I am currently setting up a file server and have come to the point of actually setting up the data drives. The system has 4 drives (one OS disk, 3 data disks). The OS disk is formatted as ext4 and won't be added to the ZFS pool (if I Choose to run ZFS).my main concern is data integrity and minimum risk of data loss(drive caching is disabled in bios) . For this ZFS seems to be the perfect candidate, since it has a stable version for Linux (correct?), and supports data duplication, pooling and raidz, where the hard-drives don't have to be the same size.
But here is my problem. The server only has 2GB of RAM and this cannot be upgraded in the near future, and realistically only 1.5 will actually be accessible to ZFS after I install all the other services. A maximum of about 10 clients will use it at any one time (more like 4 on average). Is this too low to be considered safe?
From what I understand ZFS can crash in a low RAM situations and take the pool with it. I heard confliciting opinions whether swap will help in alleviating this problem (I have a 20 GB swap dedicated drive). Has anyone experienced data loss with ZFS with little RAM and what optimizations did you include to prevent that?
Bearing in mind the above would it be possible to still run ZFS, albeit reduce ack size and trim it down a bit or will this be too risky?
System specs: 2GB RAM 20GB swap drive OS, Debian 7, minimal install, with FTP, and XBMC, DNLA, (to give an idea of the RAM requirement). Used for storage server and music media streaming to other devices.