"New" Server Build, need pointers/reassurances my migration plan is sound


New Member
Jun 3, 2020
Hey all. So I've been slumming if for a nearly 5 years with some hand-me-down consumer hardware on my 6-drive FreeNAS server (i5-3450, Asus consumer board, 16gb non-ecc ram) and I've decided now is the time to upgrade. I've had no appreciable issues with my setup, for the most part its been solid aside from my own self-caused mishaps (having SMB and AFP enabled on the same share munched my permissions once before I learned better, as well as some shenanigans with Plex server upgrades gone awry).

So I went back and forth and around in circles for a while with what the upgade path would be. Do I go old school intel Xeon E3? Do I go new Ryzen with ECC? Do I do something a bit different? Or do I just upgrade the CPU in my existing setup with the fastest compatible i7, get a bit faster encoding speeds, and just let the setup continue to truck along. Well I finally pulled the trigger and I like to think my new setup is a relative beast. I went with a Supermicro X10DRL-iT, 2x E5 2620v3 CPUs and 4x8GB DDR4-2133 ECC RDIMMs. Based on my calculations this should outpace a Ryzen 3600 which was what I was heavily considering as the alternative. And ECC support is verified and solid, unlike the Asrock support in their consumer boards which is "working" but not supported. And down the line if I need more grunt, I can spend ~$200 on some E5-2670v3s and nearly double my core count and thus double my HandBrake encoding speeds (and more concurrent Plex transcodes) which is awesome. The whole setup is kinda overkill, but it should last me quite a while and given some recent minor issues with my old setup, it has hit home that I entrust some fairly old hardware to keep my NAS running thats sorta out of its depth.

So on to my question. My current board is a z97 board with 6 sata ports. My new board also has 6 sata ports. Is it as simple as unplugging the drives and plugging them back in to the new board? Will FreeNAS detect which drives are which assign them to the correct mirror (I'm running 3 mirrored pairs of drives as a single main pool in ZFS, btw)? I was going to write down serial numbers, number cables and whatnot, maybe even screenshot the Pool Status screen and annotate the serials onto it so I can make sure the pool doesn't get trashed somehow. I've not seen any guides on how to migrate an existing server to a new motherboard so I'm a bit in the dark here and want to avoid making any fatal mistakes.

Are there any precautions I can take like backing up my boot drive (its a Sandisk Cruzer Fit) or backing up my configuration? I'm assuming this is a fairly common thing, people upgrading server hardware but retaining the software config and hard drive topography. I just want to make sure I'm adequately prepared and cover my bases as best I can before I replace the server's guts.
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