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I have 5 hard drives, where I want to keep my data. Some of my files are more important, and some of them are less. So some of them I wish to put on RAID-6, and for some it RAID-5 is sufficient. It is difficult to predict at the moment of creation of the arrays how much space of each type to declare.

What I would do if I didn't hear about zfs, is partition the hard drives into identical 100GB partitions, and as my needs grow, assemble those partitions into md devices using linux-raid. Then, I'd combine those devices using lvm into logical volumes where I'd put my data. So when I'd need more space of e.g. RAID-6, I'd take 100GB partition from each hard drive and assemble them into another RAID-6 md device and would use it as physical storage for the logical volume group dedicated for RAID-6 data. Then I could grow the file system on this logical volume.

On top of RAID-6 and RAID-5 Volume Groups (managed by lvm) would reside completely independent file systems, which I'd later merge with multiple mount --bind into a single directory structure that would reflect the logical structure of data rather that of the storage.

But now, when I heard about the ZFS with all the performance, data-healing and compression capabilities I cannot stop thinking if it can help me. If so, what do you think would be the best setup?

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closed as not constructive by EEAA, HopelessN00b, John Gardeniers, Tim Brigham, rnxrx Sep 29 '12 at 2:55

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To stop thinking about ZFS, you should maybe have a look at NTFS or EXT. If you are looking for a killer FS, then also have a look at BRTFS. – Lucas Kauffman Sep 28 '12 at 21:49
@LucasKauffman :)) – Serge Sep 28 '12 at 22:05

tl;dr: It's not worth it. Your time and sanity are far to valuable to deal with a setup like this.

Hard drive space is cheap. Why add all of the additional complexity and possible failure points that your suggestion creates?

Just pick a RAID level (or two at the max) and run with it. You'll be able to easily manage, maintain, and restore the configuration if things go bad, which would most certainly not be the case with the ad-hoc house of cards you suggest.

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Thank you. I certainly agree about the complexity. I thought that there was ready solution for it, and I just didn't hear of it. – Adam Ryczkowski Sep 28 '12 at 22:21

If you want ZFS then use ZFS. You can specify the number of copies kept of each file in the filesystems that you create. So, if you want more redundancy than the underlying pool is providing, you can get it. Read more about the copies property here:

Then again, you don't give any information about why you want a setup like this or what problem it's trying to solve, so we're not going to be able to provide any better recommendations than what you have here. If you want ZFS, it supports RAID. As ErikA said, it's probably better to just pick a RAID level and start using it.

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