Thursday Jun 12, 2008

Time Flies

It was nearly a year ago that I first made this screenshot:

Since then, I have done quite a number of different things, all related in some way to getting zfs to install and boot. Some of these things also involved teaching Live Upgrade to understand zfs datsets.

But now I'm starting to see that screenshot elsewhere, virtually unchanged from that fateful day long ago when I used the original to help design the changes needed for the text based installer.

Here are some: The Sect of Rama | Number 9 | Otmanix' Blog | Osamu Sayama's Weblog

It's really exciting to see it get out there and for it to be used outside of the development and test teams. Of course, there are some CRs being filed, and there are some things we'll need to address, but it's great nevertheless.

Wednesday May 02, 2007

Maintenance Issues

Over at OSDev, 'chase' is converting from Solaris x86 to Linux. His primary reason is the work involved in installing new packages in Solaris and maintaining those packages.

Here's an interesting quote:

The other thing is ext3 seems to handle power failures a little better than UFS w/logging. As cool as ZFS is it's not bootable yet. Even though the data center has power generators I've still lost power a couple of times.

Leaving aside the fact that ZFS is currently bootable in Nevada build 62, let's look at that comparison: ext3 > UFS+logging. Let's assume for the sake of argument that's correct. Given that ZFS > ext3, and that, even though S10 needs a UFS partition to boot from, the rest of the disk and any other disks can be put into a ZFS pool, this is not a valid reason for choosing ext3.

Here are some comparisons to consider: Losing power = data corruption; ext3 = data corruption; UFS+logging = data corruption. All three are silent. All three result in degradation over time. All three cause servers to fail with no warning.

ZFS at least gives you warning, even if it can't repair the damage.

The bottom line is that Solaris is hard to administer (yeah, it's a fair cop), so server data is just going to have to suffer. Hopefully some day Solaris will be as easy as redhat, or debian, or ubuntu, or <insert name of distro here>. Some day. Meanwhile, I'll choose data integrity over ease of administration.

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Known throughout Sun as a man of infinite wit, of jovial attitude, and of making things up about himself at the slightest whim.

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