ZFS status now in June? / stable enough for a file server?

Oliver Fromme olli at lurza.secnetix.de
Wed Jun 20 12:00:21 UTC 2007

Olivier Mueller wrote:
 > I have to setup a file storage server (non-critcal, just as secondary
 > backup server) and I am wondering if would be a realistic idea to start
 > using ZFS. I spent some time browsing the lists and newsgroups, and the
 > status wiki page looks "good": http://wiki.freebsd.org/ZFS . 
 > The http://www.freebsd.org/releng/index.html page also states:
 > June 2007       Start FreeBSD 7.0 Release Process, so this may also be
 > a positive point about overall stability? :)

As far as I know, 7-current is now in code freeze (though
I haven't seen a "heads up" on this list yes).  That means
that it is now becoming progressively stable.  Personally
I think that it was quite stable even before it entered
the freeze.

 > It would be to store lots of data, and the FS-compression feature of ZFS
 > would be quite interesting for this server.  Of course I'd be glad to
 > help debugging any issues I may see. 
 > So if you are already using ZFS in "pre-production", I would be glad for
 > a short "go/no go" feedback, thanks :-)

My two cents:  It works very well in general.  I haven't
seen any reports recently from people who actually lost
any data due to ZFS problems.  (Certainly someone will
correct me if I'm wrong.)

However, there are a few things that you should be aware
of.  First:  The more RAM, the better.  Second, ZFS works
much better on amd64 than on i386.  That's because of the
larger address space and related vm management.  If you
run ZFS on i386, you will need to spend some time on
tuning it (maxvnodes sysctl etc., see the list archives),
otherwise you might run into panics.  On amd64, ZFS seems
to run fine out of the box without tuning.

Bottom line:  If you intend to set up ZFS with 7-current
on an amd64 machine with a decent amount of RAM -- by all
means, go ahead.

Best regards

Oliver Fromme, secnetix GmbH & Co. KG, Marktplatz 29, 85567 Grafing b. M.
Handelsregister: Registergericht Muenchen, HRA 74606,  Geschäftsfuehrung:
secnetix Verwaltungsgesellsch. mbH, Handelsregister: Registergericht Mün-
chen, HRB 125758,  Geschäftsführer: Maik Bachmann, Olaf Erb, Ralf Gebhart

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