I’ve been running the VMs in my home lab on a ZFS pool on FreeNAS and now TruneNAS CORE made up of 600GB 10K SAS drives in a 6 x 2 way mirror configuration for some time and it works fine, but I’ve always wanted to have an all SSD high performance array. The price for used 400GB Hitachi Ultrastar SSD400M HUSML4040ASS600 has finally fallen to a level that makes them an option for a home lab setup. These were some of the best SAS SSDs available when they were released and they still have lots to offer for the home user. These drivers are MLC NAND with supper high endurance. For the rest of this blog when ever I say TrueNAS I’m referring to TrueNAS CORE the replacement for FreeNAS the free open source NAS.
Eventually you will come to the point where you’ll need more storage. I’m running TrueNAS and there are 3 main ways of increasing storage capacity. You could replace every disc in the pool to a larger size, one disc at a time resilvering each disc as you go and once all discs are replaced the pool will have grown in size. The second option is to add another vdev to the pool and last create another pool. I’m using a Dell R320 with 8 3.5″ bays and have no available slots in my server for more discs so after some time looking at the options I decided to go with 2 x EMC DAE. DAE stands for Disk Array Enclosure. There are two different types, one with 25 2.5″ slots and the one I’ve chosen to use, the KTN-STL3 which has 15 3.5″ slots with SAS 2 controllers.