On Mon, Oct 17, 2011 at 8:29 AM, Harry Putnam <rea...@newsguy.com> wrote:

> This subject may have been ridden to death... I missed it if so.
> Not wanting to start a flame fest or whatever but....
> As a common slob who isn't very skilled, I like to see some commentary
> from some of the pros here as to any comparison of zfs against btrfs.
> I realize btrfs is a lot less `finished' but I see it is starting to
> show up as an option on some linux install routines... Debian an
> ubuntu I noticed and probably many others.
> My main reasons for using zfs are pretty basic compared to some here
> and I wondered how btrfs stacks up on the basic qualities.

If you only want RAID0 or RAID1, then btrfs is okay.  There's no support for
RAID5+ as yet, and it's been "in development" for a couple of years now.

There's no working fsck tool for btrfs.  It's been "in development" and
"released in two weeks" for over a year now.  Don't put any data you need
onto btrfs.  It's extremely brittle in the face of power loss.

My biggest gripe with btrfs is that they have come up with all new
terminology that only applies to them.  Filesystem now means "a collection
of block devices grouped together".  While "sub-volume" is what we'd
normally call a "filesystem".  And there's a few other weird terms thrown in
as well.

>From all that I've read on the btrfs mailing list, and news sites around the
web, btrfs is not ready for production use on any system with data that you
can't afford to lose.

If you absolutely must run Linux on your storage server, for whatever
reason, then you probably won't be running ZFS.  For the next year or two,
it would probably be safer to run software RAID (md), with LVM on top, with
XFS or Ext4 on top.  It's not the easiest setup to manage, but it would be
safer than btrfs.

If you don't need to run Linux on your storage server, then definitely give
ZFS a try.  There are many options, depending on your level of expertise:
 FreeNAS for plug-n-play simplicity with a web GUI, FreeBSD for a simpler OS
that runs well on x86/amd64 systems, any of the OpenSolaris-based distros,
or even Solaris if you have the money.

With ZFS you get:
  - working single, dual, triple parity raidz (RAID5, RAID6, "RAID7"
  - n-way mirroring
  - end-to-end checksums for all data/metadata blocks
  - unlimited snapshots
  - pooled storage
  - unlimited filesystems
  - send/recv capabilities
  - built-in compression
  - built-in dedupe
  - built-in encryption (in ZFSv31, which is currently only in Solaris 11)
  - built-in CIFS/NFS sharing (on Solaris-based systems; FreeBSD uses normal
nfsd and Samba for this)
  - automatic hot-spares (on Solaris-based systems; FreeBSD only supports
manual spares)
  - and more

Maybe in another 5 years or so, Btrfs will be up to the point of ZFS today.
 Just image where ZFS will be in 5 years of so.  :)

Freddie Cash
zfs-discuss mailing list

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