ZFS Nuts and Bolts

Today I gave a technical presentation at the $DAYJOB about ZFS. ZFS rocks my world. As a sysadmin, I use it literally every day, and have been since it debuted in Solaris 10 more than 2 years ago. It makes data storage simple yet powerful. I wanted to share what I’ve learned, and why I think ZFS is so cool.


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OmniTI Labs

At the $DAYJOB we use a lot of open source code, as do the vast majority of our clients. While not always the best solution, it often permits us to build excellent solutions at a low cost. This week, we launched OmniTI Labs as a place to collect various bits of code developed in the course of our business and share them with the community. We have some phenomenally talented people on staff, so expect good things.

I’m proud to have had a small part to play in one Labs project to this point, Zetaback. Zetaback is a backup utility for ZFS. It’s the brainchild of Theo Schlossnagle. It’s still in alpha, but we’re running it internally with good results.

OmniTI Labs will be a great place to find lots of other useful tools that may be just what you’re looking for to solve your problem.

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Economical Shared Home Directories with Solaris and ZFS

At the $DAYJOB, we have a cluster of build systems that we use to test source trees on various platforms, including FreeBSD, Linux and Solaris. Some of these machines are fairly old, and have relatively puny hard drives by current standards, yet they continue to do their job just fine. We’ve simply begun to run low on local storage, as the source trees grow and developers need to work with multiple branch and tag checkouts.

Rather than try to boost local storage with extra drives (not a surefire solution everywhere), we focused our attention on a shared storage solution. The idea was to reuse some decommissioned hardware and create enough storage for every build system to be able to mount its home directories and give developers the space they need to do their work.[Read More…]

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