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Re: [Xen-users] Cheap IOMMU hardware and ECC support importance

Kuba <kuba.0000@xxxxx> writes:

> W dniu 2014-07-03 00:45, lee pisze:
>>>> It's tempting to try it out, and I really like the checksumming
>>>> it does, and it's also confusing: There's (at least) ZFS and OpenZFS,
>>>> and Debian requires you to use fuse if you want ZFS, adding more
>>>> complexity.
>>> You haven't done your research thoroughly enough.
>> No, I haven't looked into it thoroughly at all.
>>> On Linux there is for all intents and purposes one implementation.
>> Where is this implementation?  Is it available by default?  I only saw
>> that there's a Debian package for ZFS which involves fuse.
> In case you'd like to try it out, follow these steps:
> http://zfsonlinux.org/debian.html
> and just have few minutes of fun. I'm pretty sure a livecd will
> do. You can also use files instead of real disks.

Thanks!  Sooner or later I'll try it out.  How come there are no
packages in the Debian repos other than the fuse package?

>> A very long time ago, I lost data with xfs once.  It probably was my own
>> fault, using some mount parameters wrongly.  That taught me to be very
>> careful with file system and to prefer file systems that are easy to
>> use, that don't have many or any parameters that need to be considered
>> and basically just do what they are supposed to right out of the box.
>> Does ZFS do that?  Since it's about keeping the data safe, it might have
>> a good deal of protection against user errors.
> Destructive operations are usually called accordingly: zfs destroy,
> zfs rollback, so they quite clearly express the intention.

"Rollback" doesn't sound very destructive.

> How can a file system protect you from executing a destructive
> operation?

It can try by warning you.

> Snapshots protect you from most user errors. Off-site backups protect
> you from su errors. To some extent.

Off-site would be good, but it's a hassle because I'd have to carry the
disks back and forth.  And how are snapshots better than copying the
data?  What if I need to access a file that's in the snapshot:  Do I
need to restore the snapshot first?

>>>> It seems that ZFS isn't sufficiently mature yet to use it.  I haven't
>>>> learned much about it yet, but that's my impression so far.
>>> As I said above - you haven't done your research very thoroughly.
>> I haven't, yet all I've been reading so far makes me very careful.  When
>> you search for "zfs linux mature", you find more sources saying
>> something like "it is not really mature" and not many, if any, that
>> would say something like "of course you should use it, it works
>> perfectly".
> "Mature" means different things to different people in different
> circumstances. Is Linux mature? Is Linux 3.15 mature? If not, is 2.6
> mature? Does it mean it has no bugs? If ZoL is not mature enough for
> you, you can use FreeBSD or Solaris. Or you can use hardware RAID +
> any other FS. I have the same feeling about ZFS as Gordan - once you
> start using it, you cannot imagine making do without it.

Why exactly is that?  Are you modifying your storage system all the time
or making snapshots all the time?

Checksumming is sure good to have, being able to fully use the disk
caches is, too, as well as not wasting space through fixed block sizes.
I've never made a snapshot and don't know what I would make one for
other than perhaps making a snapshot of the dom0 and the VMs --- which
would require booting from ZFS, figuring out how to make snapshots and
where to put them and how to restore them.

The biggest advantage would be checksumming.  I'd be trading that
against ease of use and great complexity.  So you can see how it is not
understandable to me what makes ZFS so great that I wouldn't be able to
do without anymore.

> Does it mean you have to use it too? Of course not:) Is it wrong not
> to use it? Of course not! You should do what _you_ believe is the
> right thing to do. But try it out nonetheless :) Or try HAMMER
> (Dragonfly BSD). Or btrfs (although this one probably really is not
> mature enough).

Btrfs still needs some time, and it seems to have disadvantages compared
to ZFS (which may not even be relevant for what I'm doing).  I never
tried BSD; that would be something new to learn.

Anyway, I'll try it out.  That doesn't mean I'll jump to it right away,
especially not while I still can't tell whether the server finally runs
stable or not.  Give it some time without crashing.  I don't even know
if the disks would work as JBOD.

>> So you would be running ZFS on unreliable disks, with the errors being
>> corrected and going unnoticed, until either, without TLER, the system
>> goes down or, with TLER, until the errors aren't recoverable anymore and
>> become noticeable only when it's too late.
> ZFS tells you it had problems ("zpool status"). ZFS can also check
> entire pool for defects ("zpool scrub", you should do that
> periodically).

You're silently loosing more and more redundancy.  How do you know when
a disk needs to be replaced?

Does ZFS maintain a list of bad sectors which are not to be used again?

> It's also quite difficult to corrupts the file system
> itself:
> https://blogs.oracle.com/timc/entry/demonstrating_zfs_self_healing

It shows that there are more checksum errors after the errors were
supposedly corrected.

> Using ZFS does not mean you don't have to do backups. File system type
> won't make a difference for a fire inside your enclosure:) But ZFS
> makes it easy to create backups by replicating your pool or datasets
> ("zfs send" lets you create full or incremental backups) to another
> set of disks or machine(s).

As another ZFS or as files or archives or as what?  I'm using rsync now,
and restoring a file is as simple as copying it from the backup.

>>> http://blog.backblaze.com/2014/01/21/what-hard-drive-should-i-buy/
>> Those guys don't use ZFS.  They must have very good reasons not to.
> They do:
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5ASf53v4lI
> http://zfsonlinux.org/docs/LUG11_ZFS_on_Linux_for_Lustre.pdf
> And I believe they have lots of good reasons to do so :)

That's some laboratory experimenting with ZFS.  Backblaze uses ext4,
though ZFS would seem to be a very good choice for what they're doing.
How can they store so much data without checksumming, without using ECC
RAM and not experience a significant amount of data corruption?

The corruption wouldn't go unnoticed because they won't be able to
decrypt the data.  They'd have to store everything at least twice, and
if they could cut their costs in half or less by not having to do that
through simply using ZFS, why wouldn't they?

What is the actual rate of data corruption or loss prevented or
corrected by ZFS due to its checksumming in daily usage?

Knowledge is volatile and fluid.  Software is power.

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