ZFS Fileserver: Lost in Hardware - Solaris

This is a discussion on ZFS Fileserver: Lost in Hardware - Solaris ; Hi, I am in the process of replacing my old fileservver and decided to go OpenSolaris because of ZFS. I am thinking of RAID_Z2 with of 6-8 SATA- disks of 500 GB each. THis will be my Peace-Of_mind_Server, so Reliability ...

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  1. ZFS Fileserver: Lost in Hardware

    Hi,

    I am in the process of replacing my old fileservver and decided to go
    OpenSolaris because of ZFS. I am thinking of RAID_Z2 with of 6-8 SATA-
    disks of 500 GB each. THis will be my Peace-Of_mind_Server, so
    Reliability is first!

    After days of research I am now completely confused on which hardware
    to choose (YES; I know http://www.sun.com/bigadmin/hcl )

    So far I only ordered a case, HDDs and a 8-Port SATAII PCI-X
    controller (Supermicro AOC-SAT2-MV8)

    What´s missing is a decision on CPU (Intel / AMD, Dual/QuadCore),
    which will significantly narrow down the choice of mainboards. So I
    came here to get some recommendations for a start.

    First: what are the key requirements for ZFS performance?
    After reading THIS http://breden.org.uk/2008/03/02/home...r-zfs-hardware
    I think it is lots of RAM and a 64 bit CPU (any objections?)

    Second: The server will be idle most of the time, so power consumption
    is also an issue.

    Third: Does ECC help in data integrity, is it worth the deal?
    Opinions, please .

    AMD:
    - PowerNow not supported on 64 X2 CPUs (family <16), Phenom supports
    this, but is already QuadCore and has higher TDP
    - Motherboard: pick a AM2+ (I am thinking of 1066 Memory, is this
    worth it ?)

    Intel:
    - I think in general better supported (for "serious" usage just my
    2 cents
    - Better chance of finding a Mobo that has a supported Ethernet chip
    on board
    - Working Powermanagement in OpenSolaris

    Let´s quickly sum up:
    (1) Power consumption: AMD vs Intel: Does throtteling make up for the
    higher TDP of intel ?
    (2) When I go for QuadCore: is the Phenom design better (4 seperate
    core on a die vs Intel: 2 2-core dies)
    (3) Memory: is there a bandwith advantage for AM2+-Boards (vs. Intel),
    does this matter for ZFS
    (4) Memory: What about ECC - You think it´s worth it ?

    You see, lots of confusion here, any input is welcome to narrow down
    my options!

  2. Re: ZFS Fileserver: Lost in Hardware

    On Tue, 16 Sep 2008 10:36:47 -0700 (PDT), stefan.talkenberg@gmail.com wrote:
    >Hi,


    >I am in the process of replacing my old fileservver and decided to go
    >OpenSolaris because of ZFS. I am thinking of RAID_Z2 with of 6-8 SATA-
    >disks of 500 GB each. THis will be my Peace-Of_mind_Server, so
    >Reliability is first!


    >After days of research I am now completely confused on which hardware
    >to choose (YES; I know http://www.sun.com/bigadmin/hcl )


    >So far I only ordered a case, HDDs and a 8-Port SATAII PCI-X
    >controller (Supermicro AOC-SAT2-MV8)


    >What´s missing is a decision on CPU (Intel / AMD, Dual/QuadCore),
    >which will significantly narrow down the choice of mainboards. So I
    >came here to get some recommendations for a start.


    >First: what are the key requirements for ZFS performance?
    >After reading THIS http://breden.org.uk/2008/03/02/home...r-zfs-hardware
    >I think it is lots of RAM and a 64 bit CPU (any objections?)


    >Second: The server will be idle most of the time, so power consumption
    >is also an issue.


    >Third: Does ECC help in data integrity, is it worth the deal?
    >Opinions, please .


    I built a zfs file server w/ 7 500G drives, an amd64 single core
    processor @ 2.2ghz and 1g of ram. It works like a champ. I used a
    used tyan server motherboard and a pair of pci express SIL 3132 sata
    cards.

    The main limiting factor for performance is the gigabit LAN. I still
    routinely get 70MB/s over it and that is at least 5 times more than my
    requirements. I run vmware w/ the virtual disk files on the ZFS file
    servers and find its access times quicker than using a local 750GB
    drive.

  3. Re: ZFS Fileserver: Lost in Hardware

    stefan.talkenberg@gmail.com wrote:
    > Hi,
    >
    > I am in the process of replacing my old fileservver and decided to go
    > OpenSolaris because of ZFS. I am thinking of RAID_Z2 with of 6-8 SATA-
    > disks of 500 GB each. THis will be my Peace-Of_mind_Server, so
    > Reliability is first!


    If reliability is actually important, running beta software is probably
    not a good idea.


  4. Re: ZFS Fileserver: Lost in Hardware

    On 16 Sep., 22:15, Cydrome Leader wrote:
    > stefan.talkenb...@gmail.com wrote:
    > > Hi,

    >
    > > I am in the process of replacing my old fileservver and decided to go
    > > OpenSolaris because of ZFS. I am thinking of RAID_Z2 with of 6-8 SATA-
    > > disks *of 500 GB each. THis will be my Peace-Of_mind_Server, so
    > > Reliability is first!

    >
    > If reliability is actually important, running beta software is probably
    > not a good idea.


    Is ZFS really still Beta ? I chose OpenSolaris, because I didn't want
    to go for FUSE on Linux (which was my OS-choice till now) or FreeBSD...

  5. Re: ZFS Fileserver: Lost in Hardware

    On 16 Sep., 23:01, and...@cucumber.demon.co.uk (Andrew Gabriel) wrote:
    > In article <48d00496$0$507$5a6ae...@news.aaisp.net.uk>,
    > * * * * and...@cucumber.demon.co.uk (Andrew Gabriel) writes:
    >
    > > My server started with 2GB ram and 7200RPM SATA II disks.

    >
    > Forgot to say CPU is a dual core Athlon64 2.4GHz, and
    > motherboard is an ASUS M2N4-SLI with nVidia chipset
    > and 4 built in SATA II ports and built-in nVidia gigabit
    > ethernet.
    >
    > (I'm not using the SLI, and with the system being 18
    > months old, the motherboard will be obsolete now.)
    > Solaris supports it well though (same nVidia chipset
    > Sun uses in some of its systems).
    >
    > --
    > Andrew Gabriel
    > [email address is not usable -- followup in the newsgroup]


    The MotherBoard is still around for ~ 70 EUR, so why not consider
    that, especially if if is well-supported by OpenSolaris.

    Is the onboard Ethernet working ?

  6. Re: ZFS Fileserver: Lost in Hardware

    stefan.talkenberg@gmail.com wrote:
    > Hi,
    >
    > I am in the process of replacing my old fileservver and decided to go
    > OpenSolaris because of ZFS. I am thinking of RAID_Z2 with of 6-8 SATA-

    Solaris 10 has ZFS, for the last couple of updates.

    There's an ISO on the Sun site (no doubt mentioned else-thread) that
    boots a cut down Solaris and checks all the devices, when I was getting
    my S10 server I burned a disk and took it to my local computer shop and
    said, "Find me a 64-bit motherboard, any sort of 64-bit CPU and
    dual-channel RAM, that has all devices listed as supported, and I'll buy
    it from you."

    Ended up with an ASUS P5P800-MX, Pentium 4, on-board everything that
    just works. Put an ADDONICS ADSA4R5 4-port SATAII PCI HBA in it,
    running 4 disks in a RAIDZ, been running since, um, February 2007 - only
    18 months, I know, but it's on 24/7.

    ZFS seems happier with 2Gig or more of RAM.

    The latest power management stuff doesn't work for it, it won't turn off
    until you press the power switch, but a newer MB should be fine.

    If I was doing it now I'd go with a dual-core CPU, and perhaps a
    different HBA, there's a bug in the Sil3124 driver that loses an
    interrupt under heavy load, and I'd put 4Gig RAM in.

    Cheers,
    Gary B-)

    --
    __________________________________________________ ____________________________
    Armful of chairs: Something some people would not know
    whether you were up them with or not
    - Barry Humphries

  7. Re: ZFS Fileserver: Lost in Hardware

    stefan.talkenberg@gmail.com wrote:
    > On 16 Sep., 22:15, Cydrome Leader wrote:
    >> stefan.talkenb...@gmail.com wrote:
    >>> Hi,
    >>> I am in the process of replacing my old fileservver and decided to go
    >>> OpenSolaris because of ZFS. I am thinking of RAID_Z2 with of 6-8 SATA-
    >>> disks of 500 GB each. THis will be my Peace-Of_mind_Server, so
    >>> Reliability is first!

    >> If reliability is actually important, running beta software is probably
    >> not a good idea.

    >
    > Is ZFS really still Beta ? I chose OpenSolaris, because I didn't want
    > to go for FUSE on Linux (which was my OS-choice till now) or FreeBSD...


    ZFS is production, but _OpenSolaris_ is Beta. If you want fully
    supported production, go for Solaris 10 and ZFS. But for "mission
    critical" home servers, OpenSolaris is quite adequate.

  8. Re: ZFS Fileserver: Lost in Hardware

    Thommy M. Malmström wrote:
    > ZFS is production, but _OpenSolaris_ is Beta. If you want fully
    > supported production, go for Solaris 10 and ZFS. But for "mission
    > critical" home servers, OpenSolaris is quite adequate.


    I thought OpenSolaris 2008.05 is a supported release.
    Solaris Express Community Edition ("nevada") is unsupported.
    http://www.opensolaris.org/os/downloads/

  9. Re: ZFS Fileserver: Lost in Hardware

    Oscar del Rio wrote:
    > Thommy M. Malmström wrote:
    >> ZFS is production, but _OpenSolaris_ is Beta. If you want fully
    >> supported production, go for Solaris 10 and ZFS. But for "mission
    >> critical" home servers, OpenSolaris is quite adequate.

    >
    > I thought OpenSolaris 2008.05 is a supported release.
    > Solaris Express Community Edition ("nevada") is unsupported.
    > http://www.opensolaris.org/os/downloads/


    I might stand corrected here and that's good.
    http://www.sun.com/service/opensolaris/index.jsp

  10. Re: ZFS Fileserver: Lost in Hardware

    On Sep 17, 5:36 am, "Gary R. Schmidt" wrote:
    > stefan.talkenb...@gmail.com wrote:
    > > Hi,

    >
    > > I am in the process of replacing my old fileservver and decided to go
    > > OpenSolaris because of ZFS. I am thinking of RAID_Z2 with of 6-8 SATA-

    >
    > Solaris 10 has ZFS, for the last couple of updates.
    >
    > There's an ISO on the Sun site (no doubt mentioned else-thread) that
    > boots a cut down Solaris and checks all the devices, when I was getting
    > my S10 server I burned a disk and took it to my local computer shop and
    > said, "Find me a 64-bit motherboard, any sort of 64-bit CPU and
    > dual-channel RAM, that has all devices listed as supported, and I'll buy
    > it from you."
    > [...]


    'Sfunny, same thing I did (and bought a system with an Asus MB and an
    AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core).

    Here's the ISO URL:



    The similar Java device detection tool is here:




  11. Re: ZFS Fileserver: Lost in Hardware

    "Thommy M. Malmstr?m" wrote:
    > stefan.talkenberg@gmail.com wrote:
    >> On 16 Sep., 22:15, Cydrome Leader wrote:
    >>> stefan.talkenb...@gmail.com wrote:
    >>>> Hi,
    >>>> I am in the process of replacing my old fileservver and decided to go
    >>>> OpenSolaris because of ZFS. I am thinking of RAID_Z2 with of 6-8 SATA-
    >>>> disks of 500 GB each. THis will be my Peace-Of_mind_Server, so
    >>>> Reliability is first!
    >>> If reliability is actually important, running beta software is probably
    >>> not a good idea.

    >>
    >> Is ZFS really still Beta ? I chose OpenSolaris, because I didn't want
    >> to go for FUSE on Linux (which was my OS-choice till now) or FreeBSD...

    >
    > ZFS is production, but _OpenSolaris_ is Beta. If you want fully
    > supported production, go for Solaris 10 and ZFS. But for "mission
    > critical" home servers, OpenSolaris is quite adequate.


    "mission critical" is instantly cancelled out when somebody is running
    beta software on a machine at home.

    If you think about it, there's no good reason to even use opensolaris in
    the first place.



  12. Re: ZFS Fileserver: Lost in Hardware

    Cydrome Leader wrote:
    > "Thommy M. Malmstr?m" wrote:
    >> stefan.talkenberg@gmail.com wrote:
    >>> On 16 Sep., 22:15, Cydrome Leader wrote:
    >>>> stefan.talkenb...@gmail.com wrote:
    >>>>> Hi,
    >>>>> I am in the process of replacing my old fileservver and decided to go
    >>>>> OpenSolaris because of ZFS. I am thinking of RAID_Z2 with of 6-8 SATA-
    >>>>> disks of 500 GB each. THis will be my Peace-Of_mind_Server, so
    >>>>> Reliability is first!
    >>>> If reliability is actually important, running beta software is probably
    >>>> not a good idea.
    >>> Is ZFS really still Beta ? I chose OpenSolaris, because I didn't want
    >>> to go for FUSE on Linux (which was my OS-choice till now) or FreeBSD...

    >> ZFS is production, but _OpenSolaris_ is Beta. If you want fully
    >> supported production, go for Solaris 10 and ZFS. But for "mission
    >> critical" home servers, OpenSolaris is quite adequate.

    >
    > "mission critical" is instantly cancelled out when somebody is running
    > beta software on a machine at home.
    >
    > If you think about it, there's no good reason to even use opensolaris in
    > the first place.
    >

    Driver support? CIFS? ZFS boot? Learning? Newer Gnome? Crossbow?

    There are probably others, but the above are the features I use daily.
    All my "mission critical" company machines run SXCE.

    --
    Ian Collins.

  13. Re: ZFS Fileserver: Lost in Hardware

    Cydrome Leader wrote:
    > "Thommy M. Malmstr?m" wrote:
    >> stefan.talkenberg@gmail.com wrote:
    >>> On 16 Sep., 22:15, Cydrome Leader wrote:
    >>>> stefan.talkenb...@gmail.com wrote:
    >>>>> Hi,
    >>>>> I am in the process of replacing my old fileservver and decided to go
    >>>>> OpenSolaris because of ZFS. I am thinking of RAID_Z2 with of 6-8 SATA-
    >>>>> disks of 500 GB each. THis will be my Peace-Of_mind_Server, so
    >>>>> Reliability is first!
    >>>> If reliability is actually important, running beta software is probably
    >>>> not a good idea.
    >>> Is ZFS really still Beta ? I chose OpenSolaris, because I didn't want
    >>> to go for FUSE on Linux (which was my OS-choice till now) or FreeBSD...

    >> ZFS is production, but _OpenSolaris_ is Beta. If you want fully
    >> supported production, go for Solaris 10 and ZFS. But for "mission
    >> critical" home servers, OpenSolaris is quite adequate.

    >
    > "mission critical" is instantly cancelled out when somebody is running
    > beta software on a machine at home.


    Well, if Sun can give support on it, the status must be considered a
    little higher than beta.

    > If you think about it, there's no good reason to even use opensolaris in
    > the first place.


    That's your opinion which I absolutely don't share. OpenSolaris is one
    of the best operating systems available with features not seen anywhere
    else. I wouldn't run it in a mission critical business environment, but
    for a "mission critical" home server is more than adequate.

  14. Re: ZFS Fileserver: Lost in Hardware

    "Thommy M. Malmstr?m" wrote:
    > Cydrome Leader wrote:
    >> "Thommy M. Malmstr?m" wrote:
    >>> stefan.talkenberg@gmail.com wrote:
    >>>> On 16 Sep., 22:15, Cydrome Leader wrote:
    >>>>> stefan.talkenb...@gmail.com wrote:
    >>>>>> Hi,
    >>>>>> I am in the process of replacing my old fileservver and decided to go
    >>>>>> OpenSolaris because of ZFS. I am thinking of RAID_Z2 with of 6-8 SATA-
    >>>>>> disks of 500 GB each. THis will be my Peace-Of_mind_Server, so
    >>>>>> Reliability is first!
    >>>>> If reliability is actually important, running beta software is probably
    >>>>> not a good idea.
    >>>> Is ZFS really still Beta ? I chose OpenSolaris, because I didn't want
    >>>> to go for FUSE on Linux (which was my OS-choice till now) or FreeBSD...
    >>> ZFS is production, but _OpenSolaris_ is Beta. If you want fully
    >>> supported production, go for Solaris 10 and ZFS. But for "mission
    >>> critical" home servers, OpenSolaris is quite adequate.

    >>
    >> "mission critical" is instantly cancelled out when somebody is running
    >> beta software on a machine at home.

    >
    > Well, if Sun can give support on it, the status must be considered a
    > little higher than beta.


    sure. they'll pass your tickets straight to the devlopers/ kernel team and
    write patches for you if you run into a hitch with opensolaris.

    >> If you think about it, there's no good reason to even use opensolaris in
    >> the first place.

    >
    > That's your opinion which I absolutely don't share. OpenSolaris is one
    > of the best operating systems available with features not seen anywhere
    > else. I wouldn't run it in a mission critical business environment, but
    > for a "mission critical" home server is more than adequate.


    There's no such thing as "mission critical" once you start to add lame
    qualifiers like "home server".

    if you want to screw around and play with gnome and the latest drivers for
    junk hardware, great. Just don't confuse it with anything that needs to be
    stable, fully supported or needs to support a workload that's actually
    important.


  15. Re: ZFS Fileserver: Lost in Hardware

    * Andrew Gabriel:

    > For very many disks, AMD is generally regarded as currently having
    > the edge on i/o throughput


    No, it isn't. The disk performance is completely unrelated to the CPU
    and depends more on what disks can deliver, how good the host adapter is
    what bus system is used (especially standard PCI is a bottleneck).

    The only advantage of AMD is when it comes to systems with more than for
    processors (not cores!) which is where AMDs NUMA architecture begins to
    excel over intels FSB concept. On systems with less than 4 cpus you
    rarely find any advantage over intel.

    Benjamin

  16. Re: ZFS Fileserver: Lost in Hardware

    Update:

    I finally settled for the ASUS M2N with a AMD 64 X2 CPU and 4 Gigs of
    DDR2-800, only to discover that 8-Port SATAII is a PCI-X Card, and
    the "X" doesn´t stand for Express

    So, now I got my system but am again looking for a SATA-Controller,
    prefereably cheap (in the sense that I don´t need RAID features, just
    JBOD).

    Stay tuned

  17. Re: ZFS Fileserver: Lost in Hardware

    stefan.talkenberg@gmail.com wrote:
    > Update:
    >
    > I finally settled for the ASUS M2N with a AMD 64 X2 CPU and 4 Gigs of
    > DDR2-800, only to discover that 8-Port SATAII is a PCI-X Card, and
    > the "X" doesn?t stand for Express
    >
    > So, now I got my system but am again looking for a SATA-Controller,
    > prefereably cheap (in the sense that I don?t need RAID features, just
    > JBOD).
    >
    > Stay tuned


    It's probably cheaper to buy supported hardware once, the first time, than
    the rebuy replacement parts to fill in for the stuff that doesn't work.

    In the end, you're going to have like 57,000 sata ports only 2 of
    which solaris can even use.

    I can't wait to see the thread on "my network card isn't seen by solaris"
    next.




  18. Re: ZFS Fileserver: Lost in Hardware

    Just returned from a vacation in sunny turkey and picked up work on my
    proejct.

    > > I finally settled for the ASUS M2N with a AMD 64 X2 CPU and 4 Gigs of
    > > DDR2-800, only to discover that *8-Port SATAII is a PCI-X Card, and
    > > the "X" doesn?t stand for Express


    I figured out, that you can put a PCI-X Card into a regular PCI-Slot.


    > It's probably cheaper to buy supported hardware once, the first time, than
    > the rebuy replacement parts to fill in for the stuff that doesn't work.


    I would love to do so, but there is so much hardware out there, thats
    why i opened this thread

    > I can't wait to see the thread on "my network card isn't seen by solaris"
    > next.


    Yeah, but the accurate title would be: "Looking Network driver for
    Asus - M2N onboard Ehternet (Nvidia MCP 430)"

  19. Re: ZFS Fileserver: Lost in Hardware

    On Sat, 11 Oct 2008 01:30:37 -0700, stefan.talkenberg wrote:

    > Yeah, but the accurate title would be: "Looking Network driver for
    > Asus - M2N onboard Ehternet (Nvidia MCP 430)"


    It's the nge driver already in Solaris Express and OpenSolaris. For
    Solaris 10 it's the nfo driver:

    http://homepage2.nifty.com/mrym3/taiyodo/eng/


  20. Re: ZFS Fileserver: Lost in Hardware

    On Sat, 11 Oct 2008 15:52:59 +0000, Andrew Gabriel wrote:
    > In article ,
    > Dave Uhring writes:
    >> On Sat, 11 Oct 2008 01:30:37 -0700, stefan.talkenberg wrote:
    >>
    >>> Yeah, but the accurate title would be: "Looking Network driver for
    >>> Asus - M2N onboard Ehternet (Nvidia MCP 430)"

    >>
    >> It's the nge driver already in Solaris Express and OpenSolaris. For
    >> Solaris 10 it's the nfo driver:


    > On some M2N motherboards, neither driver works.
    > nge reads the ethernet address backwards (CR 6658667
    > nge - ethernet address reversed on nForce 430 chipset
    > on ASUS M2N motherboard), and whilst nfo correctly reads
    > the ethernet address, it can't send or receive anything.


    The nfo driver does work properly in Solaris 10 u5 x86. That is one
    of the other OSs installed on a second SATAII drive.

    The system from which I'm posting has an ASUS M2N-MX-SE mainboard
    with the nVidia nForce 430 MCP chipset - aka MCP61.

    duhring@maxwell:~$ ifconfig nge0
    nge0: flags=201000843 mtu 1500 index 2
    inet 192.168.0.5 netmask ffffff00 broadcast 192.168.0.255
    duhring@maxwell:~$ cat /etc/hostname.nge0
    192.168.0.5 ether 0:1d:60:88:d7:8f
    duhring@maxwell:~$ head -1 /etc/release
    Solaris Express Community Edition snv_99 X86

    OpenSolaris snv_98 is installed on partition 1 of the first SATAII
    HDD and it has the same configuration as Solaris Express.

    > For the moment, you would have to add an ethernet card
    > if your M2N hits this. OP hasn't said which M2N M/B he
    > has (there are several).


    Not really. All that is required is to force the correct Ethernet
    address.


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