Great start and accidental testing - Intro

Well I’ve spent best part of the last month assembling needed parts and doing tests with TrueNAS and another well known NAS system to decide which way to go. The server is mainly my iTunes storage server and music storage for ROON, so lots of large lumpy files, and then the home archive of docs and stuff from over the years that really needs to be kept safe. The Windows StorageSpaces based solution I had put together was showing its age, lacked features I needed, and I felt nervous of using Windows for that when pretty much everything else I compute on is either Mac or Linux, so didn’t feel all that in my comfort zone. And it was slow.

I was struggling to work out what advantage there was in paying for the other NAS system when it had fewer features I wanted, and everything seemed to involve manually editing things and workarounds…

The only reason I could find at the time to go that route was that the Supermicro X10 motherboard I bought for the purpose decided to object strongly to a BIOS update by turning itself into a placemat. Yeah, seems when Supermicro say “don’t update to the latest BIOS unless you have problems” they really mean “don’t update to the latest BIOS unless you want problems”. The ZFS and don’t use non-ECC RAM bothered me, when the other system seemed not to have such cares.

Took two weeks, and several slaughtered chickens later, the X10 motherboard lives! So back in the server it went. Hurrah. Testing could continue.

By that point I was well into the test run with the other system to see how it went and if it was worth the spondoolies. Then it did the thing that I was most nervous of. I hit one of those “edge cases” in the system/filesystem I’d read about, and it deleted all 7TB of data that I’d copied across as a test run, as in snapshots wouldn’t recover it, the btrfs_recover couldn’t find anything in the btrees, it was total toast. Nothing showed in the logs what happened, and all confidence was blown.

So final decision was made for me. I was leaning towards TrueNAS anyway providing I got the X10 with ECC back up and running, but that really scared me. It was dumb luck it happened during testing and not once live.

So I’m now about 3 days into transferring data over into my new TrueNAS system. Datapools Orac and StarOne are joining Zen and Slave as my main home networking & storage systems.

Then, last night, I did something stupid. Maybe I was tired, maybe it was the wine, maybe my mouse moved a smidging, but I accidentally right clicked and deleted rather than mark “Watched” and a big chunk of my library was gone. Aaargh!

But on day 0 I had turned on autosnapshotting, and a couple of minutes later the missing files were back as if nothing had happened. Huzzah!

So the transfers continue, and the lesson I would give to anyone and everyone is on Day 0 configure auto-snapshots before you even start thinking of transferring data across. You’re probably most likely to do something dumb whilst learning the system and setting everything up.

And also look at the off-site archiving you can do in TrueNAS to something like Backblaze B2 for critical data, it’s not horribly expensive for the most valuable data you have - basically for me that data storage will cost about the same as the subscription would to the other NAS system.

So… hi… glad to be here, and glad to have made my decision.