Russell - BSD Now Question :: ZFS & FreeNAS

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Howdy Allan & Benedict!

Just a heads up / transparency: this is a question that I've asked in the FreeNAS but I want to ask the experts I hear from every week, too! Plus, this has more details / is better worded I hope.

I am going to be re-setting up a long standing FreeNAS server. I want to redo the pool that it sits on. Originally I set it up with 4x2TB drives and 2x3TB drives. I originally encrypted the volume more as a thought experiment than not and now definitely do not have anything that needs encryption on it nor do I want the maintenance headache. Mostly it's software install backups, plex media files, time-machine backups which are inheritly encrypted, etc. The new drives will be bought over the next several months and be 8TB NAS drives, same plan 6 total. Now, for my questions…

1. I'm not really interested in more than 2 redundant disks. Given the material I plan to host there, that's plenty for me. Currently I use a RAID-Z2, should I go with that going forward or would a striped pair of RAID-Z1s be better? I believe I read that's called RAID-Z1+0?
2. Does it make sense to use different compression algorithms for different datasets? I know I'm going to have some plain cold-storage files. For instance, time-machine backups sent to that server are ideally never touched and certainly not often. Would gzip 7 work well there? What about plex media? I notice for the plex media files that I get virtually no savings using the default lz4 compression.
3. If I want to encrypt a single dataset later can I?
4. My current pool is around 81% full. I know there's some stuff I can toss. Lot's of backups of computers that just need cleaned out, lots of time-machine backups, and all. But, I want to keep most of the files but not necessarily the current datasets. What's a good migration strategy for this? Keep in mind I do have both the old "jails" dataset from FreeNAS 9 days which houses my Plex... and the newer iocage stuff which handles other jails. (Those datasets should probably remain intact.) This is a small server that only has 6 SATA ports and bays...

My thoughts for migration:
1. Remove one drive from the existing pool going to degraded mode.
2. First drive that gets here, set up a temp ZFS pool and default dataset.
3. Copy and paste all the unstructured data across to it from command line.
4. zfs send / receive the two different jails datasets.
5. Pull the new drive and plug back in the old drive.
6. Destroy the existing pool, setup the new one as wanted.
7. Pull a drive from the new pool going into degraded mode.
8. Plug back in the new drive and copy back the data into the new structure.
9. Destroy the zfs pool on the new drive and replace it in the existing new pool.
10. Let the pool resilver.
11. For each new drive replace one of the smallest drives, allow to resilver.

I understand that my pool will automatically grow as the new drives are entered? I also understand that if I go with the striped pools I'll replace alternating between pools.

Thanks for all the help and the great show! I enjoy the BSD shows way more than any of the Linux ones! ;) In fact, I only run FreeBSD instead of Linux anymore thanks to this show. 😎
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