Looking for config recommendations

Hi everyone - first post here, and as you might expect for a first post, looking for advice… got my new server, and it’s ready to receive whatever configuration I decide to throw at it.

The basics:

  • 64Gb RAM.
  • (6) 14Tb HDDs (hot swap-able).
  • (2) 2Tb NVMe

This server is going to live on my home network (2.5Gb) and is primarily intended to be a local NAS. I also plan on running Plex to serve up my (fairly small) collection of movies, tv show & other media.

I do have offsite backups of most stuff, but I still want some level of redundancy on my server (so at least RAID5, or the ZFS equivalent).

I am moving on from a 10+ year old QNAP NAS that served me well, that was configured with RAID6 (5 HDDs). It did well over the years and I was able to deal with 2 separate drive failures during that time (not at the same time).

Things have changed a lot in the NAS realm since I got my QNAP, and I am leaning towards using TrueNAS in my new server. unRAID is another option, but I am leaning towards TrueNAS Scale.

There’s only going to be a couple of regular users on this server.

So, down to the question - how would you recommend I set up the disks (HDDs & SSDs)? Looking for the ability to deal with one of more HDD failures and maximum performance. Most of the client computers connecting will be Macs, but there’ll be the occasional Windows client also.

I’m new to both TrueNAS and ZFS, but I am in the software business, so pretty technically inclined.

I would recommend adding a boot drive or two.

Use Raidz2 for the HDDs. Setup the NVMe drives in a mirror.

Also, MacOS likes to use sync writes with SMB, you could benefit from a SLOG device for the HDDs. The same device could be used for both pools.

Do some research on that. You will find one of the best slogs is an Optane drive.

The spinners in RAIDZ2 for bulk storage, the two SSDs as a mirror for apps and anything else requiring high speed.


A word of warning: Do not hot-swap ever. This is a home server so it is not mission critical to stay up. Power down before removing/installing a drive. You may be very unhappy if you do a hot-swap and release the magic smoke that keep the electronics lubricated so they continue to flow.

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…I’ve straight up made power cables on the fly to add an hdd/ssds for testing to my server while it was powered on - live a little (if you have a multimeter)!

Just pull straight in/out instead of sideways, there is a good reason sata connectors have staggered pins.

I absolutely have a multimeter and several other electronic test equipment, however I have seen what can happen even when using a high quality Supermicro removable drive setup. Removal is not a problem however insertion… I just about crapped my pants when the power connector didn’t line up 100% perfect. And while I agree, the power pins are shorter, it doesn’t mean fool proof. That power connector on the drive and chassis were melted. It only takes one time to change your mind about hot swapping and that was mine.

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…to be fair, even with my cavalier attitude; I’d also have to change pants if the smoke escaped from my hard drive.


I bumped my HBA and the whole pool dropped. Luckily I/O got suspended pretty quick.

RAIDZ2 is a sensibile choice for the HDD pool.
Note you don’t need to use two SSDs for the boot pool, you could do just fine with a backup of your configuration (easy to schedule regularly with a script): doing so would free your other drive for anything else that’s not mission critical (ie SLOG or L2ARC).