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I have a little J1900 CPU server running debian linux with 8GB of ram and a 64GB SSD. I am using it to run a few very lightly loaded kvm virtual machines. It's not a very powerful server but demands are low except i need a lot more disk space. Performance isn't much of an issue but reliability is.

Now, I have an ICY BOX disk enclosure containing 2 4GB hard disks connected to it by USB3. I need some reliability so was thinking I could use ZFS on the two disks and have the mirror so that I get some tolerance to disk failures at the cost of half the disk space. I would then create zfs volumes on the disk for each VM to use as it's storage.

Is this a reasonable way to organize this? I heard that ZFS uses a lot of ram though, will this eat into my limited 8GB a lot?

Or am I better using mdadm for raid1 mirroring of my disks (assuming this works on USB mounted disks) and then LVM to divide up the space?

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  • IMO it is reasonable and RAM shouldn't be a problem but that, of course, depends on what else is running. But I don't know ZFS enough to attempt to answer your question. – user772515 Mar 1 '18 at 12:26
  • I'd worry about performance over USB-mounted disks, and the ZFS ARC competing with the VMs for RAM. Test it and find out if it's fast enough. – Andrew Henle Mar 1 '18 at 22:52

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