New to ZFS - how to best configure 24 SATA drives?

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New to ZFS - how to best configure 24 SATA drives?

Postby eksu » Mon Nov 27, 2023 8:05 pm


I am brand new to ZFS but have wanted a software raid solution for direct attach storage on macOS, and it seems like this is the best way to go over Apple Raid.

I have 24x 1TB SATA SSD's and am purchasing a 4x PCIe card to attach them in an eGPU enclosure to my M1 Mac mini. I originally purchased this card on a Cyber Monday sale with 24 SATA ports attached to 6 ASM1064 Controllers behind a AMS1812 PCIe Switch. The Switch I think is limited to PCIe 2.0 x4.

I was curious what would be the best topology to configure my pools and such for optimal performance. It seems that there would be 4 drives on each controller, and so I want to try to spread these out with my drive topology. I would like some degree of redundancy and also would like to be able to expand when I get a good amount of 2TB drives or respond to drive failures, or just upgrade as time goes on.

Any advice on the best way to configure this, or any advice for ZFS over Thunderbolt on macOS? Would it eventually be possible for me to attach this to a Windows machine running OpenZFS and read directly from the drives?


P.S. I also could consider this IO crest card, which is JMicron and uses SAS connectors and would solve the cabling nightmare, but it all seems to all be going through one chip which I think should limit it to PCIE 3.0 x2 speeds, which should be about as bad as PCIE 2.0 x4. I also currently have some LSI cards but they don't work on macOS which is why I am shopping. It would be nice if someone updated the open source kext for these to driverkit.
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Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2023 7:56 pm

Re: New to ZFS - how to best configure 24 SATA drives?

Postby Sharko » Wed Nov 29, 2023 5:40 pm

Since this is more of a generic ZFS question than a MacOS-specific question, I would suggest that you head over to Jim Salter's site for ZFS enthusiasts:

It's just the place for a meaty discussion on a topic such as yours!
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