Subject: Re: Building a huge file server
To: Markus W Kilbinger <>
From: Daniel Carosone <>
List: current-users
Date: 07/05/2006 22:03:12
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On Wed, Jul 05, 2006 at 01:45:33PM +0200, Markus W Kilbinger wrote:
> Im planning to build a huge file server. My idea was to put about 8
> big IDE or SATA disks (500 - 750 GB each) into a PC/i386 based system
> and create a big raid(4) on it (RAID level 5, I thought).
> I guess I have to use ffs2 to create partitions larger than 1 (2?)
> tera bytes. Does this work sufficiently, yet?
> Can raid(4) handle partitions of that size?

raid(4) can handle devices of this size (I've had 12Tb raidframe
devices), but unfortunately disklabel can't currently handle
partitions >2Tb.  So, at best, you need to use the raw d partition.

ffs2 should handle it, but there have been some reports that make me
suspicious and skeptical - and certainly there's not a huge volume (no
pun intended) of testing history above the 2Tb mark.

> Which (actual) mainboards, SATA-Controller and NIC's are suitable for
> this task and supported well by NetBSD?
> Any comments, hints and recommendations are welcome.

It may be heretical of me to suggest this on a NetBSD list, but for
something like this - and especially if you need it now - have you
considered opensolaris and zfs?  The SATA-controller question is much
more difficult and fiddly there, but the filesystem questions much
less so. fsck on something this size takes way way way too long.


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