Thursday, May 06, 2010

NexentaStor issues?

Someone pointed out this "review" to me and asked if it was true. I ran into a similar issue. The user in that article was using the free 12TB edition without support, so perhaps that was why they didn't ask around per se or file a bug.

So, why is copying from a ZFS volume to another over rsync seemingly going on forever? I can't be sure this is the issue, but I had the same result, but this time it was going from a NetApp to a ZFS data store using NexentaStor 3.0. The problem was that the source .snapshot tree was exposed, and likely in the case of the above reviewer, their .zfs tree was exposed. I've already mentioned to the Nexenta people that its safer to have as a default exclude the terms ".snapshot | .zfs" for rsync service definitions, and let the end user override it. I too first thought it was the dedup going awry, but what I found out the problem to be on experimentation was rsync discovering those hidden paths and syncing each one. Dedup will only find duplicate blocks that line up, but the overall exposure to all those snapshots will come at some price.

If you are pulling data from one snapshot-based file system to another, it is always best to do so relative to the most recent snapshot, as you are insured data isn't changing during the synchronization, and you'll avoid falling down the snapshot well.