Linked by John Finigan on Mon 21st Apr 2008 19:00 UTC
Oracle and SUN When it comes to dealing with storage, Solaris 10 provides admins with more choices than any other operating system. Right out of the box, it offers two filesystems, two volume managers, an iscsi target and initiator, and, naturally, an NFS server. Add a couple of Sun packages and you have volume replication, a cluster filesystem, and a hierarchical storage manager. Trust your data to the still-in-development features found in OpenSolaris, and you can have a fibre channel target and an in-kernel CIFS server, among other things. True, some of these features can be found in any enterprise-ready UNIX OS. But Solaris 10 integrates all of them into one well-tested package. Editor's note: This is the first of our published submissions for the 2008 Article Contest.
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RE[4]: Comment by agrouf
by phoenix on Thu 24th Apr 2008 04:45 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by agrouf"
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The only perceived problem is that you don't get volume management, RAID and other storage management features for free in one codebase. If distributions started partitioning by using LVM by default, created userspace tools that had a consistent command line interface, as well as GUI tools that made LVM and software RAID much more visible and usable, then you'd see them more widely used on a wider variety of systems.

The biggest issue with all Linux tools are that they are not designed to work together, in that they don't harmonise the commandline options (or even the command names).

For instance, why is that you can't just use:
"mount -t <fs> -o <options> <device> <mount point>

to mount any filesystem? Some can be, if they have a mount.fs command installed, while others require running fsmnt commands.

Or, why can't one just use:
"mkfs -t <fs> <device>"

to format partitions with the filesystem of choice? Some have mkfs.fs command that work that way. Others don't and require you to run the separate command.

Or, why can't one use:
"fsck -t <fs> <device>

to check filesystems for errors.

Or, why can't one use:
"ifconfig <interface> <options>

to configure wired NICs, wireless NICs, vlans, bridges, and tunnels?

There are too many separate projects doing each little piece of the pie in their own corner of the world with very little regard for what the others are doing. This wouldn't be so bad ... if the layers between them were clearly defined, and the interfaces clearly defined, and didn't change at the drop of a hat.

"...but I find LVM and MD to be clumsy and fragile.

You're going to have to qualify that one, because LVM and MD software RAID were stable and being used before ZFS was even a glint in Bonwick's eye. Indeed, ZFS has yet to be proven in the same way.

LVM, DM, and MD are crap when you are working with large filesystems. On one 64-bit Debian Lenny box, I can't create multiple LVM volume if their total size goes over 1.2 TB. On a separate 64-bit Debian Etch box, I can create a single LVM volume that spans 7 TB, but creating a second one of 10 GB (yes GB) on the same box fails. On a third 64-bit Debian Etch box, I had to manually stitch together a bunch of 1.9 TB physical volumes into one large 10 TB volume group, but I can only partition it into smaller logical volumes if the total size of the volumes is less than 2 TB.

So much for trying to simplify things by using volume management for storage of backups and as storage for virtual machines.

"I would love to see work on a Real Volume Manager (tm).

You'll probably see one come about when it becomes a requirement to do storage management on running desktop systems and other appliances.

I'd much rather see something useful in the server room. LVM, MD, and DM have a long way to go before that happens.

Most of what's in there is only really useful to people with some pretty large storage arrays, and if you have something that matters to you then you'll already be running hardware RAID of some description and volume management

We're using hardware RAID, working with multiple TB storage arrays, and struggling with volume management, as the current crop of Linux tools really, really, really suck. I'm very tempted to turn our VM boxes into nothing more than NFS servers so that I can run FreeBSD or OpenSolaris on them and get some useful volume/fs management tools.

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