I'm configuring a box with 24x 3Tb consumer SATA drives, and wondering about the best way to configure the pool. The customer wants capacity on the cheap, and I want something I can service without sweating too much about data loss. Due to capacity concerns raid 10 is probably out, which leaves various raidz choices

1. A stripe of four 6 disk raidz2

2. A stripe of two 11 disk raidz3 with 2 hot spares.

Other, better ideas?

My questions are

A. How long will resilvering take with these layouts when the disks start dying?

B. Should I prefer hot spares or additional parity drives, and why?

The box is a supermicro with 36 bays controlled through a single LSI 9211-8i. There is a separate intel 320 ssd for the OS. The purpose is to backup data from the customer's windows workstations. I'm leaning toward using BackupPC for the backups since it seems to combine good efficiency with a fairly customer-friendly web interface.

I'm running FreeBSD 9, after having failed to get the plugin jail working in FreeNAS, also for personal reasons I find csh easier to use than the FreeNAS web interface. My impression is that FreeBSD combines a mature OS with the second oldest/best (after Illumos) free implementation of zfs.

Thanks in advance
Russ Poyner
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