There’s an issue with ReFS compared to ZFS

This is an account of my trying ReFS.

So… what happened? Yes, you got that right – I borked my fileserver. Well, actually, my fileserver has been an experiment since my old „RAID in the disk box“ died on me unrecoverably. There wasn’t much data and it was all duplicated from elsewhere. Since I was having some issues (performance and quality) with OmniOS and CIFS, I decided to bite the bullet and test Windows Server and ReFS.

It’s a good thing I did. See, ReFS really isn’t a bad thing. But the Windows device handlers are so shoddy that ReFS never stood a chance. My setup is: DL380G8 with:
* 2 disk mirrored on the HP controller for the OS
* 6 disks in RAID5 for a single array of 4TB
* DELL Dual-Channel SAS HBA to connect the JBOD
* HP 6G SATA JBOD (12 3.5″ drives)
and it is good. With OmniOS and ZFS it has been a dream – except sharing with Windows was a hurdle. So…

With Windows 2022 (yes, legit license!) I set it up as a file server. Both arrays ( 4T from 6 2.5″ disks on a HP controller and 24T on the 12-disk JBOD) went up fine. The HP controlled array never had any issues, but ReFS data retention kind of is defied by the HP RAID – ZFS is good exactly because it knows where the data is and where to move it to. But ReFS has no knowledge of this with the HP array. But I still didn’t experience any issues with it, which is good.

But the JBOD was a different story. One drive had hiccoughs. No bad issues, just a sector it didn’t like. And that was enough to endanger all the array. And when the disk was replaced, we saw the data go up in flames. Like… *POOF* Your array is GONE. Sucker!

Understandably, I didn’t like that, so now I’m evaluating two routes.
a) Don’t do CIFS, only NFS with OmniOS and use a second machine as NFS to CIFS bouncer, or
b) Get an HP P800 series controller for the DL380G8 so that I can still run Windows there.

I’m kind of certain that family members and others that need to access the data eventually stored there see the most benefit in going route „b“, so these days eBay and „Alli frændi“ ( cousin Ali[Express]) are being scoured.

If you want further information about my experience on the matter, feel free to contact me.