Take a look back through the mail archives for more discussion about
this topic (expanding zpools).
The short answers are:
John Klimek wrote:
Yes. RAID-Z requires a minimum of 3 drives, and it can use different
drives. Depending on the size differences, it will do the underlying
layout in different ways. Depending on the number and size of the
disks, ZFS is likely the best bet for using the most total space.
I'm a software developer with a little bit of experience in Linux but I've been
wanting to build a fileserver and I've recently heard about ZFS.
Right now I'm considering Windows Home Server because I really don't need every
file mirrored/backed-up but I do like what I heard about ZFS.
Anyways, if I have a bunch of different size disks (1.5 TB, 1.0 TB, 500 GB,
etc), can I put them all into one big array and have data redundancy, etc?
Not in the traditional "I'm adding 1 drive to a 3-disk RAIDZ to make it
a 4-disk RAIDZ". See the archives for how zpool expansion is done.
Can I also expand that array at any time?
This is more a function of Samba (the sharing portion). How the data is
stored on disk is a function of any volume manager (ZFS included), and
will be done automatically.
One thing that I definitely want is one single network share (\\server\movies)
that I can transfer files to and have ZFS figure out how to place them across
my disks. I'd then like to able to add any size disk to my server and expand
that storage space.
Not really. Adding random size disks in random amounts isn't optimal for
ANY volume manager, not just ZFS. Due to the way raid sets are set up in
a volume manager, you may or may not be able to use the entire new disk
space, you may or may not be able to add it to the RAID volume at all,
and/or you may or may not be able to migrate the existing RAID set to a
different kind of RAID set (i.e. move a RAID5 to RAID6, etc.) No
current volume manager or hardware RAID card can do what you want -
that's an incredibly difficult thing to ask.
Is this possible with ZFS?
ZFS works best with groups of identical disks, and can be expanded by
adding groups of identical disks (not necessarily of the same size as
Once again, please read the archives for more information about
Java System Support
Santa Clara, CA
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