Backing up FreeNAS to external drives

in freenas on (#2THV)
I love this little device: it's an iXsystems MiniNAS running FreeNAS 9.2, with tons of disk space, RAM, fast network connections, all on a low-profile device that uses precious little energy (30W). Nice! And having all my important stuff on one box not only gives me the freedom to screw around with my desktops but simplifies and centralizes the work that goes into backing up my information.

It's tempting to be lulled into security by a hefty NAS running the ZFS file system on RAID-6. Yes you've got some redundancy and a resistant file system. But RAID is not backup - a mistake too many make. And here I ran into some trouble. FreeNAS gives you tons of options for transferring zpool datasets around, and since it's networked you can rsync your heart's content to other systems, but what if you just want to back the stuff up to a hard drive locally? Like an external, USB hard drive? Turns out, there's a way, but it requires a bit of Unix-foo.

Fortunately, this is FreeBSD, so lots of things are possible. The rest is at my website,

Re: Use ZFS send/receive. (Score: 1)

by on 2014-10-24 00:05 (#2TNM)

So load the backup on another machine of any ZFS-supported-OS. Perhaps for added benefit use one that isn't the originating platform. Since you seem to be sourced from FreeBSD, why not use one of the opensolaris variants? Import the disks, run a ZFS scrub(this is by definition how you're supposed to verify data)...and feel safe :)

For more familiarity Linux has a native ZFS implemenation now as well.

It truly would be great if certain commercial operating systems adopted ZFS. Their filesystems often seem dinosaur-like in comparison..because they are.
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