How I Replace a Failed/Failing HDD in a ZFS Storage Pool

I've had enough real life experience with replacing drives in the ZFS pool in my home NAS that I feel comfortable sharing this information with the community.

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Installing apcupsd with USB Support on OmniOS

I installed OmniOS on my home filer over the Christmas break. Jumping from a Solaris Nevada build to OmniOS meant figuring out what software packages are available in the OmniOS repositories, what third-party repos are available and what software I would have to compile by hand. Given that this machine is only acting as a filer and isn't running any other services to speak of, the list of software to get up and running is small; however a critical component is apcupsd which talks to the Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) and cleanly powers down the filer if the power goes out for an extended time.

The hangup for me is that my UPS connects to the filer via USB, not a serial connection. It took me some hours to figure out how to get apcupsd installed with USB support. Here's how.

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How Unix Made Me a Better Network Engineer

I've had two main areas of interest in my IT career. Professionally, I've been a network guy. Designing, building, and supporting IP networks is what pays my bills. On the other side, I'm a Unix geek. Building, tinkering, and hacking code on Unix systems and related open source software has always been fun and challenging for me. Recently I was reflecting on my career and realized that my Unix and open source experience has played a big role in my career as a network engineer. Here's some of the ways I believe network engineers can benefit from Unix experience.

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Booting Solaris After a Motherboard Upgrade

As part of the recent hardware upgrade to my ZFS file server I replaced the motherboard. I'd never replaced the motherboard on an active Solaris system before and was curious whether it would be at the easy end of the spectrum (like OpenBSD is) or at the impossible end (like any recent version of Windows). This is what I learned.

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ZFS File Server Hardware Refresh

I recently decided to indulge my inner geek by doing a hardware refresh on my home ZFS file server. The system had served me well since moving to ZFS from my previous system but there was room for improvement.

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Moving to ZFS

My file server is full and I have no options for expanding it. The server is a white box system running FreeBSD with a hardware RAID card and 400GB of RAID-5 storage. The hardware is old, the hard drives are old and I can't expand it. It's time for something new.

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