Separating data, system and applications

  • Code
    Good Morning. I will set up a file server in the next few days and I would like to ask a question. My setup will have an Intel platform, the OMV 6 installed on a SATA SSD and will have between 6 and 7 SATA mechanical disks. I will not use any type of RAID as I want to use all available space for media, which will only be on the server temporarily. I plan to use MergerFS and SnapRaid to be able to maximize space without having to worry about managing it, and to have some level of redundancy in case a disk fails before it's emptied. I also intend to use some Docker containers, like Emby, Sonarr, Jackett, etc, and some native Debian applications, all media oriented. My question: would it be possible to leave the mechanical disks just for media files and the like and put everything else (system, containers, settings, etc) on the SSD. In every system I use, I like to separate the System, Applications and Settings from the Data itself, I think it's a practice that makes it much easier in case of migration or maintenance. I would like to know if I can do this in OMV and, if the answer is "yes", how to do it.
  • Instead of the OS on the SSD, use a HIGH QUALITY USB stick for the OS.

    16Gb will be more than enough.


    Buy 2 or 3 and make timely clones every once in a while and rotate the USB sticks. The flash plugin will make it last for a long time and you'll save the SATA port to another disk.

    Install Debian 11 netinstall non-free (will have more firmware for hardware) with only SSH Server and base components.

    Run the install script for OMV and check that the omvextras and the flash memory is working.

    Power down and plug the SSD, HDD, etc to OMV

    Mount or create the filesystems as you like.

    Check the mount point of the SSD and use it as the docker root && where the configs will live.

    Use the HDD drives mount points for the volumes for DATA of the docker's containers you run.


  • I did something similar for a different reason; power saving so that the mechanical disks can spin down when not in use.

    Docker containers are on the system drive, that is not a problem. For the config, it's just making sure you make a reference to the correct drives. For example for Jellyfin, my volumes are defined like this:

          - /srv/dev-disk-by-uuid-6eb33da5-20d2-41cb-82a4-b603fa67b038/docker/jellyfin:/config
          - /srv/dev-disk-by-uuid-6c792fb1-bd8c-493b-9d3b-6a1870d4b7f2/video/tvshows:/data/tvshows
          - /srv/dev-disk-by-uuid-6c792fb1-bd8c-493b-9d3b-6a1870d4b7f2/video/movies:/data/movies

    As you can see, the id's of the drives are different, the config is on my SSD, the data is on my HDD.

    I also wanted a shared folder on my SSD. For this you need the openmediavault-sharerootfs plugin. This allows creating shared folders on the system drive. If you don't need this, don't install it ;)

    But finally I ended up partitioning the drive by booting GParted Live from an USB stick. I made the system partion much smaller, I believe 32 GB, and made a 2nd partition on the SSD of the remaining space. That keeps my system, config and data really seperated. I also use that partition to store my virtual machine for example. An advantage is that I now have included that partition in SnapRAID. Also if I accidentally fill up that partition, it has no influene on the system partition. Containers are still on the system drive, for that I make a weekly backup of the system to the HDD.

  • That's exactly what I wanted to know. Thanks.

    I just wanted one more piece of information. You said you use virtual machines, right? Why do you use virtual machines?

    What is the hardware of your setup? Do you use OMV directly or via virtual machine?

    ps: my setup is a Celeron J4105 with 8GB of RAM.

  • I use OMV directly.

    The KVM plugin in OVM was used to create a virtual machine for the Home Assistant Operating System (linux based)

    Also a couple of docker containers.

    Althoug I still want to finetune a lot of things. :)

    The hardware is simple but mainly selected for low power consumption:

    cpu: Intel Core i3-8100

    mainboard: Kontron D3674-B (used to be Fujitsu)

    memory: 1 x sodimm 8GB Crucial CT8G4SFS824A

    ssd: Samsung 980 500GB

    storage: 2 x Seagate IronWolf 3TB (1 disk for snapraid)

    Power consumption is below 5W when the system is idle and the disks aren't spinning.

Participate now!

Don’t have an account yet? Register yourself now and be a part of our community!