Friday, May 22, 2009

ZFS the Media Storage Panacea!

Okay as I have stated in my blog before, I have an Ubuntu box at the moment running software raid with two 1 terbayte hard drives as the place I store my media.  I also copy over data from all my other PC's (son's desktop, my ubuntu laptop, my desktop) to my Ubuntu server onto this raid set so that I ensure my data is safe.  There are some drawbacks to the software raid (or even hardware for that matter).  The biggest being if I lose a hard drive, it takes me literally all day long to rebuild the raid set.  I cannot touch the drive during this time.

Enter a friend of mine from work who is a Sun maniac.  He tells me about ZFS and I do some research and seriously, this stuff is WAY cool.  If I had lost a drive, he told me basically within a few minutes my drives would have been back in synch and ready to go.  It's completely different than RAID but accomlpishes the same functionality as having a RAID pair.  It's not just RAID but you can tack on additional functionality you can do like taking snapshots, going back to a point in time, creating a clone of your data, lightweight filesystem creation, adding a new drive into the set almost seemlessly, and so much more.

I think I am going to install OpenSorlaris on a new box, and then replace my Ubuntu eventually with that running some kind of hot swappable SATA2 enclosure of some kind.  Here are some links below in case you're interested in doing ZFS for yourself:

The wiki page on ZFS:

Video How To's from Sun:

A Demo of the Time Slider (How to go back in time):

I will document my findings and how it goes as I move forward with this project, as well as what hardware I use for the new box. :)

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