I have fixed all of my mistakes and learnt a lot from them. I hope that sharing my mistakes will help some of you out there new to homelabbing or selfhosting in general.
My setup now consists of a new server that does have ECC compatibility, I have checked everything and ECC is correctly setup and fully working. The pool of SSD’s got replaced with a pool of Seagate Ironwolf HDD’s.
Small rant about WD
I chose Seagate instead of WD because of lower price and supposed longer lifespan, and WD has had more “scandals” (for lack of a better word) that I would like, like the 3 year “replace me” errors on synology’s NASes or the past SMR screw up with their “NAS” drives.
I also repurposed the usb disks enclosure and now I have my disks plugged in directly to the server through sata.
Instead of ubuntu server’s ZFS I am now using TrueNAS Core… Virtualized on Proxmox, yea, that’s not controversial at all! I just hope it doesn’t backfire at me. Some people swear by only using TrueNAS baremetal and ditching proxmox for this kind of setup, but I have choice and that is what I chose, and runs great.
On my server I now have a TrueNAS VM and a NixOS vm that hosts docker stuff, that connects through NFS to the TrueNAS VM. This setup works well for me, but I do not know if it is or not a mistake currently. I like having TrueNAS for the ease of use, notifications, cool graphs, etc. It didn’t make sense to “host” my ZFS pool on the NixOS vm because I have other small servers connect to it, and I don’t want downtime on NixOS causing those to “go down” too.
I am still learning a lot and I am still a newbie for sure, but I feel like I am making progress and that’s all that matters right?. I hope you enjoyed my post, and if by chance you found it through a search engine, when diagnosing hundreds of cheksum errors or something like that, like me in the past, then I hope my little experience helped you out, also just a reminder:
ZFS is NOT a backup, have proper backups!