Bob Friesenhahn wrote:
On Wed, 27 Feb 2013, Ian Collins wrote:
I am finding that rsync with the right options (to directly
block-overwrite) plus zfs snapshots is providing me with pretty
amazing "deduplication" for backups without even enabling
deduplication in zfs.  Now backup storage goes a very long way.
We do the same for all of our "legacy" operating system backups. Take a
snapshot then do an rsync and an excellent way of maintaining incremental
backups for those.
Magic rsync options used:

    -a --inplace --no-whole-file --delete-excluded

This causes rsync to overwrite the file blocks in place rather than
writing to a new temporary file first.  As a result, zfs COW produces
primitive "deduplication" of at least the unchanged blocks (by writing
nothing) while writing new COW blocks for the changed blocks.

Do these options impact performance or reduce the incremental stream sizes?

I just use -a --delete and the snapshots don't take up much space (compared with the incremental stream sizes).


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