The Gen8 HP MicroServers are wonderful little boxes. For less money than most NAS devices, you can get a tiny, server-grade cube with four drive bays, ECC memory and Xeon CPU support. I used to use mine with 4 drives in RAIDZ1, but now I use two mirrored pairs for performance and easier upgrading.
For use with ZFS, you have a few options:
- Oracle Solaris,
- Linux with ZFSonLinux,
- or FreeBSD
Solaris has the advantage of native support, and Oracle’s recent closed-source version even supports turnkey encryption. I trust FreeBSD and their ZFS implementation the most though, so the decision was easy.
But what about Plex? I’d installed it on Ubuntu Server and Debian many times, but I noticed (several years too late!) that the media server software had FreeBSD support. Halljeluya! I believe it was introduced mostly for people using FreeNAS, but I’ve been really happy with how well its performed on FreeBSD since switching over to it.
Installation is a breeze thanks to the tireless package maintainers. I’ve read in enough places you need the compatibility package for certain C libraries as well:
# pkg update # pkg install compat9x-amd64 # pkg install plexmediaserver
And now you’re good to go with the same URL and file management as any other Plex install, only this time you’re backing it with a ZFS volume with error detection, correction and redudancy. Too cool.
Incidently, do Hitachi make 8TB drives yet?