Almost there… the final piece of the FreeNAS0 jigsaw. Creating the replication of data back from FreeNAS0 > FreeNAS1 and turning FreeNAS1 into the backup. It all reminded me a little of A New Hope, and Darth Vaders quote to Obi-Wan ‘When I met you I was but the learner. Now, I am the master’. FreeNAS0 is now the master, but perhaps it just the 9 hours of Star Wars I enjoyed on Wednesday night/Thursday morning!

Transferring the data back was pretty much the same as I’d described here. The big decision was how to configure the FreeNAS1 pool. When it was the master, it was running 9x4TB in a RAIDZ2 configuration. The backup at the time (FreeNAS2) was running 5x4TB in a Stripe (with no redundancy) just to give me a little more storage.

I thought a Stripe with 9 drives was probably asking for trouble, especially given they’d all been running now longer than the 3-year warranty period but did think a RAIDZ1 was probably a happy medium? With the pool reconfigured, getting the replication running was a breeze, with a recursive Periodic Snapshot at the APEpool0 and APEpool0s level, and then two replication tasks to transfer the data.

There was a pretty big gotcha here though! Just having 2 recursive Periodic Snapshots at the pool level resulted in one overwriting the other!! When APEpool0s finished, everything that had replicated from APEpool0 disappeared. Clearly, not what I was looking for! Don’t make the same mistake and create Periodic Snapshots and Replication Tasks at the Dataset level. This worked fine, and I now have everything from both APEpool0 and APEpool0s on APEpool1. You should end up with something like this:

Although this took twice as long (almost 4 days!) each replication did seem a little faster than the first one I’d done from 1>0, and I’m now left with about 10.5TB (37%) of free space on the backup, which should be fine for at least the next 12 months. Beyond that, I might need to be a little more selective, but that should be easier to deal with that when it comes having created individual tasks which can be enabled/disabled!

So after a pretty busy month of FreeNAS Server buying, building, and configuring I’m exactly where I was looking to be. My new machine is the master, running all the jails and VMs I wanted, with over 22TB (56%) of free space and an extra 32GB of RAM. I also have a more powerful backup solution, that genuinely could take over if FreeNAS0 suffered a catastrophic failure, something the old FreeNAS2 could never have done.

Would I do anything differently? Possibly! I think keeping the APEpool1 name for the new machine and changing the old one to APEpool2 might have made things easier, although might have also presented some challenges I haven’t thought about. But other than that, probably not.

I do need to understand a little more about networking and how everything actually works, and I still have lots to learn about Docker and how to make the most of that, but I’m pretty happy with how things have turned out. After claiming back the VAT through my company, the whole thing will have cost between £1800-1900 and should last me for at least another 3-4 years.

After that, who knows, but I might just be able to upgrade the disks in both machines (12/14s in FreeNAS0 with the 8s in FreeNAS1) as the hardware should still be more than capable unless I find new uses for the machine.

I have one blog to write, although it’s not about FreeNAS0 or 1, as I still have to deal with FreeNAS2, which is now surplus to requirements. I’d like to clean it down and sell on eBay. It would make someone a great introduction into FreeNAS, and a pretty decent little file server. I’ll hopefully get around to that before the end of the year. Until then, have a wonderful Christmas!

merry christmas