February 27, 2012

Adventures in ZFS: Configuring iSCSI Targets

The most critical thing about any storage implementation is flexibility.  This means that you need to be able to adapt your solution to changing environmental considerations.  The nice thing about a ZFS-based solution is that all of the building blocks are available.  If you want to use it as a NAS device, you can use CIFS, NFS.  If you want to provision Fibre Channel that […]
February 21, 2012

Adventures in ZFS: Storage Sizing

One of the most complex parts of storage in general and ZFS in particular is correctly assessing the amount and types of storage that you will need to meet your requirements.  You can of course just purchase what you can afford and hope for the best.  But after reading this article you can relatively easily determine approximately how much storage you should plan for based […]
January 18, 2012

Adventures in ZFS: Crucial M4 Firmware SMART Issue

Let me preface this article by stating that this issue is NOT a ZFS issue or a Solaris issue.  Previously I documented a issue in which the Crucial M4 SSD would “hesitate” causing ZFS to see it as faulted.  This was promptly fixed in v0002 of their firmware.  That issue is documented here.  This issue is a bit more aggravating and has not been fully […]
September 6, 2011

Adventures in ZFS: Time Slider is not Expiring Snapshots on Imported Zpools

A few days ago someone contacted me with an interesting issue with regards to the ZFS automatic snapshots, facilitatedby the time slider service. The Situation OpenSolaris machine with zpool exported.  Time slider was working prior to export. Solaris 11 Express fresh install with zpool imported. The Symptoms Basically the core of the issue was that the zpool was from an OpenSolaris machine, in lieu of […]
August 24, 2011

Adventures in ZFS: Configuring Fibre Channel Targets

In our environment ZFS has become a critical component of our Storage Infrastructure.  We have been able to provision Fibre Channel storage from our ZFS file systems which give us the benefit of data integrity, deduplication, performance through use of the ARC, L2ARC, and ZIL as needed.  Additionally the real benefit to ZFS is our storage can run on commodity hardware which reduces the TCO […]
August 22, 2011

Adventures in ZFS: Timestamps Ruined My Rsync

So let me start out by saying…  This isn’t so much of a problem with ZFS, as it is just a problem with the tools available in Solaris (not to mention whatever device actually screwed up the timestamp in the first place).  But so here is the story.  We have found that migrating our lower level file servers to Solaris on top of deduped or […]
August 15, 2011

Adventures in ZFS: Faulted Cache Devices

We recently had an issue with Crucial M4 Solid State Disks when using them with ZFS on Solaris 11 Express (snv_151a).  Basically the disks were showing a whole bunch of write errors and had been “FAULTED” by ZFS. Now to make this problem even worse when we tried to zfs clear them it locked up my SSH session, as well as subsequent sessions, it would […]
April 13, 2011

ZFS: Delegate ZFS Permissions

It is widely accepted as best practice to not use your root account in general.  In Solaris they like some Linux distributions have gone so far as to prevent root access to SSH.  Now we could go the route of permitting route logins to SSH however this would not be ideal from a security perspective.  Instead we will be going about it a the “proper […]
April 12, 2011

ZFS: Clone Management

In our previous article “ZFS: Snapshot Management” we learned about the many methods of using snapshots to give you a shorter path to recovery as well as reduce the time needed to revert changes that need to be reversed.  Today we will discuss clones, which are essentially a copy-on-write duplicate of an existing snapshot, which unlike snapshots can be written to, can have snapshots taken […]
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