Part 4 - Project Obsidian: Obsidian is dead, long live Obsidian

Originally published at: https://bayton.org/2017/01/part-4-project-obsidian-obsidian-is-dead-long-live-obsidian/

Just tuning in? This is a multi-part build log for Project Obsidian: a low power Ubuntu 16.04 LTS NAS & container server. You’re currently viewing part 4. Head over to the introduction for context and contents. A new direction It’s worth mentioning before I go any further that Obsidian has been up and running since around August last year in one way or another – decommissioning other builds (more below) left me no choice as maintaining two systems ultimately doing the same thing was only going to lead to problems. It hasn’t been perfect however, leading me to re-evaluate my wants and needs for the build as 2017 approached. At the end of part 3 I mentioned being unhappy about splitting disks over a PCIe card and the motherboard. I was also concerned that, having decided on ZFS for my RAID filesystem, the motherboard I’d selected in part 1 wasn’t capable of supporting Error-correcting code (ECC) memory – a very much recommended type of computer memory for ZFS due to its ability to detect and correct corruption in RAM before it’s written to disk. What’s more, the motherboard supported only 16GB maxed out; ZFS being the memory-monster that it is ate this up very, very quickly (improved with optimisations, but not ideal) and left me feeling like I needed more from the system than I was getting. I resolved the disk situation; not long after the previous post in the series I managed to secure a Dell H200 SAS card boasting two 4-channel controllers and running in IT…