zfs in production?

Barry Pederson bp at barryp.org
Mon Sep 24 14:29:26 PDT 2007

Randy Bush wrote:
> we are thinking of using zfs on a production server, using gmirror for
> booting and then following http://wiki.freebsd.org/ZFSOnRoot for the rest.
> but we would like to hear from folk using zfs in production for any
> length of time, as we do not really have the resources to be pioneers.
> thanks.
> randy

I've setup a few machines now using a CompactFlash device for booting, 
plugged straight into the motherboard with a CF-IDE adapter, and then 
having zfs-on-root with the actual harddisks 100% controlled by ZFS (no 
gmirror or slices otherwise).  One machine is zfs-mirror and the other 
is 8-disk raidz2.  The CF hardware is ony $30 or so, and it's nice not 
to have to deal with two different mirroring systems.

A bonus is that CF devices are so large nowadays, that it's convenient 
just have a complete installation of FreeBSD on it and be able to use it 
as an emergency recovery system just by entering 
"vfs.root.mountfrom=ufs:ad0s1a" at the loader.

I've also found it works to name the disks using glabel and add disks to 
the pool using the glabel names, to eliminate uncertainty as to which 
disk exactly you're offlining or seeing errors from (especially with 
SAS-connected drives where the /dev/da<n> name doesn't correspond with a 
particular physical port).


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