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Solaris/OpenSolaris for ZFS and such

 
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nextchef



Joined: 17 Aug 2006
Posts: 1006
Location: Missouri, USA

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 3:40 pm    Post subject: Solaris/OpenSolaris for ZFS and such Reply with quote

Just thought I would throw this out to see what kind of thoughts others have about it.

I am looking to replace my old linux based NAS system with something new. It is way out of space so I have been supplementing it with external usb drives, but this leaves some of my data outside the protection of mirroring or the main raid setup. I have been looking for a replacement and have been seriously considering ZFS due to its combination of LVM and RAID type features with the ability to easily expand the storage pool. I would normally use bsd/linux for something like this, but the FUSE based ZFS implementation does not yet look robust enough yet for my liking. This leads me to look at a Solaris/OpenSolaris type of setup to get ZFS. I have not had any real experience with Solaris since 2.6, so this would also give me the opportunity to check out the progress and changes that have happened since then. What are the practical differences between OpenSolaris and Solaris10 (x86) for this solution? Would one be better suited than the other, and remember that this will be a "NAS" type device so will not need normal user/desktop type applications.

So any thoughts from the Sun/Solaris users in here, and as usual any help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Chef
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kb7sqi



Joined: 24 Sep 2007
Posts: 488
Location: Winston Salem, NC

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey nextchef,
ZFS has came along way since the 03/05 release of Solaris 10. We have several local customers that have done away completely w/ Veritas, etc. and are completing using ZFS for their main file systems. Sure they keep their root partitions running UFS atleast till you can boot Solaris 10 off of zfs. Wink If you're looking at setting up an x86 box for a NAS system, I do recommend you alteast go w/ the 08/7 release of Solaris or give OpenSolaris a shot. I'm typing this off my laptop running OpenSolaris Beta 77. It's rock solid & everything just works. I even have my AT&T 3G AirCard working. So I have net access where ever I go. I've hardly rebooted into Mac OSX since I've loaded it. Especially since I got QEMU compiled & running OPENSTEP w/ everything working. Cool In case you're curious, my laptop is a Dell. I'm quad booting WinSux, MacOSX 10.4.11, Solairs 10 08/07 & OpenSolaris. Very Happy Plus I have several virtual systems setup under Parallels, VMWare, & QEMU under MacOSX.
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nextchef



Joined: 17 Aug 2006
Posts: 1006
Location: Missouri, USA

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kb7sqi wrote:
Hey nextchef,
ZFS has came along way since the 03/05 release of Solaris 10. We have several local customers that have done away completely w/ Veritas, etc. and are completing using ZFS for their main file systems. Sure they keep their root partitions running UFS atleast till you can boot Solaris 10 off of zfs. Wink If you're looking at setting up an x86 box for a NAS system, I do recommend you alteast go w/ the 08/7 release of Solaris or give OpenSolaris a shot.


Thanks for the info, as I knew someone in here would have some thoughts since a few are active sun users and/or support customers who do. Doing some more research over the weekend, the "bleeding edge" nature of OpenSolaris worries me a bit so I think I will try the 08/07 release of 10. Once I get this setup, I do not want to have to be fiddling with it too much besides applying security/bug updates, so the stable nature of Solaris is a plus.

kb7sqi wrote:
I'm typing this off my laptop running OpenSolaris Beta 77. It's rock solid & everything just works. I even have my AT&T 3G AirCard working. So I have net access where ever I go. I've hardly rebooted into Mac OSX since I've loaded it. Especially since I got QEMU compiled & running OPENSTEP w/ everything working. Cool


Sounds very interesting, especially the VM's using QEMU. So you have QEMU running under OpenSolaris and are loading OPENSTEP as a VM? May have to throw another drive in one of my systems and give it a spin.

kb7sqi wrote:
In case you're curious, my laptop is a Dell. I'm quad booting WinSux, MacOSX 10.4.11, Solairs 10 08/07 & OpenSolaris. Very Happy Plus I have several virtual systems setup under Parallels, VMWare, & QEMU under MacOSX.


A little "Hackintosh" mixed in for good measure I see Wink

Looks like I need to grab the latest version of Solaris, check the system compatibility guide, and give it a spin. Any good places to start concerning ZFS setup and configuration would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again for the info,

Chef
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kb7sqi



Joined: 24 Sep 2007
Posts: 488
Location: Winston Salem, NC

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can understand why you'd want to stick w/ a stable release like 08/07, but I would still check out OpenSolaris. You can always setup your system in the initial setup so you can use LiveUpgrade to upgrade to newer releases which come out every two weeks btw. Very Happy OpenSolaris also has alot more features in it. If you like Linux, I think you'll want to try OpenSolaris. But, I'm not knocking 08/07. It is a great relelase of Solaris 10 and I run it on several systems.

As far as QEMU goes, I do have the 0.90 release running very smooth under OpenSolaris. I had no problems taking my Parallels OPENSTEP image & converting it to QEMU. Then I just booted it up using the config=Default & changed the drivers to reflect QEMU. But I didn't use the patch for the video. I used the stock Cirrus_Logic driver that comes w/ OPENSTEP & it works fine. If you're curious & for others as well, I posted a few screenshots of OPENSTEP running under Solaris here:

http://kb7sqi.dyndns.org/files/screenshots/Solaris_QEMU/

I'd head over to the http://www.opensolaris.org/ site & check out the docs. They have alot of great documentation on OpenSolaris, running QEMU, ZFS, etc. Most of it applies to OpenSolaris and Solaris 10 as well. In fact alot of the drivers you'll want for thing like WIFI come from the OpenSolaris site.

I've been running Solaris for along time. Besides OPENSTEP, it's my second prefered operating system along w/ Mac OSX. Wink I have several Sun boxes running in my house as well as Macs/NeXT systems.
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kb7sqi



Joined: 24 Sep 2007
Posts: 488
Location: Winston Salem, NC

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thing I did forget to mention about QEMU under Solaris 10/OpenSolaris, is that if you check out the Win4Solaris site, you'll see that it is a commercial product for Solaris now like Win4Lin, Win4BSD. Very Happy Win4Solaris is based on QEMU. CrossOver Office is working on a version for Solaris x86 as well. So that should give you some kind of idea how things have changed over the last few years where Solaris x86 is concerned.

I don't want to sound like I think Solaris x86 is the end all of Operating Systems either. If you don't know, Sun was going to stop working on Solaris for X86 a few years back. Thank goodness they changed their minds. Laughing It's just changed alot since the 03/05 release of Solaris 10. More software is being ported to it everyday. Hope that helps. Take care.
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nextchef



Joined: 17 Aug 2006
Posts: 1006
Location: Missouri, USA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2008 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kb7sqi,

Have you had any experience doing offsite backup / remote replication of data between two systems running ZFS? I have been reading up on some of the ZFS/Sun blogs discussing the topic of doing shapshots and sending them out over an ssh connection to the other machine on a regular basis, and it seems honestly "too easy" so I must be missing something. Are any of your customers doing such a thing, and how has it worked for them.

Chef
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