Filling Up

This weekend I noticed that my FreeNAS box (named Soteria) was getting filled up. It didn’t take me long to figure out what was happening: Time Machine was filling up with changes made to my VMs. Each time I would open up a VM, it would make small changes and so the entire VM storage file would need to be uploaded via Time Machine when I got home.

At over 10 GB a crack, it doesn’t take long to fill up 750 GB of space (especially when Laura’s hard drive is filling up as well with images).

So I was left with what I should do to alleviate the problem and came up with the quickest, most barbaric one possible: remove the current ZFS dataset and set up a new one. It was not quite as easy as I thought.

Removing the dataset from ZFS through the FreeNAS web GUI didn’t work, so I updated to the latest released beta for FreeNAS 8.2.0 and tried again. Success was close at hand. I created another dataset and thought I had everything setup until Time Machine failed on the first attempted backup.

Rule of the day? Don’t forget to to set up your backup user as the owner of the dataset you are going to be using.

After that small change everything worked wonderfully.

While this is only a temporary solution, it worked for now. I have Time Machine working like usual and should buy me enough time to gather together some more storage space so that I can push the entire system over 2 TB total and then I’ll make the following changes:

  • a separate ZFS dataset and user for each device
  • switch to the 64-bit installation (this really goes along with the prior one)

Everything else should be just fine, but the RAM is one of the areas I would really like to bump up along with (obviously) the disk storage. With 2 TB drives now sitting around $120/drive, things are looking better.

2 replies on “Filling Up”

Couple of questions: What raid level do you use on your FreeNAS? Based on the price per disk you mention you’re using desktop grade disks? What brand disks?

I’ve been thinking about our storage at our home. We still have plenty of space and more expansion but I’ve been thinking of switching to another brand NAS (Synology). Just having a hard time convincing myself to go with anything other than Enterprise disks…

Maybe you could add your FreeNAS specs to your My Setup article? Please?

I use no RAID at the moment on the box because, at the moment, it is not housing anything that I do not have copies for already. However, my rebuilt box will run RAIDZ or RAIDZ-2 for single or double disk parity in the case of a failure.

I’ve looked at the Synology stuff, it looks good.

I go with consumer-grade disks because they are cheaper, and the whole point of parity is that you can use cheaper, faster-failing stuff and they can fail without losing data. If I was really worried about more than a disk or two failing at a time or needed super-high-speed capabilities, I would be looking elsewhere.

A Cavier Black 1 TB drive is around $140 at the moment where the 2 TB version is about $215 a disk. The extra $100 on the 2 TB drive might be worth it for the 5 year warranty and speed considerations, but for what I am doing at home, the price just can’t be justified if I can get two disks for the price of one (thus, parity in that case).

I hope that answers. I’ll try and outline my specs soon.

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