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Data Storage Open Source

OpenZFS Project Launches, Uniting ZFS Developers 297

Damek writes "The OpenZFS project launched today, the truly open source successor to the ZFS project. ZFS is an advanced filesystem in active development for over a decade. Recent development has continued in the open, and OpenZFS is the new formal name for this community of developers, users, and companies improving, using, and building on ZFS. Founded by members of the Linux, FreeBSD, Mac OS X, and illumos communities, including Matt Ahrens, one of the two original authors of ZFS, the OpenZFS community brings together over a hundred software developers from these platforms."
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OpenZFS Project Launches, Uniting ZFS Developers

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  • I'm addicted (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MightyYar ( 622222 ) on Tuesday September 17, 2013 @08:09PM (#44879395)

    I love ZFS, if one can love a file system. Even for home use. It requires a little bit nicer hardware than a typical NAS, but the data integrity is worth it. I'm old enough to have been burned by random disk corruption, flaky disk controllers, and bad cables.

  • by Vesvvi ( 1501135 ) on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @01:30AM (#44881069)

    This is correct.

    It is statistically assured that you will lose some data with anything less than obscene redundancy. I've run the numbers and we've settled on what's acceptable to us: we have offline backups far more frequently than 2 times/year for everything, so dropping about 2 files/year that are completely unrecoverable without backups isn't a big deal.

    These systems are running a moderate number of very large static files, mixed with a very large number of very small files. The small files are SQLite-style records, and we churn through them very rapidly. I don't know exactly why, but it is always these small files that we lose: there is clearly a bias towards things that are written frequently. The analyst in me is quick to point out that implies failures in ZFS itself, beyond just the disks and "bit rot", but the accelerated failure isn't enough to worry about. So our non-failure rate is easily 6-nines or better per year on the live storage system, but it's still a bit uncomfortable to know that some data is going to be gone, despite that.

    With a minimal amount of effort you can get hardware and software which is not longer the biggest threat to your data. I am personally the most likely source of a catastrophic failure: operator error is more likely than an obscure hardware failure. ZFS has allowed me to reduce that operator error (snapshots, piping filesystems, nested datasets with inheritance), and simultaneously it's outperforming other options on both speeds and security. Overall, I'm extremely pleased.

  • Re: Data integrity (Score:5, Interesting)

    by greg1104 ( 461138 ) <> on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @01:40AM (#44881099) Homepage

    ECC RAM is an important part here, due to how scrubbing works in ZFS. The background disk scrubbing can check every block on the filesystem to see if it still matches its checksum, and it tries to repair issues found too. But if your memory is prone to flipping a bit, that can result in scrubbing actually destroying data that was perfectly fine until then. The worst case impact could even destroy the whole pool like that. It's a controversial issue; the odds of a massive pool failure and associated doom and gloom are seen as overblown by many people too. There's a quick summary of a community opinion survey at ZFS and ECC RAM [], but sadly the mailing list links are broken and only lead to Oracle's crap now.

Solutions are obvious if one only has the optical power to observe them over the horizon. -- K.A. Arsdall