Advise to create a Mac ZFS server

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Re: Advise to create a Mac ZFS server

Postby Jean-Claude2 » Sat Mar 02, 2024 6:53 am

@Shargo,
thank you having answered to me rapidly, I saw it only today.
I don't care about boot drive, I care about my datas. Can I have an APFS boot drive, passthrough SATA/SAS contrôler and nvme or connect HDD directly to VM for datas on ZFS ?
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Re: Advise to create a Mac ZFS server

Postby Sharko » Mon Mar 04, 2024 7:59 am

I think that would work fine, since you would be giving ZFS control of the hardware through the pass-through.
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Re: Advise to create a Mac ZFS server

Postby tangles » Tue Mar 05, 2024 12:56 am

I strongly urge you to consider TrueNAS Scale (not Core) on those cMPros. Either that or see if you can Hypervisor them. I definitely would't run any VMs on top of macOS for server purposes.
As long as you can install TNS using native UEFI and not have the mac emulate X86 BIOS (CSM?) then it'll work okay and do the job for a very small team.
Using macOS for a server is going to bight you eventually. It's just not made for it anymore and Apple put any Server/NAS options to bed when they pivoted and focused on services using iCloud.
If Oracle hadn't have bought Sun just after Apple announced they'd adopt ZFS, then we'd have a very different Apple today when it comes to filesystems.

If you can't get TNS installed, you can always opt to use just Linux/BSD to get ZFS goodness and go down that path. (Or gut the cMPro and buy and old PC mobo that uses the Xeon CPU and build something inside the case as a fun project).

I currently use TNS and push iSCSI to the M2 Mini in the lounge via 10Gbps for music and photo libraries.
Apple does some funky stuff with these libraries on top of APFS that cannot be replicated easy with ZFS. ← I persevered for 6 months and finally gave up and moved the libraries off SMB to iSCSI.
Using TNS will solve all your network share permissions too. Install ZeroTier/TailScale on it also and the users will be able to access it anywhere in the world.

I have about 10 cheese grater cases that I just don't know what to do with. They're such beautiful engineering examples that I can't bear to eWaste them. I have used two cases in the paste to make a Hacintosh years ago. I put the front of the 2nd case onto the rear of the 1st case to avoid having to deal with the original cMPro motherboard port holes getting in the way. Doing a build this way provided a blank canvas for the PC motherboard's ports as you only have to deal with the power button and the optical drive slot on the rear.

Anyway, digressing now. I don't think the Xeon CPUs will enable you to run VMs inside TNS either as I believe they're missing some future extensions Intel released that TNS now requires. ← just so you know.

It's a shame because they're such well made machines.
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Re: Advise to create a Mac ZFS server

Postby Jean-Claude2 » Fri Mar 08, 2024 9:33 am

@Tangles,

Thank you for your answer, saw it only now.
On May, the 17th you told that Trueness scale (being linux deviated) will likely be more attractive from a Firmware-recognised booting point of view on Apple hardware than Truenas Core (being BSD dérivative). As Mac OS is BSD dérivated, it should be the opposite, shouldn't be ?

My idea was using a type 1 hypervisor, you don't agree either ?

Cheers
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Re: Advise to create a Mac ZFS server

Postby tangles » Fri May 03, 2024 5:33 am

Hi Jean-Claude,

Your point is a valid one.

I've found that getting your desired OS to boot with the specified OS boot loader is the most challenging. Linux can use GRUB (but also has it's own now) and I can't even remember what BSD flavours uses now. ← was always more of an issue which is what my last post was primarily based on.

You'll definitely be able to natively install a flavour of Linux of BSD from around and up to 2018, but anything more modern than that I just don't know anymore. ← i.e. I've retired all my cheese-graters now and am about to do the same to the last trashcans I have in use. i.e. pull out the CPU/RAM and use in some generic mobo.

I can still remember having issues with Chelsio 10Gb Ethernet PCIe3 adapters being used with MPros given they're only PCIe2 slots and this WAS with macOS.

Unless you have some legacy macOS software you want/need to run, then this is really the only reason why I'd still have a MacPro on my VLANs running "whatever" macOS.

Take the plunge, grab some old PC that's suitable as a Server, learn as much as you can/need to for your environment (assuming your personality is of this nature) and have some fun on the way.
If your personality is not exactly thinking this is fun, then I guess it's time to look at something like a Mac Mini as a replacement and call it a a day.

Probably not what you wanted to hear, and I'm thinking you've found some solution by now anyway.

Cheers,
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Re: Advise to create a Mac ZFS server

Postby Jean-Claude2 » Sat Jun 22, 2024 7:04 am

@tangles @others,

Thank you for your answer, tangles. not already used my Chelsio 10G adapters with 2019 C MPRO., but I think they are older than yours. If 2019 CMPRO is costly and not up to date, can I buy a 280$ 2010 C MPRO for using 3 nvme SSD and O3X ? shall I be able to connect from recent MacBook Pro to 2010 C MAC PRO using remote desktop ? Should I use high Sierra on 2010 CMPRO and what release of 03X ?
With 2010 CPRO "only" 8 cores but only 160w needed by the CPU.
With 212 CPRO 12 Cores but 190w needed by the CPU.
Wich is best for using it as timemachine server ?

best regards.
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