Back in the old days
By jmcp on Nov 16, 2005
I had to learn VxVM (for the DR box) and SDS (for the Finance host) very quickly, and I realised that doing so from the command line perspective was very clearly the way to go.... in a disaster I wouldn't have a graphical head to let me look at the semi-pretty gui that VxVM 2.5 and SDS 4.1 required.
Working on the Finance box required close interaction with the Oracle DBAs that we had --- they'd frequently want to move Oracle datafiles around in order to maximise access speed .... whether that meant having the partition on the "fast" end of the disk or on a fast spindle or a faster scsi controller or on a lower scsi id. That was a pain. The DR box was another challenge because I had to somehow make the 30x4gb disks appear to be a single storage pool for whichever host had to be hosted there in a DR situation. Since we had three hosts which might get that experience it was a bit difficult. While all of them ran Oracle, they each ran different versions of Oracle, had different application filesystem requirements.... you get the idea I'm sure.
After a year working in that part of the Uni I moved to work for a smaller (30 people) group in the research division. It was great being top dog in the sysadmin group.... since I was their only sysadmin I migrated that group off a Novell NetWare server which quite seriously crashed every day. I got them onto an E250 running Solaris 2.6, Samba and PC-Netlink (for the Macs!) Once again I had to carefully carve up the internal disks and the luns from the attached A1000 (
Hideous! Time-wasting! Ugly!
Oh, if only we'd had ZFS back then..... One of ZFS' main aims is to end the suffering of the humble (and not so humble!) system admin. With those hosts it would not have been difficult to add more storage or a new filesystem:
zfs add financepool mirror c9t0d0 c10t0d0
With the research group I wouldn't have had to worry about setting quotas for each filesystem by editing the quotatab and remembering to mount the filesystem with quotas turned on:
zfs set quota=1g research/home/louise
not only could I have done with some compression on those Oracle datafiles
zfs set compression=on finance
zfs set compression=on oracledata
but I could also have used zfs to send incremental backups of the relevant bits from the finance host to the DR box:
zfs backup -i finance/application@12:00 finance/application@12:01 | ssh DRbox zfs restore -d /finance/application
Do you get it? Do you understand why we've been desperately keen to get ZFS into