Moving from OpenZFS (direct attached) to TrueNas, need advice

Hi, I having been running an OpenZFS zpool on my Mac for the last 6 years. I have been mostly successful, but have suffered a couple of hiccups, which is making me think I should be considering a self contained NAS instead to avoid such problems again.

  1. When I upgraded from Yosemite to El Capitan in 2017, I had some permissions issues

  2. Last week one of my drives (two 1.5TB disks, mirrored in a single zpool) threw a bunch of errors. During the process of resilvering, the process stalled and both drives ended up erroring and now won’t mount. I have to start from scratch and make a new zpool.

  3. While setting up my new zpool with OpenZFSonOSX, I am getting permissions errors for the device.

With all of the above, I am getting fed up worrying about support between OpenZFS and Apple OSX. I’d like to stop worrying, and get something that will just manage my data.

My main use cases are:

  1. For storing my large photo (and small video) collection as the primary disk storage, and having fault tolerance / bit rot protection for that. Ideally here I need decent speed, and for the next 5 years I’m figuring I need approx 6TB storage to cover that use case. My computer is an old 2009 Mac Pro. At some point I want to ‘upgrade’ to a new Atom based Mac Mini.
  2. There’s a growing collection of computers in my house, so I’d like to have an easy method of backing those up by giving access to a NAS over wirless. I would need maybe 4TB storage to cover that.
  3. I don’t yet do plex or anything, but the ability to do such things is intriguing to me. However, I get most of my content from online services, and don’t have a movie collection, so it would be just for the odd TV show recording here and there. Very light usage! No idea how much I’d need for that. 2TB?
  4. I’m toying with the idea of having a simple surveillance camera setup to record a couple of weeks of video at a time from 2-3 cameras. No idea how much for that. 1TB?
  5. With regards to networking setup:
  • my 2600AC Synology wireless router is upstairs (unfortunately) in the middle of the house for good coverage. My photo editing computer is downstairs in my office.
  • I’m ok with just normal wireless for the other computers in the house to backup.
    I guess therefore my options for connecting my NAS to the network are:
    i) put NAS in back of router upstairs. Wireless to all devices. Doesn’t help performance to my office though. Simplest
    ii) put NAS in back of router upstairs. Ethernet over power line from office to router. Wireless to all rest of devices.
    ii) put NAS in office, plug into my computer via RJ45. Get a wireless mesh expander and plug that into the NAS.

I’m most interested in the TrueNAS MiniX. I’m confused by all of the RAID options though. RAIDZ2 looks interesting for performance and some protection. Does that work best with 4 or 5 drives? I would probably be going with Seagate Ironwolf red 6TB disks. I bought 2x of them, so now I’m committed I think, so guess I would just buy 2-3x more.

Any tips would be appreciated.

With raidz, you can loose one drive and not loose data. With a raidz2 Instead of one disk being able to reconstruct any lost disk like in raidz, there are 2 disks that can be used allowing you to loose up to 2 drives and not loose data. The disadvantage is raidz2 wastes more space than a raidz but it gives more protection. The more drives the better so 5 is good, The TrueNAS MiniX is solid the only thing I am much less familiar with is any issues that may come up from connecting a MAC, we rarely have any Mac clients, just Windows & a few Linux.

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