Drobo BeyondRaid Like Redundancy and Expansion with FreeNAS
One of the features of the Drobo data storage device is its “BeyondRaid” capabilities. While not a true RAID extension, “BeyondRaid” allows multiple drives to be consolidated into one big pool of storage. It allows you to use multiple disk sizes at once while providing redundancy for all disks and allowing a hot-swap upgrade at any time.
Such features would be nice on FreeNAS and if you are prepared to use the nightly builds of FreeNAS 0.7 (which is still under development) and take advantage of the new ZFS capabilities, you can do some amazing things!
Glen of (Glen’s Weblog) has written a post about how to do it.
The introduction can be found on his blog in a post called ZFS & FreeNAS – A poor (and very geeky) man’s Drobo setup! and the main details can be found at Freenas/ZFS and FreeNAS expansion.
Want to use 4 different sized drives together as one large storage tank with 1 drive fault tolerance? Do you also want to be able to upgrade the smallest capacity drive with a larger one without having to move all of your data to a temporary location then re-build a new array and then copying all your data back? Then follow Glen’s instructions but also heed his warning: Use this info at your own risk, don’t come to me if all your data disappears one day. But it works for me.