ZFS features that could entice us to upgrade Solaris versions

October 28, 2011

I've written before about how our fileservers are basically appliances and so don't patched because we don't like taking any risks of destabilizing vital core services. Today they run what is more or less Solaris 10 Update 8 (which causes some problems), and today I've gotten interested in inventorying what features from subsequent Solaris versions might be attractive enough to us to cause us to upgrade.

(Note that there are a lot of ZFS features in S10U9 and S10U10 that will be attractive to other people but not us. I'm being selfish and just looking at what we care about.)

Solaris 10 Update 9 introduced two important changes: log device removal and pool recovery. We don't currently use log devices because we don't think that we have any pool that could really benefit from them (especially once we add iSCSI overhead on top of the log devices), but if we ever did need to add an SSD log device to a hot pool, we'd want this change.

My impression so far is that pool recovery does not require a ZFS pool version upgrade and so you can perform it by just keeping a spare S10U9 system around (or a S10U10 one). Perhaps we should build such a system, just in case. And certainly it might be a good idea to test this assumption.

Solaris 10 Update 10 adds more improvements to pool recovery (and a lot of features that we don't care about). Again, it's not clear to me if this recovery works on old pool versions or if you have to upgrade your There are of course

The more I look at this, the more I think that I need to build a current Solaris install just to have it sitting around. Fortunately we have plenty of spare hardware.

(This is one of the powers of blogging. Initially I set out to write a rather different entry for today, but when I started doing my research everything wound up shifting around and now I have a new project at work.)

Sidebar: Solaris release information resources

Since I found this once: Solaris 10 update 10 (8/11), Solaris 10 update 9 (9/10). Let's hope Oracle doesn't decide to change the URLs for these again. Note that these are not complete feature lists; they don't mention things like ZFS performance improvements.

Also, ZFS pool and filesystem versions, although that doesn't cover S10U10. It points to the ZFS file system guide, which has a what's-new feature list.

Written on 28 October 2011.
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Last modified: Fri Oct 28 02:15:45 2011
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