Disenchanted with ZFS; alternatives?

Valentin Bud valentin.bud at gmail.com
Mon Dec 1 22:52:50 PST 2008

On Mon, Dec 1, 2008 at 9:21 PM, Kirk Strauser <kirk at strauser.com> wrote:
> On Monday 01 December 2008 11:49:46 Wojciech Puchar wrote:
>> UFS is excellent. your problem is that you like to have "lots of
>> filesystems". why don't just make one or one per disk?
> For all the usual reasons: faster fsck, ability to set attributes on each
> filesystem (noexec, noatime, ro), a runaway process writing to /tmp won't cause
> problems in /var, etc.
> A big local reason is that Amanda is much easier to configure when you're using
> a bunch of filesystems because it runs tar with --one-file-system set.  If /var
> is separate from / and I want to back them up separately, I just tell Amanda
> to dump / and /var.  If /var is part of / then I have to say "dump / except
> for /var (and /tmp and /usr and ...)".

Why don't you use the ZFS backup tools: snapshots, zfs send | receive (this in
case you have a second box with zfs) or zfs send | [ tar | gzip | bzip
] to compress
the snapshot and do whatever you want with it.
The snapshots backup file system (data sets) and it's ultra fast:
# du -h /home/user
 20G    /home/user
# time zfs snapshot tank/home/user at 021208
zfs snapshot tank/home/user at 021208  0.00s user 0.00s system 0% cpu 0.855 total

Now the compression will take a little more but you get the idea.

a great day,

>> i have one per disk/mirror configuration everywhere except one place where
>> i made separate filesystem for /var/spool/squid for some reasons.
> Oh, there are definitely advantages to that setup.  It just complicates certain
> admin functions (see above).  With something like ZFS that makes creating new
> filesystems trivially easy, they're nice to use.
>> tell me what's your needs and how many/what disks you have.
> Right now I have a 750GB (with another on order) and a 320GB.  The box is a
> multi-purpose home server with mail, several websites, and a bunch of local
> file streaming (from MP3 and ripped DVDs to Apple's Time Machine storage).
>> UFS is best-performer on real load, runs on almost no RAM, but uses more
>> if available for caching.
> That's my main beef with ZFS at the moment.  I don't mind if it uses a lot of
> RAM - that's what I bought it for! - but that it doesn't seem to use it
> effectively (at least on my workload).
> - Kirk
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