Few days after the release of Debian Wheezy, I decided to install a brand new HP N54L micro server to use it as a small company NAS cum Server and to use ZFS filesystem for the data storage. As I wanted to fully manage my system, I decided not to go for a NAS distribution, but to use a plain Debian install and to setup a ZFS filesystem.
ZFS is a filesystem originally developed by Sun for Solaris OS. It has been ported to Linux by the zfs on linux project.
Its most interesting functionnalities are :
- convergence of filesystem and volume manager
- software raidz (software raid5 equivalent)
- online data compression
This filesystem is so simple, efficient and advanced, that I'm sure it will become a Linux standard very, very soon. Other FS may become part of the past sooner than expected ...
This guide explains how to install and configure a ZFS RAIDZ pool, how to setup snapshots and how to handle its day to day maintenance. A pre-requisite is to run Debian Wheezy server with a separate system disk (ZFS won't be on the boot device).
It doesn't explain in detail all ZFS options and possibilities, but it explains all the steps to get a fully running zfs raidz pool that will give you the flexibility of a professional grade NAS at the cost of a geek tool box :-)