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TrueNAS Setup Recommendations

Budget (including currency): $100 - 200

Country: US

Games, programs or workloads that it will be used for: Data backup, Minecraft server, Plex server

Other details: I'm converting my old gaming PC (8th gen i5, 16gb) into a FreeNAS/TrueNAS Core server. I don't need a ridiculous amount of data storage, originally I was thinking 3 x 4TB would be a good amount but I'm learning that I'm going to be locked into that number of drives, unless I add another set of three later on, or swap out all three drives. I already have a 3tb and two 1tb drives laying around, so I've been playing around with TrueNAS, but I decided to buy 2 x 4TB Seagate IronWolfs and I'll use them with the 3tb WD blue in a RaidZ1 for now giving me 6TB usable... and if I swap the WD for another 4tb IronWolf, I can get another 2TB in the future. I don't see myself needing much more than that anytime soon. Another thing I was thinking about is ECC memory. I've heard that if my memory goes bad at the wrong time, it could corrupt all of my data. Is this something that I should be worried about? Additionally, for certain data, the NAS would be the only storage. Should I get cloud storage to backup my NAS? Would that become very expensive, very quickly as I fill my storage? AWS would cost about $40/mo for their infrequent-access storage to backup all 8tb.

So overall three questions:
1. What is the correct storage solution for me? (currently thinking 3 x 4tb in RaidZ1)
2. Do I need to build a new system with ECC RAM? (I might just stick with what I have)
3. What are some good options for online backup? (AWS? other service?)


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1. If you want to stick with ZFS a raidz1 of 3 drives should do you fine redundancy wise. You should be able to configure a hot spare in addition to this if you like.


As far as expanding a zpool goes. It's based on vdevs. Each vdev requires it's own redundancy as data is striped across them. Vdevs don't explicitly have to share identical characteristics. An existing 12TB raidz1 could be expanded with a 8TB mirror. It's not ideal and the performance might suffer but the File System will allow it and distribute the data accordingly.


2. No, but that depends on how paranoid you are about your data. ZFS in itself performs checks to verify data integrity. It doesn't trust RAM but it uses what's stored in it. In the event of a Bit Flip it's not out of the question that this could cause data corruption but even with non-ECC memory it's likely other checks in the File System will detect and correct errors before they become an issue.


3. Where a lot of online backup services get you isn't in the quantity of data but how much you upload/download. I personally would opt to host an off-site backup at someone else's house (but that's just me). Services offered through AWS, Google Cloud/Drive, Oracle, Microsoft Azure/OneDrive, etc will all cost moderate amounts when you exceed a certain usage. If you need more than 1TB I wouldn't go that route IMO but that all depends on what you're willing to spend.

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