raid-z

How to Save the World with ZFS and 12 USB sticks: 4th Anniversary Video Re-Release Edition

Screenshot from the video

About 4 years ago, a few colleagues and myself got together and we created a short video about the coolness of two of the most innovative products from Sun of the last decade: ZFS and the X4500 Server.

Today, nearly 4 years later, the video has been downloaded more than 100,000 times (across the original German and the English dubbed version, plus the full resolution downloadable files) and shown to a lot more people during tradeshows, customer demos, etc.

Now YouTube and Google Video (remember?) don't allow for highest video quality and the old Sun Mediacast server, where we hosted the original MP4 file, no longer exists. Instead, Vimeo has emerged as my video hoster of choice for a variety of projects (check out my video collection on Vimeo) and so it was time to give this video a new home.

A Closer Look at ZFS, Vdevs and Performance

vdevs.jpg

When looking at the mails and comments I get about my ZFS optimization
and my RAID-Greed posts, the same type of questions tend to pop up over and over again. Here's an example from a reader email:

"I was reading about ZFS on your blog and you mention that if I do a 6 drive array for example, and a single RAID-Z the speed of the slowest drive is the maximum I will be able to achieve, now I thought that ZFS would be better in terms of speed. Please let me know if there is a newer ZFS version that improved this or if it does not apply anymore."

This is just an example, but the basic theme is the same for much for the reactions I see: Many people think that RAID-Z will give them always good performance and are surprised that it doesn't, thinking it's a software, an OpenSolaris or a ZFS issue.

In reality, it's just pure logic and physics, and to understand that we should look a little closer at what vdevs are in ZFS and how they work.

Home Server: RAID-GREED and Why Mirroring is Still Best

Disks in a circle. How cute.

After moving my blog to its new home and getting my hands dirty with Drupal, it's time to continue my series of blog articles about setting up a home server. Remember? We talked about home server requirements, then I presented to you my small and energy-efficient, still ECC-protected and powerful AMD-based home server. Now it's time to explore some different ZFS disk pool RAID strategies.