from the someday-coming-to-a-phone-near-you? dept.
For those Linux folks out there, imagine merging LVM2, dm-raid, and your file system of choice into an all powerful, enterprise ready, check-summed, redundant, containerized, soft raid, disk pool, ram hungry, demi-god file system. The FreeBSD Handbook is a good start to grep the basic capabilities and function of ZFS[*].
The Ars reports:
A new long-term support (LTS) version of Ubuntu is coming out in April, and Canonical just announced a major addition that will please anyone interested in file storage. Ubuntu 16.04 will include the ZFS filesystem module by default, and the OpenZFS-based implementation will get official support from Canonical.
ZFS is used primarily in cases where data integrity is important—it's designed not just to store data but to continually check on that data to make sure it hasn't been corrupted. The oversimplified version is that the filesystem generates a checksum for each block of data. That checksum is then saved in the pointer for that block, and the pointer itself is also checksummed. This process continues all the way up the filesystem tree to the root node, and when any data on the disk is accessed, its checksum is calculated again and compared against the stored checksum to make sure that the data hasn't been corrupted or changed. If you have mirrored storage, the filesystem can seamlessly and invisibly overwrite the corrupted data with correct data.
ZFS was available as a technology preview in Ubuntu 15.10, but the install method was a bit more cumbersome than just apt-get install zfsutils-linux. I for one am excited to see ZFS coming to Linux as it is a phenomenal solution for building NAS devices and for making incremental backups of a file system. Now I just wish Ubuntu would do something about the systemD bug.
[*] According to Wikipedia:
ZFS is a combined file system and logical volume manager designed by Sun Microsystems. The features of ZFS include protection against data corruption, support for high storage capacities, efficient data compression, integration of the concepts of filesystem and volume management, snapshots and copy-on-write clones, continuous integrity checking and automatic repair, RAID-Z and native NFSv4 ACLs.
ZFS was originally implemented as open-source software, licensed under the Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL). The ZFS name is registered as a trademark of Oracle Corporation.
OpenZFS is an umbrella project aimed at bringing together individuals and companies that use the ZFS file system and work on its improvements.
This has been a long while in the making—it's test results time. To truly understand the fundamentals of computer storage, it's important to explore the impact of various conventional RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks) topologies on performance. It's also important to understand what ZFS is and how it works. But at some point, people (particularly computer enthusiasts on the Internet) want numbers.
First, a quick note: This testing, naturally, builds on those fundamentals. We're going to draw heavily on lessons learned as we explore ZFS topologies here. If you aren't yet entirely solid on the difference between pools and vdevs or what ashift and recordsize mean, we strongly recommend you revisit those explainers before diving into testing and results.
And although everybody loves to see raw numbers, we urge an additional focus on how these figures relate to one another. All of our charts relate the performance of ZFS pool topologies at sizes from two to eight disks to the performance of a single disk. If you change the model of disk, your raw numbers will change accordingly—but for the most part, their relation to a single disk's performance will not.
[It is a long — and detailed — read with quite a few examples and their performance outcomes. Read the 2nd link above to get started and then continue with this story's linked article.--martyb]
(2018-09-11) What is ZFS? Why are People Crazy About it?
(2017-07-16) ZFS Is the Best Filesystem (For Now)
(2017-06-24) Playing with ZFS (on Linux) Encryption
(2016-02-18) ZFS is Coming to Ubuntu LTS 16.04
(2016-01-13) The 'Hidden' Cost of Using ZFS for Your Home NAS