FreeNAS share backup

Hello all, long time Lawrence youtube fan, Tom my homelab is where it is today because of you. You are awesome.

I’ve been googling for this and most of the results are more so backing up the FreeNAS configuration (which is cool) and I even used beadm to backup my boot environment as well (before I wreck things trying to syslog SMB logs out to a server) but I’m looking for advice to backup the data that is in my various datasets, in my SMB shares.

Bonus points if I can backup my NFS that has my VMs on it.

Alot of the other results have been asking for USB external HDD support. If thats an option I like it but if I have to spin up a jail, fiddle with USB pass-through etc. I’m game for another approach.

I would like something that is somewhat automated and only does a differential backup.

I’m looking for something other than just plugging the HDD into my Windows box and copying everything over 1gig Ethernet periodically.

Context: Data is about 4.5 TB at the moment. I have a chelsio 10g dual card, one port being used for xcp-ng NFS (thanks to your vids), leaving another port open if the solution is to build out a small economical box for this task.

The most ideal way to backup a FreeNAS is via ZFS replication

Another option would be to use use Rsync tasks which may work well for copying the data, but is not as efficient as moving data from using ZFS replication.

I have a video on FreeNAS replication, but since 11.3 they made it even easier to setup and get going, so I plan on doing some updated videos very soon.

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Thanks Tom for the quick reply!

ZFS replication looks like the winner, but I would have to buy more hardware.

I have a Pi 3 that hasn’t had a job to do for some time, I’m becoming partial to use rsync because it looks like there is a lot of good documentation on setting it up on a Pi. I know the first backup will probably take a few days, but after that it should be quick differentials (I do not acquire a lot of new data… yet).

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Will using rsync on a compression ratio 1.00 to 1.82 depending on the dataset cause the size to expand on the media being used to backup to? For example would my 4.36TB being used on my Pool end up being well over 5TB on the HDD used by the rsync server?

The compression option compresses the files in the data stream but not the where they land on the drive.

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I’m not proud how much effort and how long it took me to get my whole setup done, but it seems to be chugging away now. Should take about 6 days to finish.

I would love to have a very low power ZFS machine if to simply just ZFS replicate to. Maybe someday.