About a month ago, an email landed in my inbox from the MacZFS Google group talking about a company called Tens Compliment and how they were bringing ZFS back to OS X.  I did a double take to make sure it wasn’t spam.  Much to my delight, it wasn’t.  Apparently Don Brady, one of Apple’s top filesystem engineers & the guy who was working on bringing ZFS to OS X Server, left Apple recently to found this new startup called Tens Compliment.  I couldn’t believe it… it sounded too good to be true, but there it was.  ZFS in all it’s glory with deduplication, snapshotting, compression, and even full compatibility with OS X ACLs.  I was one of the lucky few who got access to the first public beta so I immediately began trying it out.  I was, and still am, very impressed.  Can’t wait for the second beta to drop, which will supposedly have a System Preferences control panel for managing your volumes.  Unfortunately, Don replied to my initial email stating his target audience was going to be the Pro-level consumer, not servers.  Can’t say I blame him since Apple discontinued the Xserve.

For a while now I’ve been wanting to get a ZFS presence in my home just because it would be nice having the additional peace of mind that my photos & videos aren’t silently being corrupted without me knowing.  In the past, this plan would have consisted of a dedicated mini-ZFS server running on a mini-ITX platform tucked away behind my desk.  I remember pricing this setup out once before building off of a cool Chenbro box, but it came out to be ~$700 for 4TB RAW disk space.  That’s a bit much.

Since Z-410 was announced, I’m back in the game.  Using my Mac Pro, I have two options:

  1. Get an external eSATA enclosure, such as this one from SANS DIGITAL, and fill it with 1TB drives. – $600
  2. Get a mounting bracket from OWC, 2 2.5″ drives & move my boot disks up to the optical bay, freeing up the 4 primary drive bays to use for a RAIDZ1 pool. – $300-600

Option 1 is most attractive right now because it will still leave plenty of room inside the Mac Pro for other disks & I don’t have to give up my second optical drive bay.  However, if I went option 2, I’m considering making those 2 2.5″ drives small-ish SSD’s for an additional perk, but it’ll cost more.  I really can’t decide, but I’m leaning more towards the SANS DIGITAL enclosure at this point.

For the heck of it, I’ll post a poll that I’m sure won’t get used:

Let me know what you think!