Non-standard configurations

Some do actually like non-standard hardware and software setups.

If we build a 16 TB RAID 5 (9x 2TB), can we then install Windows on it?

Probably yes, with some U/EFI trickery, but then troubleshooting this contraption if hardware ever dies would be a nightmare with 9 drives.

Now another try

We have a leftover of drives, like all sorts of 160GB to 2TB Parallel ATA, all sorts of Serial ATA, five RAID/HBA controllers, and a motherboard. We thought of putting it all together and deploying ZFS over it. Do you think it is a good idea?

Actually, no.

The complexity of the failure modes for the proposed design is just mind-boggling. First of all, when ZFS crashes, there is no reliable data recovery for it. Then, multiple HBA/RAID cards from different vendors in the same system are not going to work stable. More then, with a different size drives, no common RAID scheme can be applied. Should the RAID fail, the system is not recoverable. OK you can go with ZFS hybrid filesystem-RAID capability, but it is even less recoverable when failed. On top of that, this borderline weird configuration was never tested. The symmetric configurations with md-raid and ext-whatever used in stock NAS units like QNAP are at least well tested and understood (and still even these have problems)

So, what comes of it - stick with simple and standard configurations. The increase in efficiency for a unique build is small and is not woth the problems you encounter when it fails.


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