ZFS secures your application
By Frederic Pariente on Jan 17, 2012
One of our ISV partner, a leading vendor in the financial services space, commonly recommends as deployment platform a commodity 2-socket Lintel server to minimize cost, but equipped with an internal RAID storage controller to increase the application uptime on such entry-level servers by mirroring the root disk. We recently worked with its professional services team to explore if we could improve on the solution, i.e. continuing to bring the cost down while increasing uptime.
The proposed solution was to use the Oracle Solaris 10 operating system and its ZFS file system in lieu of the hardware RAID to mirror the root hard drive. ZFS is a new kind of filesystem that provides simple administration, transactional semantics and immense scalability. ZFS natively supports all common RAID functionalities and also embeds advanced fonctionnalities in compression, encryption and snapshot, typically expected from proprietary high-end storage systems.
The benefits of the ZFS-based solution is :
- Higher Uptime
The end-customer can replace damaged hard drives without the need of shutting down the system since ZFS management is at the OS level while the RAID management software is at the BIOS level.
- Simpler Management
ZFS is a built-in feature of Solaris so nor our ISV partner nor the end-customer need to learn any cumbersome software management interface like RAID software.
- Faster Deployment
ZFS mirroring can be set up during the Solaris OS installation process, no additional setup of software is needed, the solution can be deployed more rapidly.
- Better Data Integrity
The end-customer benefits from the advanced data and metadata integrity features of ZFS --other file systems typically provide only metadata integrity. They can also use the ZFS snapshot and clone features at no extra cost.
- Lower Hardware Cost
The ZFS-based software solution does not require to pay extra money on a hardware RAID controller.