I am currently Building a Nas to house my ever growing media collection. I have 8 1.5TB WD EARS to start with. I have no idea if i should build a single Vdev of 8 drives in raidZ2 or possibly 2x4 drive Vdevs in raidZ. I am probably 6 months away from adding another 8 drives, at which time the 2tbs will probably be at the price point I want. This is mostly for media storage and serving, from what i understand under a single vdev i get n-2 redundancy, but it wont be as fast as 2 smaller vdevs striped. with the smaller vdevs, i only get single disk redundancy, yet still lose 2 disks to parity data. Or I can just run a 8 disk raidz single vdev. this would maximise my usable space, not the fastest, and has single disk redundancy. Considering this is only media backup/serving, speed isnt really an issue, Im sure I can saturate gigabit network no matter which way I go. another theory I have is I actually have another 1.5tb drive thats full of data, so when the pool is up I could copy the contents to the pool and have a spare drive, Could I then add this to the array as a hot spare? so 8 disk raidz + 1 hot spare. this would minimize risk time in event of drive failure, because if a drive fails at a time when im cash strapped, it maybe 2-3 weeks before getting a replacement drive. Would appreciate any thoughts on the matter.