DragonFly users List (threaded) for 2009-02
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DragonFly users List (threaded) for 2009-02
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Re: OT - was Hammer or ZFS based backup, encryption

From: Jeremy Chadwick <jdc@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2009 13:56:19 -0800

On Mon, Feb 23, 2009 at 04:53:35AM +0800, Bill Hacker wrote:
> Jeremy Chadwick wrote:
> *snip*
>> The problem I was attempting to describe: all pool members must be the
>> same size, otherwise all members are considered to be equal to the size
>> of the smallest.  In English: you cannot "mix-and-match" different sized
>> disks.
> *TILT*
> C'mon guys - that has nuthin to do with ZFS or any other RAID [1].
> {snip}

Circling back to the near-start of the thread (specifically Dmitri's
comment): the point was that Linux has btrfs and a few other filesystems
that offer some really fantastic features (including what I've
described).  Commercial filers (see: Network Appliance, Pillar Axiom)
also offer mix-matched disk sizes and grow/shrink capability.  (NetApp
is actually based on BSD, but naturally all the FS stuff is proprietary)

How/why does this matter to us?

Because users are commonly using *BSD as a form of inexpensive filer for
their servers (not everyone can afford a NetApp or Axiom), or as an OS
on their home NAS (which includes pfSense and m0n0wall).  In both of
these cases, expanding/growing the array isn't possible, which greatly
limits the user-base scope -- and sadly, users usually don't find this
out until they've already made their choice, swap/upgrade a disk, then
post "WTF!" on a mailing list or forum somewhere.

ZFS happens to be incredibly easy to manage (from an administrative POV)
and solves many shortcomings.  It's significantly easier to understand
and use than Linux LVM (Linux md/mdadm is simple, it's the LVM part that
adds excessive complexity).  HAMMER also appears to be pretty easy to
manage and also solves many shortcomings, in a significantly different
way than ZFS (obviously).  These are excellent improvements in the BSD
world, but there's still a few things folks really want which will
ultimately improve on what BSD is being used for today.  That's all I'm
trying to say.  :-)

| Jeremy Chadwick                                jdc at parodius.com |
| Parodius Networking                       http://www.parodius.com/ |
| UNIX Systems Administrator                  Mountain View, CA, USA |
| Making life hard for others since 1977.              PGP: 4BD6C0CB |

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