Discussion:
zfs comparison
(too old to reply)
Agile Aspect
2008-01-17 02:20:42 UTC
Permalink
Hi - I'm new to ZFS but not to Solaris.

Is there a search able interface to the zfs-discuss mail archives?

We have a Windows 2003 Cluster with 200 TB SAN running under
Active Directory with file system compression.

Half the population is running Linux and the other half is running
Windows XP.

I'm interested in replacing the Window 2003 Cluster and filesystem
compression with Solaris 10 and ZFS compression.

Pardon my ignorance, but is ZFS with compression safe to use in a
production environment?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

-- Ken

--

"We are drowning in information and starving for knowledge."


- Rutherford D. Roger
Darren J Moffat
2008-01-17 10:13:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Agile Aspect
Hi - I'm new to ZFS but not to Solaris.
Is there a search able interface to the zfs-discuss mail archives?
Use google against the mailman archives:

http://mail.opensolaris.org/pipermail/zfs-discuss/
Post by Agile Aspect
Pardon my ignorance, but is ZFS with compression safe to use in a
production environment?
Yes, why wouldn't it be ? If it wasn't safe it wouldn't have been
delivered.

What kind of "unsafe" behaviour are you worried about ? It is possible
that other ZFS features mitigate issues you may be worried about or have
experienced elsewhere.
--
Darren J Moffat
Sengor
2008-01-18 12:23:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Darren J Moffat
Post by Agile Aspect
Pardon my ignorance, but is ZFS with compression safe to use in a
production environment?
Yes, why wouldn't it be ? If it wasn't safe it wouldn't have been
delivered.
Few reasons - http://prefetch.net/blog/index.php/2007/11/28/is-zfs-ready-for-primetime/
--
_________________________________/ sengork.blogspot.com /¯¯¯¯
Darren J Moffat
2008-01-18 12:35:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sengor
Post by Darren J Moffat
Post by Agile Aspect
Pardon my ignorance, but is ZFS with compression safe to use in a
production environment?
Yes, why wouldn't it be ? If it wasn't safe it wouldn't have been
delivered.
Few reasons - http://prefetch.net/blog/index.php/2007/11/28/is-zfs-ready-for-primetime/
The article (not the comments) is complete free of content and is scare
mongering. It doesn't even say wither this is ZFS on Solaris (vs BSD or
MacOS X) never mind what release or the configuration of the pool or
even what the actual "bug" apparently. Was the pool redundant if there
were bugs what are the bug numbers and are they fixed.

Simply FUD.
--
Darren J Moffat
Sengor
2008-01-18 12:50:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Darren J Moffat
Simply FUD.
I don't see many enterprises adopting ZFS even though it's been
officially out for a while now. Looking over the mailing list and
numbers of ZFS patches, it's enough to scare lots of people away.

Don't get me wrong, I believe ZFS is a great product to have come out
of Sun's software group, however I don't think it's matured enough to
be relied upon with mission crititcal systems. ZFS is changing too
fast to be considered stable in my opinion...

I still see VxSF (for those who can afford it) being the defacto choice.
--
_________________________________/ sengork.blogspot.com /¯¯¯¯
Paul Kraus
2008-01-18 13:53:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sengor
I don't see many enterprises adopting ZFS even though it's been
officially out for a while now. Looking over the mailing list and
numbers of ZFS patches, it's enough to scare lots of people away.
I suspect that the amount of changes / discussion is no less
for ZFS than for any new filesystem, just that due to the open source
nature of it the discussions are in public view. The fact that the
issues *are* being discussed is a huge advantage in my mind. At least
we *know* that the issue are being recognized. I don't know how many
times I have filed bug reports on various aspects of an OS and never
get a good response that the issue has been recognized as such.
Post by Sengor
Don't get me wrong, I believe ZFS is a great product to have come out
of Sun's software group, however I don't think it's matured enough to
be relied upon with mission crititcal systems. ZFS is changing too
fast to be considered stable in my opinion...
I expect that UFS was not changing much because it had spent
so many years changing already ;-) Seriously, I was seeing serious
changes in SLVM/UFS up until about a year or two ago. I even ran into
one of the issues created by fixing another issue with SLVM about a
year ago. We are using ZFS in a couple 'production' roles, only one of
which is critical, and we picked ZFS because no other FS we tested
scaled the way we needed it to.
Post by Sengor
I still see VxSF (for those who can afford it) being the defacto choice.
VxFS did not have the performance we needed without lots of
tuning, while ZFS did fine right out of the box. We had moved away
from VxVM/VxFS years ago due to SLVM maturing and giving us the
features we really needed, SLVM was easier to manage, and OS upgrades
are *much* simpler with SLVM than with VxVM/VxFS. There was no real
justification for the cost and more difficult management of VxVM/VxFS.

For some background, I have been using both VxVM/VxFS and
DiskSuite / SLVM since about 1996.
--
{--------1---------2---------3---------4---------5---------6---------7---------}
Paul Kraus
-> Sound Designer, Noel Coward's Hay Fever
@ Albany Civic Theatre, Feb./Mar. 2008
-> Facilities Coordinator, Albacon 2008
Richard Elling
2008-01-18 16:07:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Kraus
Post by Sengor
Don't get me wrong, I believe ZFS is a great product to have come out
of Sun's software group, however I don't think it's matured enough to
be relied upon with mission crititcal systems. ZFS is changing too
fast to be considered stable in my opinion...
I expect that UFS was not changing much because it had spent
so many years changing already ;-)
In the software life cycle, there is a time where you stop modifying
code because it is so fragile and its interdependencies are so complex
that you can't risk change. This is where UFS is. There are many
bugs and RFEs which will never be implemented in UFS. When
this happens, something else inevitably comes along to replace it,
hopefully with a modern design using modern development methods.
That is where ZFS is. For example, the test suite for ZFS is both
open and comprehensive. We all wish that UFS had something
like it all those years ago...
http://blogs.sun.com/bill/entry/zfs_and_the_all_singing

So there are two ways of looking at unchanging (stable?) code,
either it is truly perfect or it is at its end of life. I have a nice
bottle of champagne for the day I find perfect code :-)
-- richard
Sengor
2008-01-19 02:58:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Kraus
I suspect that the amount of changes / discussion is no less
for ZFS than for any new filesystem, just that due to the open source
nature of it the discussions are in public view. The fact that the
issues *are* being discussed is a huge advantage in my mind. At least
we *know* that the issue are being recognized. I don't know how many
times I have filed bug reports on various aspects of an OS and never
get a good response that the issue has been recognized as such.
I've always argued about Sun and their sheer amount of patches for any
software they seem to release. It's a good/bad situation. On the
bright side they are pro active in creating and releasing patches,
even their IDR process is a good idea and very pro active of them. On
the contrary you could look at it as if their software always ends up
needing more and more patches no matter how many patches you end up
applying, you're almost always out of date and vulnerable to
potentially critical known/unknown issues.

AIX doesn't seem to have lots of patches out there (nowhere as many as
Solaris). One could argue that the software it self does not need to
be patched after it's released. Then again you could argue vendor's
not too proactive in chasing up patches and the userbase doesn't find
many bugs to begin with...

I guess both have to do with company's support strategy (in one way or another).
Post by Paul Kraus
VxFS did not have the performance we needed without lots of
tuning, while ZFS did fine right out of the box. We had moved away
from VxVM/VxFS years ago due to SLVM maturing and giving us the
features we really needed, SLVM was easier to manage, and OS upgrades
are *much* simpler with SLVM than with VxVM/VxFS. There was no real
justification for the cost and more difficult management of VxVM/VxFS.
For some background, I have been using both VxVM/VxFS and
DiskSuite / SLVM since about 1996.
VxSF is not a typo it seems to be. I was referring to Veritas Storage
Foundation, not only VxFS. ZFS isn't only a filesystem hence should
not be compared to only VxFS.

We avoid using VxSF for OS volumes, use SVM for those instead because
as you say it's easier and cleaner to maintain. VxSF overcomplicates
simple environments, however it makes complex environments easier to
manage. I'd not want to manage 100s of multipathed LUNs via SVM on a
clustered system when VxSF is an option.
Post by Paul Kraus
I expect that UFS was not changing much because it had spent
so many years changing already ;-) Seriously, I was seeing serious
changes in SLVM/UFS up until about a year or two ago. I even ran into
one of the issues created by fixing another issue with SLVM about a
year ago. We are using ZFS in a couple 'production' roles, only one of
which is critical, and we picked ZFS because no other FS we tested
scaled the way we needed it to.
Again ZFS and VxSF all fit differing purposes. I see ZFS trying to
compete with VxSF, but not the other way around (at least not in
techincal aspects).
--
_________________________________/ sengork.blogspot.com /¯¯¯¯
Darren J Moffat
2008-01-18 13:54:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sengor
Post by Darren J Moffat
Simply FUD.
I don't see many enterprises adopting ZFS even though it's been
officially out for a while now.
On what do you base that statement ?

How do you "see" what enterprises are adopting ?

State your sources please.
--
Darren J Moffat
Sengor
2008-01-19 02:33:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Darren J Moffat
On what do you base that statement ?
How do you "see" what enterprises are adopting ?
State your sources please.
Out of the many I work on only one's been keen on adopting it any time
soon, another one's planning to look into it but doesn't see many
benefits in it over VxSF (storage foundation). Main struggle for
companies is migrating to ZFS from other solutions out there, and
still keeping the functionality/processes/standards they need on
regular basis (eg. data migrations, BCVs and backup strategies, remote
replication, DR, and general uptime of their applications).

People should not only see the enterprises which have adopted ZFS,
there's plenty of them which haven't done so for various good/bad
reasons. Partially due to their scale and complexity/worthiness of
deploying something new cross company wide, which might not be
necessarely a ZFS specific obstacle.
--
_________________________________/ sengork.blogspot.com /¯¯¯¯
Fred Zlotnick
2008-01-18 14:24:07 UTC
Permalink
Many enterprise customers have told us that they are waiting for
two features, not yet available in ZFS, before they will adopt
it widely in their datacenter environments:

- The ability to boot off of a ZFS partition. I don't actually
understand this one, since you can't boot Solaris from a VxFS
file system either, but I've heard it many times. The work
to enable this is in progress.

- The ability to permanently shrink the size of a zpool by
removing a lun after migrating all the data off of it. This
makes sense to me. The work to enable this is in progress.

But, of course, many other enterprise customers _have_ adopted
ZFS, and are quite happy with it. For a list of ZFS reference
customers please contact Solaris Marketing. ZFS is used in many
mission critical roles today, and by and large our customers
are thrilled with it.

-- Fred
Post by Sengor
Post by Darren J Moffat
Simply FUD.
I don't see many enterprises adopting ZFS even though it's been
officially out for a while now. Looking over the mailing list and
numbers of ZFS patches, it's enough to scare lots of people away.
Don't get me wrong, I believe ZFS is a great product to have come out
of Sun's software group, however I don't think it's matured enough to
be relied upon with mission crititcal systems. ZFS is changing too
fast to be considered stable in my opinion...
I still see VxSF (for those who can afford it) being the defacto choice.
--
Fred Zlotnick
Senior Director, Solaris NAS
Sun Microsystems, Inc.
***@sun.com
x85006/+1 650 786 5006
Sengor
2008-01-19 03:00:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Fred Zlotnick
But, of course, many other enterprise customers _have_ adopted
ZFS, and are quite happy with it. For a list of ZFS reference
customers please contact Solaris Marketing. ZFS is used in many
mission critical roles today, and by and large our customers
are thrilled with it.
I'd wonder what the real word proportions are. I suspect marketing'd
mainly know of the ones who did adopt it.
--
_________________________________/ sengork.blogspot.com /¯¯¯¯
Richard Elling
2008-01-19 19:15:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sengor
Post by Fred Zlotnick
But, of course, many other enterprise customers _have_ adopted
ZFS, and are quite happy with it. For a list of ZFS reference
customers please contact Solaris Marketing. ZFS is used in many
mission critical roles today, and by and large our customers
are thrilled with it.
I'd wonder what the real word proportions are. I suspect marketing'd
mainly know of the ones who did adopt it.
Enterprise customers tend to be late adopters. Indeed, there is
still a healthy number of new deployments of Solaris 8 today,
4 years after the last Solaris 8 update. Obviously these people
do not deploy ZFS. Yes, we have a sense of this, at least for
people who purchase support from Sun, but in this open world,
it becomes harder to determine the installed base.

OTOH, 100% of the people who are experimenting with project
Indiana use ZFS.
-- richard
Matty
2008-01-19 20:20:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Darren J Moffat
Post by Sengor
Post by Darren J Moffat
Post by Agile Aspect
Pardon my ignorance, but is ZFS with compression safe to use in a
production environment?
Yes, why wouldn't it be ? If it wasn't safe it wouldn't have been
delivered.
Few reasons - http://prefetch.net/blog/index.php/2007/11/28/is-zfs-ready-for-primetime/
The article (not the comments) is complete free of content and is scare
mongering. It doesn't even say wither this is ZFS on Solaris (vs BSD or
MacOS X) never mind what release or the configuration of the pool or
even what the actual "bug" apparently. Was the pool redundant if there
were bugs what are the bug numbers and are they fixed.
I don't think this is scare mongering at all. I wrote the blog entry
after a ZFS bug (6454482) corrupted a pool on one of our production
servers, and a yet unidentified bug (which appears to be different
than 6454482) corrupted a pool on another system. ZFS is an incredible
file system, but based on the fact that we lost data twice, I am
somewhat hesitant to continue to using it.

Just my .02,
- Ryan
--
UNIX Administrator
http://prefetch.net
Darren J Moffat
2008-01-21 09:47:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matty
Post by Darren J Moffat
Post by Sengor
Post by Darren J Moffat
Post by Agile Aspect
Pardon my ignorance, but is ZFS with compression safe to use in a
production environment?
Yes, why wouldn't it be ? If it wasn't safe it wouldn't have been
delivered.
Few reasons - http://prefetch.net/blog/index.php/2007/11/28/is-zfs-ready-for-primetime/
The article (not the comments) is complete free of content and is scare
mongering. It doesn't even say wither this is ZFS on Solaris (vs BSD or
MacOS X) never mind what release or the configuration of the pool or
even what the actual "bug" apparently. Was the pool redundant if there
were bugs what are the bug numbers and are they fixed.
I don't think this is scare mongering at all. I wrote the blog entry
after a ZFS bug (6454482) corrupted a pool on one of our production
servers, and a yet unidentified bug (which appears to be different
than 6454482) corrupted a pool on another system. ZFS is an incredible
file system, but based on the fact that we lost data twice, I am
somewhat hesitant to continue to using it.
I have no issue at all with people blogging bugs and comments. What I
had (and have) an issue with is when no details are given that is when
it is scare mongering and FUD.

Provide at least a little detail, eg what release you are running on and
at least a symptom of the problem (eg zpool status said everything was
faulted), ideally as much of the storage config as you can -
particularly the pool config (mirror vs raidz vs single disk).
--
Darren J Moffat
eric kustarz
2008-01-18 17:47:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sengor
Post by Darren J Moffat
Post by Agile Aspect
Pardon my ignorance, but is ZFS with compression safe to use in a
production environment?
Yes, why wouldn't it be ? If it wasn't safe it wouldn't have been
delivered.
Few reasons - http://prefetch.net/blog/index.php/2007/11/28/is-zfs-
ready-for-primetime/
The only details we have from that blog entry are bugs: 6454482 and
6458218.

6454482 was a bug found in prototype code and is closed as non
reproducible.

6458218 has been fixed in snv_60 (over 10 months ago).

10 months ago seems like a long time to me, but i don't control
admin's upgrade schedules.

Matty, if you really did see an instance of 6454482, please let us know.

eric
Post by Sengor
--
_________________________________/ sengork.blogspot.com /¯¯¯¯
_______________________________________________
zfs-discuss mailing list
http://mail.opensolaris.org/mailman/listinfo/zfs-discuss
Robert Milkowski
2008-01-17 09:44:42 UTC
Permalink
Hello Agile,

Comments in-between


Thursday, January 17, 2008, 2:20:42 AM, you wrote:

AA> Hi - I'm new to ZFS but not to Solaris.

AA> Is there a search able interface to the zfs-discuss mail archives?


http://opensolaris.org/os/discussions/
and look for zfs-discuss list.

AA> We have a Windows 2003 Cluster with 200 TB SAN running under
AA> Active Directory with file system compression.

AA> Half the population is running Linux and the other half is running
AA> Windows XP.

AA> I'm interested in replacing the Window 2003 Cluster and filesystem
AA> compression with Solaris 10 and ZFS compression.

AA> Pardon my ignorance, but is ZFS with compression safe to use in a
AA> production environment?

Yes, it is.

Keep in mind that if you go for Solaris 10 the only compression
supported right now is lzjb. Open Solaris additionally suppports gzip.
--
Best regards,
Robert Milkowski mailto:***@task.gda.pl
http://milek.blogspot.com
Anton B. Rang
2008-01-18 04:35:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Agile Aspect
Pardon my ignorance, but is ZFS with compression safe to use in a
production environment?
I'd say, as safe as ZFS in general. ZFS has been well-tested by Sun, but it's not as mature as UFS, say. There is not yet a fsck equivalent for ZFS, so if a bug results in damage to your ZFS data pool, you'll need to restore the whole pool from backups. This may or may not be an issue depending on the amount of downtime you can tolerate (and the size of your pool).

Adding compression to the mix doesn't really increase risk, IMO.

As always, test yourself, in your environment before deploying. :-)

Anton


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