Each storage pool contains one or more virtual devices. A virtual device is an internal representation of the storage pool that describes the layout of physical storage and the storage pool's fault characteristics. As such, a virtual device represents the disk devices or files that are used to create the storage pool. A pool can have any number of virtual devices at the top of the configuration, known as a top-level vdev.
If the top-level virtual device contains two or more physical devices, the configuration provides data redundancy as mirror or RAID-Z virtual devices. These virtual devices consist of disks, disk slices, or files. A spare is a special virtual device that tracks available hot spares for a pool.
The following example shows how to create a pool that consists of two top-level virtual devices, each a mirror of two disks:
# zpool create tank mirror c1d0 c2d0 mirror c3d0 c4d0
The following example shows how to create a pool that consists of one top-level virtual device of four disks:
# zpool create mypool raidz2 c1d0 c2d0 c3d0 c4d0
You can add another top-level virtual device to this pool by using the zpool add command. For example:
# zpool add mypool raidz2 c2d1 c3d1 c4d1 c5d1
Disks, disk slices, or files that are used in nonredundant pools function as top-level virtual devices. Storage pools typically contain multiple top-level virtual devices. ZFS dynamically stripes data among all of the top-level virtual devices in a pool.
Virtual devices and the physical devices that are contained in a ZFS storage pool are displayed with the zpool status command. For example:
# zpool status tank pool: tank state: ONLINE scrub: none requested config: NAME STATE READ WRITE CKSUM tank ONLINE 0 0 0 mirror-0 ONLINE 0 0 0 c0t1d0 ONLINE 0 0 0 c1t1d0 ONLINE 0 0 0 mirror-1 ONLINE 0 0 0 c0t2d0 ONLINE 0 0 0 c1t2d0 ONLINE 0 0 0 mirror-2 ONLINE 0 0 0 c0t3d0 ONLINE 0 0 0 c1t3d0 ONLINE 0 0 0 errors: No known data errors