Back in 2017 I put the Data Dragon online. It consisted of 8x 4 TB hard drives on a system running FreeNAS. This February of 2020 the Data Dragon had a power supply failure that might have taken out the motherboard as well. After a selvage operation about 9 TB of data was transferred to a holding area.
I have been displeased with FreeNAS. The user interface was clunky and a lot of things just didn’t work very well. I had a lot of problems getting NFS to run as it would usually just not function then just randomly start working. The interface for replacing failed drives was terrible as well. The other big problem I had was not knowing FreeBSD. It is similar to Linux, but not the same. Configuration files were located in different directories, and some commands are not the same (watch for instance). This made any command line work hard.
At first I thought I’d just go back to a basic Linux mdadm RAID-5 array. I’ve had success with Linux RAID-1 on the Snow Dragon, and setup an LUKS encrypted RAID-5 array on the Backup Dragon that seems to be functional. The problem I have is that a Linux software RAID is fixed in size. Once it is setup, that’s all you get. And to get encryption you must use another package.
Then I watched this video on OpenZFS encryption. While new in October of 2016, the encryption in OpenZFS is now mature. With the Data Dragon getting upgrades I am looking into running Proxmox to host virtual machines. ZFS is an option available for Proxmox. So I decided to do some tests. The question I wanted to answer was how hard/easy is OpenZFS to use from the command line, and does it have all the fetchers I want?
To test this, I created a virtual machine running Ubuntu Server 19.10. OpenZFS is officially supported in 19.10. On the virtual machine I added 8x 1GB fixed-size hard drives and a 10 GB boot drive. This setup will provide a playground for exploring the options of ZFS.