Tuesday May 27, 2008

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.

Monday Mar 26, 2007

How to Create a File System on a USB Mass Storage Without vold Running

The other day I pulled my memory stick out of my Mac laptop without ejecting it first, and it managed to hose the file system on the stick. It took me a while before I finally found this doc describing the process of putting a new FAT32 file system on a USB memory stick from Solaris 10. Hopefully this post saves someone else a little search time.

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