Approaches to local and remote storage (primarily for OS X)

Discussion in 'macOS' started by grahamperrin, Aug 31, 2014.

  1. grahamperrin, Aug 31, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2014

    grahamperrin macrumors 601


    Jun 8, 2007

    General discussion of pros and cons, mixed approaches and so on.

    Primarily for users of OS X, but some approaches (e.g. NAS) may be multi-purpose – not limited to Macs.

    Hint: if your experiences with storage contradict the experiences of other writers, be gentle with each other. Such contradictions will be inevitable. Let's not go off the rails :)


    In MacRumors Forums:
    In Wikipedia:
    In Tom's Hardware:
    In Stack Exchange:

    My current and expected future approaches

    2009 MacBook Pro (MacBookPro5,2) with a hybrid drive in lieu of the original hard disk. That hybrid comprises two Core Storage logical volumes:
    • HFS Plus – startup volume for OS X, applications etc.
    • ZFS pool – for a variety of data
    – both encrypted.

    Amongst the child file systems in the ZFS pool:
    • ~/Library/VirtualBox
    • /opt
    – I use /opt for MacPorts.

    A small number of external hard disk drives and USB flash drives given to ZFS. Typically connected via USB 2.0 to the MacBookPro5,2.

    FreeNAS on an old Dell Inspiron 545 that was gifted to me. One of two internal disks given to ZFS.

    Wuala, 5 GB free.

    Before Yosemite is released, I expect to begin using a new MacBook Pro.

    Over the next year or so, I expect to move as much data as is practical:
    • from the MacBookPro5,2 internal drive, from drives on USB 2.0 and from Wuala
    • to FreeNAS – for a while, I might run two servers.
    I guess that an Apple shift away from HFS Plus will begin – or be announced – in 2015 or 2016. As things currently stand with OS X, I don't expect the shift to affect me.

    When the time comes to replace the 2014 MacBook Pro – 2019, maybe – I'll probably choose – or be forced to use – something other than OS X.

    Side note: tiering and ZFS

    From the title of a 2012 blog post – ZFS Auto-Tiered Storage: Conquering I/O Bottlenecks w/Hybrid Storage – it may be assumed that automated tiered storage is a fitting description for those features of ZFS.

    A brief discussion in IRC, mid-2013, took the view that hierarchical storage management (as then defined in Wikipedia) was probably a better way to describe the tiering that's possible with ZFS. A few months later in a private forum, someone argued that HSM was entirely different … that argument was overly antagonistic, so for now I'll stick with the HSM thought.
  2. grahamperrin thread starter macrumors 601


    Jun 8, 2007
    "SSDs will not replace HDDs as a consumer mass storage solution in the near future"

    Amongst CMPE550 Fall 2013 Class Presentations:

    Solid State Drives (PDF)


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