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ZFS on linux. How stable?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Building out a new central server for my house very soon. Looking at a Xeon, 32gb of ram, 8tb of storage spread over 4 2tb drives with a single ssd for boot & vms. OS will be Ubuntu Server 16.04 most likely as it has the packages I need without any fuss. I have been stressing over filesystems wanting to use something native to linux. Looked at LVM, Btrfs. I avoided looking into zfs as I didn't realize it was available in the main repos. How stable is it and can I rely on it? I currently only have about 700gb of data to keep stored but I'm looking to expand that significantly once I figure out how to rip blu rays as well as continuing to expand my dvd rip collection.

The purposes of this filesystem will be incremental backups over ssh from 3 computers / laptops in the house. Media storage for my Kodi boxes ( which will run from LTSP ). As well as torrents and general file serving, apt-caching and such.
 
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post #2 of 20
Yes you can rely on ZFS, it is tried and true. (And part of the Kernel from what I understand, so you will always be good across kernel updates).

I had a media box running ubuntu 14.04 i386 from LTSP and I wasn't happy with the performance. What hardware does your media box?
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post #3 of 20
It's not part of the kernel due to licensing conflicts. Using two drives is not such a great idea unless you don't want any redundancy. If you do want redundancy than having only two drives will cut your storage utility in half (so you can only use 50% of the total space because the rest is mirrored data) and also when one drive dies, the remaining drive will have the only copy of your data so if that one also fails, maybe while copying the data to a new mirror, then all your data is gone.

If writing to BD is part of your long-term data protection strategy then you could look into getting an M-DISC compatible writer. Normal BDs are estimated to have a fifty year lifespan (compared to the ten years of CDs and DVDs) but M-DISC BDs are supposed to last much, much longer.
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post #4 of 20
MS-DISC Back ups? 0_o Or... you could just write to magnetic tapes that do not rely on hokus-pokus trade secret and actually deliver the 30+year data retention they promises.
New LTOs are el expensivle... but scroll back couple of gens (LTO-4 for example) and suddenly you get tapes that are 1.5 TB compressed for 20 bucks -ish a piece. Tape deck can be found on ebay for "relatively" cheap...

In terms of ZFS stability on linux, I am unsure of how much work they have yet to do and how stable it is under linux these days. = | You're best bet is googling for some failure stories and seeing what if anything is failing. I know generally speaking linux community is still going strong with brtfs development.
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post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
Backup strategy for the server will be a nas on another part of my property i own. My internet connection isn't good enough for an offsite backup at least with any regularity.

I was looking more for personal experiences. I've heard the horror stories of btrfs. however i would prefer something native to linux. is why i wasn't entirely sure about zfs. if zfs isn't a part of the kernel then it's not native enough for me i think. i have some time yet. i'll keep looking into btrfs i guess. virtualize it and play with it.

Quote:
I had a media box running ubuntu 14.04 i386 from LTSP and I wasn't happy with the performance. What hardware does your media box?

My current server is functioning as my media center. Kabini quad core apu @ 2.2ghz i think. 8gb of ram. I've tested it over an ltsp server from my laptop. worked great i thought.
Edited by Tadaen Sylvermane - 7/1/16 at 10:24am
 
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post #6 of 20
I have ZoL running on 5 centos 6 servers. Not a single problem so far. I did found a serious bug however, but it only happens if you have >8GB ram on the server and a high number of mirrored drives.
post #7 of 20
@spyshagg
Is the caching bagged? Oo You are suppose to and encouraged to have as much ram as your server/wallet will allow you to have.
Also don't buy the whole "you must use ECC ram with zfs or else". I read thru that entire chain, and one of the ex-Sun devs who made ZFS explained that concerns were unfound.*

If caching is bugged than this is an argument against running ZoL

@Tadaen Sylvermane
I know its a long shot, but have you, perhaps considered... UNIX? = p I am obviously unsure if the userland you need will be there(since you have not specified what is it you need), but mayhaps its worth a look? Dragonfly & Free BSDs may have everything you are looking for.

Alternatively alternatively why not give SmartOS a chance? Its free, it is UNIX but... It has first class KVM, and essentially allows you to run linux binaries almost on bear metal! Its free forever (as every true UNIX should be! ^^) and all you would need to do is spin up instances of ubuntu server (as many as you need!) inside zones and vuala, you got Linux binaries interacting almost directly with ZFS. ZFS will protect you from any data issues, and KVM will illuminate the hustle of maintenance. Server carped out? Roll it back in time! etc. etc. Oh and zones will make you very resistant to outside forces that would want to steal your stuff ^^ IMO, this might be the best of all worlds as this way you get to use all the stuff you like about linux without dealing with its shortcomings?Oo

Additionally I highly recommend multiple small driver as oppose to big chunks. If you are looking for say 6Tbs, I'd go 4x2Tbs in RAID-Z1. Resilver times can become a nasty pain.
Also make sure your drives are smartd compatible as ZFS doesn't monitor the health of the drive, it watches for data. Smartd keeps an eye on your drive and gives you warnings if things are about to go south. WD drives are smartd compatible, I never checked others but I am sure only a minority is not compliant.
Also, an extra 40gig SSD for 20 bucks does not hurt as a logging device. IMO a great addition to any home ZFS.

*For reference
http://jrs-s.net/2015/02/03/will-zfs-and-non-ecc-ram-kill-your-data/
"Matthew Ahrens, one of the cofounders of ZFS at Sun Microsystems and current ZFS developer at Delphix. In the comments to one of my filesystem articles on Ars Technica, Matthew said “There’s nothing special about ZFS that requires/encourages the use of ECC RAM more so than any other filesystem."
Edited by _Red_Dog_ - 7/1/16 at 11:03am
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post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
Its funny you mention Unix and the BSD's. I just started a new job and they rely on FreeBsd exclusively for all their servers. I was considering running FreeBsd myself both for the reliability, zfs, and the hands on experience I need to get anyway. The only thing that stops me is I was planning on doing an LTSP server for my media centers, and my MythTV backend. The LTSP I can live without but Myth I need. I haven't been able to virtualize it yet to see if it works because I have only tried on my laptop, MythTV is only in the ports and it takes forever to compile the damn thing when limited to a laptop, a virtual machine in a laptop no less.

I even looked into an NFS on root for my media centers but there is no package even in ports for the kodi-pvr-mythtv package so that is a bust.


*EDIT* Truth be told Mythtv is the only reason I was going to go with Ubuntu instead of Debian or CentOS.
Edited by Tadaen Sylvermane - 7/1/16 at 11:16am
 
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post #9 of 20
couldn't you set up a FreeBSD virtual drive on your workstation, allocate enough resources to do the compile job then copy the binary over?
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post #10 of 20
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just have my laptop at home for now. using it at work for the time being while they set me up a proper workstation. i could however set up a kvm vm on my home server and do it there.
 
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