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Slideshow explaining VDev, zpool, ZIL and L2ARC for noobs!

Chris Moore

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Seymour Butt

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Anyone else experiencing problems opening the link to the PDF today?
 
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Chris Moore

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Seymour Butt

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Ericloewe

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Slideshow explaining VDev, zpool, ZIL and L2ARC and other newbie mistakes!

I've put together a Powerpoint presentation(and PDF) that gives some useful info for newbies to FreeNAS. I decided to create this slideshow because in the last 5 months I've been on this forum I've seen a lot of people confused about vdevs, zpools, zils, l2arcs, etc. Hopefully we can put to rest a lot of the confusion once and for all.

We get a large amount of duplicate threads with the same questions being asked every other day. Personally, we get them so often I decided to stop answering them and decided a better use of my time would be to create this presentation. I literally read every thread and every post that goes on the forum. So if I don't answer either the answer is in the thread or the answer is found in this presentation or FreeNAS manual. Answering every 3rd thread with "Consult the manual" gets a little old after a while and I have better uses for my time.

This presentation also contains a lot of information that is explained in a little more detail for new users. It includes many common errors newbies make and can save you some heartache. If you are brand new to FreeBSD, I recommend reading the manual cover to cover. There are a lot of recommendations throughout the manual, and they are typically there because they are an error trap for many people.

I've saved this in Powerpoint because I have some animations in the slideshow. I'm not sure what other formats would work. If you would like this in another format that supports animations please let me know and I'll see what I can do. Currently I provide this in a powerpoint presentation and PDF. The PDF has no animations therefore the Powerpoint is preferred.

I'll try to keep it updated as necessary. If this presentation helps you please "like" it so others can see that it really is worth the time to read!

Updated as of: May 2, 2016

Edit:

Link to the Power Point: https://1drv.ms/p/s!AipQGpAyAeDjgVrOZeXxYNhvq6WX

New alternate link to a PDF: https://1drv.ms/b/s!AipQGpAyAeDjgVv3N95sVWapbRvS

A newer document, focused on ZFS, is also available in the Resources section:
https://www.ixsystems.com/community/resources/introduction-to-zfs.111/
Loved the power point, lots of great information. I am working on a build list now. :)
 

Chris Moore

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Loved the power point, lots of great information. I am working on a build list now. :)
Keep in mind that you can save significantly on the cost of gear if you are willing to pick used items from eBay.

Hardware Recommendations by @cyberjock - from 26 Aug 2014 - and still valid
https://forums.freenas.org/threads/hardware-recommendations-read-this-first.23069/

Hardware Recommendations Guide Rev. 1e) 2017-05-06
https://forums.freenas.org/index.php?resources/hardware-recommendations-guide.12/

FreeNAS® Quick Hardware Guide
https://forums.freenas.org/index.php?resources/freenas®-quick-hardware-guide.7/

FreeNAS does not need the very latest hardware, in fact, sometimes the very latest hardware is not yet fully supported.

Building, Burn-In, and Testing your FreeNAS system
https://forums.freenas.org/index.php?resources/building-burn-in-and-testing-your-freenas-system.38/
 

Chris Moore

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Hi there, does those attachment unavailable to view any more?
Someone deleted the files, which should not have happened, but it did. I restored them and you should be able to access them now.
 
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Someone deleted the files, which should not have happened, but it did. I restored them and you should be able to access them now.
Hi Chris, thanks for your reply, this link ?

{mod note} Links removed.
 
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SNE

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Hello. This guide was last updated in 2016. Is there a more recent guide available? I am asking because I understand that ZFS and FreeNAS are constantly changing and I am now confronted with managing a older server that currently runs Windows Server 2012 which I plan to replace with FreeNAS. I have never used FreeNAS or ZFS.
 

danb35

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Chris Moore

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Hello. This guide was last updated in 2016. Is there a more recent guide available? I am asking because I understand that ZFS and FreeNAS are constantly changing and I am now confronted with managing a older server that currently runs Windows Server 2012 which I plan to replace with FreeNAS. I have never used FreeNAS or ZFS.
Despite the age of this guide, many of the basics have not changed that much, so it is a good foundation of knowledge.
 
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Agreed that this guide/presentation and the IXSystems training videos are actually SUPER helpful. I think the videos move a little too quickly and you don't have enough time to let things sink in, but they deliver the content. For me, once I finished drinking from that firehose, Cyberjock's presentation really bottom-lined everything that was important. Still have a long way to go but I'm confident in my approach now. :)
 
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So I have my FreeNAS system installed, and I'm trying to set up a pool with a vdev which consists of 2x2TB Reds and 3x8TB Whites. According to this slideshow I should be able to replace the 2x2TB drives in the future with 2x8TB drives, making a total of 5x8TB drives and utilizing all the space. I get an error saying "Mixing disks of different sizes in a VDEV is not allowed." and it won't let me create it. Did something change? or does the vdev require all the drives to be the same size at first, with the ability to change them out with bigger drives one at a time after the vdev is created? I don't need all the space at the moment and wanted to save some cash before having to buy two more 8TB drives.
 
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I can't seem to edit my post. After some more searching around this looks like a change (bug?) from 11.2 to 11.3. Now I'm debating if I should put this project off on the backburner until its addressed or try to install 11.2, build the pool, then upgrade to 11.3.
 

Yorick

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This is a change to save people from shooting themselves in the foot, is my best guess. I doubt this is a bug.

You can create your vdev from command line, fully understanding that you get 6GB (assuming raidz2) until the remaining 2 drives have been replaced.
 

danb35

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try to install 11.2, build the pool, then upgrade to 11.3
This ought to work.
I doubt this is a bug.
I guess that depends on how you define "bug." It's probably behaving as intended, but "as intended" is, well, not very good behavior. The pool configuration @kivalo is considering is not optimal or recommended, but that doesn't mean it's always a bad idea, and to prevent such configurations entirely with no possibility of bypassing the warnings doesn't seem like a very good idea--particularly when every previous version of FreeNAS has allowed for this (after appropriate warnings).
 
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Alright, kind of a PITA to find the older versions if you don't know where to look, but was able to get 11.2-u7 installed, vdev created with warning "Mixing disks of different sizes in a VDEV is not recommended. " and updated to 11.3. Everything seems to work fine.
 
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