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Posted on 24 January 2015 @ 14:21edited 14:21 47s
I've been fiddling with my yet to become server for quite some time, and I really need to make some progress..
This is now a question like "can I eat the cookie and still have it in the same time?"

I don't have spare hardware. I want to get my NAS operational as soon as possible (minimal interaction with the underlying bits and pieces), and then try bring up more functionality in my spare time.

My system is based on abit of a mixture:
- ASUS M5A99X Evo R2.0 ATX AM3+ Motherboard
- AMD FX-8320 8 Core Processor Socket AM3+ 3.5GHZ 16MB CPU
- 16GB of Kingston ECC DDR3 RAM - I still have room for 16GB and I'm planning to add them as soon as I can find a reasonable price.
- Two network cards (one on the motherboard - Realtek), the other add-on Intel PRO/1000 GT PCI 10/100/1000 Desktop Ethernet Adapter
- A MegaRaid SATA Controller flashed in IT mode LSI 9240-8i - connecting 8 3TB hard drives
- on the M/B SATA controller I have 2 SSDs so far, mirrored and set per CIPHER's advice (root, swap, zil and l2arc)
- I have a Asus Radeon 6450 video card, which turned out not to be compatible with the OS/Xorg sw, and I just ordered a Nvidia based Asus Geforce 730 (2GB DDR3 card) - overkill probably, but hopefully fully supported in the long run.. At least Nvidia site states that drivers are writen for FreeBSD by them, which is of some assurance.

I'm planning two zfs pools (a mirrored pool of 2x3TB, and a RAIDZ2 of 6x3TB)
I have the os up and running, but could not get any further because Xwindows incompatibility with my video card - and as soon as I receive my new GeForce video card, I hope the basic system is complete, and fully usable.

Since I want to keep the base layer untouched, is it reasonable / and what are the chances to succeed in installing all other functionality in a separate instance of the os (either jail, or virtual box)?

Is anyone having a setup where the basic NAS machine is completely isolated, and all the sw add-ons live in a virtual/jail on the same hardware, allowing for testing, changing discarding etc, leaving the base layer untouched?

I know this would be posible if I'll give the hw management to ESXi, and install the NAS/zfsguru as a VM, but I don't want to do that (napp-it does this elegantly), as I find VMware quite intimidating in complexity, and having to maintain it as the core layer, way too much headache.

Please offer your experience and advice.
Thank you.

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