It's been a while coming, I've finally put my rack and home server back together. It's time to trial a few OS's and plan out my storage OS and filesystem for the box. I've essentially ruled out OpenSolaris and FreeBSD for ZFS due to Oracle and a lack of time to learn BSD. Now I'm stuck with whether I should go down the linux mdraid path, or move away from KISS and run a virtual instance of unRAID. I have 8x 1.5TB Samsung 5400rpm 'green' drives and desire 9TB usable space, n-2. I love the unRAID concept of RAID3 style parity disk (via softRAID1) without the striped data - only spin up what's required, data loss restricted to failed hardware, data still readable when degraded or failed. My perception of a lack of flexibility (due to unfamiliarity) with unRAID discourages me from running it as the main server OS is. I would much prefer to run unRAID in a VM so I can choose what software I use to fulfil other roles, either directly on the host or in other VM's. Home server intended usage.... 9TB storage (Media & backup) scheduled Torrent or Newsgroup downloads Media streamer to PS3/Amp/TV, which ever works the best ftp server remote backup via ftp & rsycn to hosted storage and small office VM sandpit to play with things (if I ever find the time) Quiet and lowish power (need to replace the hotswap bay fans) Hardware Tyan Thunder s??97 i3010W motherboard Intel Q6600 8G RAM non-ECC (eventually), some cheap ECC RAM I purchased was not compatible with the useless motherboard Intel on-board nics Highpoint software RAID cards 2x 320G 5400rpm 2.5" RAID1 OS 8x 1.5TB Samsung 5400rpm 'green' hdds I'm going to give the free version of unRAID a bash this weekend to see what it's like, however I'm concerned that running it in a VM is overcomplicating things and will lead to performance issues (depending on virtualisation platform & my skills in setting it up). Can anyone offer advice, opinions or tales of their experience for the above scenario? Are there alternatives to unRAID with similar storage features?