FreeBSD and large harddrives

krad kraduk at
Fri Nov 19 09:58:18 UTC 2010

On 18 November 2010 13:51, Mike Tancsa <mike at> wrote:

> On 11/18/2010 7:16 AM, Andy Wodfer wrote:
> > Hi,
> > I'm going to build a server that's intended to store uncompressed
> videofiles
> > (where 1 hour film equals about 500GB). I plan on using Western Digital
> 2TB
> > or 3TB SATA harddrives.  Total storage in version 1 of this server will
> > probably be 8-12 TB. Harddrive speed is not so important so a 5400rpm
> drive
> > would be OK. Seems like the green line of WD harddrives use both 5400rpm
> and
> > 7200rpm. I will use RAID 5.
> I would stay away from the green series hard drives for this
> application. There have been a number of reports of issues with the
> drive's power saving design causing problems when used in raid arrays.
> Search the list for more details.  Use their black series instead.
> >
> > The processor will be a 64bit capable Intel processor and I plan on using
> a
> > Highpoint Rocketraid or 3ware Raid controller.
> I would use FreeBSD 8.2 ( a contemporary RELENG_8 snapshot in other
> words) that is AMD64.
> eg
> Use ZFS for the file system.  Snapshots for backup and data integrity.
> 3Wares are great controllers, but a decent MB with 6 SATA ports and then
> an additional eSata controller with external drive cage like this one.
> see the man page for ahci on what is supported.
> Booting off zfs is a bit tricky.  If you already have the 3ware card, a
> pair of smaller / cheaper drives for the base OS and then all your zfs
> drives for data storage is the least painful way to go right now. I do
> this for my backup server. 10TB of storage, but the box boots off a
> 3ware raid card in raid1 mirror for the base OS.
> ZFS is a bit of a different beast at first, but its very worth while to
> get to know and understand.
>        ---Mike
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Save on the drives and put the base part of the os on a usb stick, just make
sure you mount the writeable areas of the os from the pool (tmp, var etc).

A few people have mentioned labelling the drives. Its a good thing to do,
but take it a step further. Before you put the drives in the system,
physically label them with something identifiable (colored sticker, number
whatever). Then when you create the logical labels with geom, match them up.
Makes you life a lot easier when the 'RED' drive fails

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