ZFS NAS/SAN Storage
ZFS Storage Solutions from Aspen Systems Direct
If you're looking for a ZFS Storage system you've come to the right place. Aspen Systems has been putting together superior, ZFS Storage solutions for the last 5 years. Our key relationships with open-source developers have helped bring the ZFS file system to the forefront of enterprise business. When data integrity is the top priority for storing your organization's vital information, the ZFS file system is the preferred choice of savvy, enterprise IT administrators. Our ZFS storage solutions are compatible with NAS4Free, OpenIndiana, FreeNAS, and NexentaStor.
Free Design Assistance
Since everyone's storage needs are different, we recommend that you contact us for free design assistance, so we can get a better understanding of your workload and environment. This will help us give you an optimal cost-effective ZFS storage solution to fit your exact needs. Contact us today at (888) 227-1286 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
By now, you probably know that ZFS is a unique file system, but it is a little bit more than that. ZFS is also an intelligent, software-driven, drive volume manager which performs many of the critical functions of storage hardware. ZFS stands for "Zettabyte File System" The ZFS file system was originally announced by Sun Microsystems in 2004 and had been in development for 3 years. Because the file system can store a virtually, unlimited amount of data, Zettabyte File System seems like an appropriate name. The actual storage limit for the ZFS system is 256 quadrillion zettabytes. The ZFS File System was originally released by Sun in OpenSolaris, version Nevada b36.
The innovative and robust technical features of the ZFS file system have resulted in dozens of operating systems which are specifically optimized for storage servers. Just to name a few: OpenSolaris, Nexenta, OpenIndiana, FreeBSD, FreeNAS, NAS4Free, and many more. Many of the ZFS operating systems are free of cost, and with the right user configuration, can take full advantage of the power features of ZFS. Some of the commercially sold adaptations of ZFS like NexentaStor, when installed on the appropriate hardware, offer a quick and convenient, out of the box solution that\u2019s ready to go.
The ZFS file system was designed from the ground-up with data integrity as its number-one, objective. No other file systems insures better protection against data corruption, firmware and write errors, and other integrity problems associated with most file systems. One of the key aspects of ZFS is that drive volumes are not managed by the RAID hardware, but by the actual file system itself. ZFS RAID, otherwise known as RAID-Z, reduces costs by eliminating the need for a hardware RAID controller. More importantly, however, RAID-Z eliminates common data integrity problems associated with faulty RAID Controllers. In ZFS terms, the arrays compare like this: RAID-Z is similar to RAID-5; RAID-Z2 is similar to RAID-6 and RAID-Z3 is a new triple-parity array of its own. A Non-RAID, HBA controller is used in a ZFS storage solution for controlling the drives. In addition to redundancy, ZFS provides data corruption, volume management, repair, copy-on-writes, deduplication and snapshots and other data integrity features. While ZFS can support extremely high storage capacity with typical, spinner drives, other types of drives play a role in how ZFS is maximized and used in storage applications.
Another unique aspect of ZFS is the way volumes are managed. While other file systems require a volume manager for accessing single devices, ZFS uses a pool of virtual devices called, zpools. The zpool is basically a collection of virtual devices organized as block devices and consisting of files, partitions and drives. The blocks within a virtual device can be utilized in a number of different ways for efficiently allocating available space within RAID-Z Arrays. When choosing a ZFS storage solution, it helps to know and understand a little about the different types of hardware and how they play a key role in maximizing your storage performance.
ZFS is able to maximize operating system and storage performance through multiple layers of disk cache:
ARC – The fastest level of disk caching takes place inside RAM. The ARC layer is a type of algorithm similar to the L1 cache on a CPU. ARC speeds things up by requiring less access to the storage disks, resulting in a speedier applications and operating system performance. The hardware component used for ARC is system memory.
LZARC – The next level of Cache on a ZFS System is LZARC. LZARC provides a 2nd level of read/write cache where smaller amounts hot data can be processed without the use of slower, spinner drives. Small, fast SSD Drives are used for LZARC.
ZIL – ZIL provides the Log Device, or ZFS Intent Log. Zil is able to take synchronous writes and turn them into asynchronous writes for optimizing NFS databases. The ZIL is like a journal – it never gets read unless there is a system crash. Mirrored SSD drives are commonly used for ZIL.
Data and Spinner Drives – As the top-3 layers maximize performance and efficiency, Large amounts of data are able to be handled by high-capacity spinner drives. The layers of cache and hardware components work together to achieve the most optimal, cost effective, high performance storage solution. If you have questions on ZFS layers, Aspen Systems is available to answer your questions and discuss the specific hardware components for building your ZFS Storage unit.