TechTalk – Tagged "Server Guides"– TechMikeNY

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Hi Ronnie. Thanks for the comment below. You are correct: ZFS is open source and not proprietary software. What we were trying to get at was ZRAID is exclusive to ZFS. That said, we’ve rephrased this in the blog post to be clear. As for the RAID card, we normally recommend the LSI 9211-8i or 9217-8i as long as it does not have any special firmware installed. The stock firmware should allow for pass-through. Over the past year, we had received some of these with the passthrough available and some with RAID only.

— TechMike

ZFS isn’t proprietary. TrueNAS is probably what most would want JBOD’s for these days. It’s running FreeBSD and OpenZFS. Both of which are open source-not proprietary. ZFS has made It’s way into Linux too, so you could do it that way too. The biggest issue is getting a RAID card that can be flashed to IT mode. Most of the PERC controllers in Dell servers 11th and 12 generation ones will do. I think the 13 generation will too, however I’m not sure about that. LSI cards have been historically the go-to cards. They were bought by someone and have since shot themselves in the foot and made it so you have to get an older card to do true JBOD. (AFAIK)

— Ronnie

In the case of a PowerEdge R730XD loaded with 24 drives, you still need an OS that can “present” that storage to your network. You’ll need some kind of OS in that can support things like NFS, SMB, or iSCSI. And if you boot VMWare ESXi your storage will be specific to the host only unless you get VSAN licenses to share the host’s storage with other hosts in the VSPhere. So a JBOD may sound great, but the outcome of such an implementation could be disappointing if you need more than a large pool of network attached storage.

— Tim Hasselbach