ZFS/USB Magic

Even if you can't speak German, this is a really cool video:

The basic gist is that Constantin and crew think the Thumper is a really cool machine, but that at $50k, it's a bit expensive for a developer to have under his desk. As an alternative, they propose a stack of inexpensive storage, in this case, a jumble of USB sticks. Using ZFS, Constantin pools together the sticks in RAID groups of three as one big storage pool. To demonstrate ZFS's recovery features, he copies a video onto the storage pool, starts the video playing, and then disconnects one of the USB hubs. Even though the storage pool looses 1/4 of its devices, the video continues playing without interruption. He then plugs the missing hub back in and shows that ZFS automatically reconstructs the pool, reintegrating the missing USB sticks. Constantin then does a ZFS export, removes all the sticks, shuffles them thoroughly, sticks them all back in in an unknown order, and then does a ZFS import. ZFS then sorts out which sticks are which and rebuilds the pool.

You can find more background information in Constantin's blog.

Comments:

Hi Dan, thank you for linking to this video!

For our english speaking viewers, there's an english dubbed version of the video here:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8100808442979626078

And if you want to show it during ZFS workshops, here are high quality, high-resolution versions in german and english:

http://mediacast.sun.com/share/rolfk/csi_muc_final.mp4
http://mediacast.sun.com/share/constantin/csi_muc_en.mp4

Enjoy!

Cheers,
Constantin

Posted by Constantin Gonzalez on May 28, 2008 at 04:47 AM PDT #

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