EDIT: See the final build at post [post=32022556]#35[/post]! I've been waiting to update my current file server, an Atom based system with 4x750GB drives in a RAID 5. Gives me 1.99TB of usable space running on WinXP Pro. Since I'm low on space, time to upgrade! My usage pattern for the file server is movie storage/playback and backups of my other machines. Nothing intensive, as my HTPC handles playback and streams data from the file server over Ethernet. Initially, I was looking to just update the drives to 2TB. However, I had been reading about ZFS and felt that was an excellent base for a file server. The old file server hardware just wouldn't cut it for ZFS - only the hardware RAID controller allowed the Atom to function as it was. Component Selection - See post [post=31907561]#22[/post] for build/cost list So, off to figure out what I wanted in a new file server. Originally I had wanted to keep the same case - it's a really compact and functional system. Four hot-swap bays and room for an additional 2.5" drive beneath the optical drive. Motherboard For a new motherboard, I looked around for a mini-ITX motherboard that had ideally six SATA ports and was compatible with Solaris (or a ZFS-supporting fork). That narrowed things down to an Intel board that would support 8GB+ of RAM and a decent processor to handle the ZFS workload. With that in mind, I found one on Newegg that fit the bill: The motherboard had everything I needed! Supporting 16GB of memory would have been preferable, but not critical at this point in time. I imagine by the time I need to have more RAM I'll be due for another hardware upgrade. I don't plan to use any of the fancier ZFS features (encryption, deduplication, or tiered SSD caching), so I don't see any performance issues. CPU For the CPU, I just picked up a cheap dual-core i3-540. TDP is 73W, so it shouldn't run too hot. I'm not quite sure how to gauge CPU performance requirements in ZFS, but it's something I'll investigate once the build is complete. RAM, OS Drive, Optical, HSF Nothing exciting here, just 2x4GB sticks of DDR3, a $15 40GB 2.5" SATA drive from MicroCenter, a DVD burner I had laying around, and a slimline CPU cooler. The OS drive and optical drive weren't part of my initial parts list, as I was going to re-use the existing ones in my old file server. Those I picked up once I decided to go with a new case. Server Case I had previously been unable to find a case I liked better than my old file server, but I saw this case and decided it would be perfect. So, now I had a way to run 6 data drives, and still have an OS drive and an optical drive (which I rarely use). But, my motherboard only supports 6 SATA ports. To add a couple SATA ports, I picked up a cheap controller that is compatible with ZFS . I won't get any great speeds out of the controller, but just for an optical and OS drive it would be fine. Power Supply This was a tricky one - the case only supports shorter power supplies, so most modular ones are out. As cramped as the case was going to get, I felt sure that modular was the best way to go. I looked around for awhile, hoping to find a short modular one, and sure enough, SilverStone makes one! I also picked up a set of shorter cables to go with the PSU, no sense in having extra cable in a case that doesn't need it. I might end up custom making some SATA power cables once I get everything put together. EDIT: [post=31912258]Done![/post] Data Drives I initially picked up 4x2TB drives, the Samsung F4 EcoGreen drives. They would have been a perfect replacement for my older 750GB drives, but with ZFS they present a problem: they are 4K "Advanced Format" sector drives with 512k sector emulation. I'm still researching how best to handle this, but from what I understand so far it's more of a performance problem than reliability. I'm confident there will be a decent enough workaround in due time. So for now, I just picked up a couple more F4 drives to round out the build. Server Build Right now I'm just waiting on the case and controller to arrive (due today via UPS). I've run full sector scans on all the hard drives to make sure they're 100%, a memtest on the RAM, and installed OpenIndiana (build 148) on the 40GB drive. Only quirk so far is that to boot the LiveCD, I had to disable legacy USB in the BIOS. Not quite sure why that was needed, and only after some googling did I find that to be the solution. Before that, the install would hang before even fully booting up. I think that I should be able to plug in the OS drive to the controller on the motherboard and be able to continue where I left off. If not, it's pretty quick to re-install. I'm not yet sure how I want to arrange my drives, as the whole 512k/4K presents some issues with how data is striped across the array. According to this post, a 6 drive RAIDZ2 is preferable to a 6 drive RAIDZ1. I would rather lose a single drive in the array to parity data, but a RAIDZ2 would be better for uptime and give me a breather if a drive crashes. Next Steps Once I get in the case and controller, I'll post pictures of the build and a log of how I go about configuring the system!