ZFS reading list

  • Tue 13 November 2018
  • misc

We've been doing a lot of ZFS work around here lately, partially motivated by a sick (but not failed!) zpool after a power failure, partially motivated by some experimentation with an eye to what our next generation SmartOS environment is going to look like.

At this point it's probably useful to dump out my personal set of ZFS bookmarks / reading list items.

There is no specific order. They're all worth a looksee.

Six Metrics for Measuring ZFS Pool Performance from ixsystems:

Part 1 (Local PDF mirror)

Part 2 (Local PDF mirror)

Downloadable PDF of above (Local PDF mirror)

Aaron Toponce's ZFS Administration

Circa 2012 overview of ZFS and Zpool administration. Assumes ZFS on Linux (Debian), but that's a very small part of the whole picture; most of the information given here is cross platform.

ZFS Administration * (Local PDF mirror - ZPool Administration) * (Local PDF mirror - ZFS Administration) * (Local PDF mirror - Appendices)


TL;DR - it's probably not worth it to dedupe. The economics barely worked in 2011.

ZFS - To dedupe or not to dedupe... * (Local PDF Mirror - ZFS - To dedupe or not to dedupe...)


TL;DR - it's almost certainly worth it to turn on ZFS compression. Algorithm of choice is a matter for research for a particular dataset and CPU combination. Protip: Maildir format email stores are crunchy AF.

The Case For Using ZFS Compression * (Local PDF Mirror - The Case For Using ZFS Compression)

Slow zpool scrub

TL;DR - zpool scrub is aggressively non-interfering and backs off so as to not get in the way of more important traffic. This is usually the right thing to do, and zpool scrubs that take forever to finish are understandable in the context of other disk activity. Occastionally it's not the right thing though. More on the ecosystem here.

Tuning ZFS scrubbing - 141kb/s running for 15 days * (Local PDF Mirror - The Case For Using ZFS Compression)

Deleting Files on a Full Filesystem

Any Copy-On-Write filesystem that is 100.0000000000% full (no free space whatsoever) creates an interesting chicken-or-egg problem when trying to delete a file since there's no place to put the updated metadata before you free the blocks that the file was occupying. Here are some hints.

How to delete files on a ZFS filesystem that is 100% full * (Local PDF Mirror - How to delete files on a ZFS filesystem that is 100% full)