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Re: [zfs-discuss] Yager on ZFS

Subject: Re: [zfs-discuss] Yager on ZFS
From: Mario Goebbels
Date: Sat, 10 Nov 2007 19:10:46 +0100
> So I see no reason to change my suggestion that consumers just won't notice 
> the level of increased reliability that ZFS offers in this area:  not only 
> would the difference be nearly invisible even if the systems they ran on were 
> otherwise perfect, but in the real world consumers have other reliability 
> issues to worry about that occur multiple orders of magnitude more frequently 
> than the kinds that ZFS protects against.

Even if the errors are somehow detectable, you need the whole system
infrastructure to be able to deal with that. Having my MP3 collection
gotten  ed up thanks to neither Windows nor NTFS being able to
properly detect and report in-flight data corruption (i.e. bad cable),
after copying it from one drive to another to replace one of them, I'm
really glad that I've ZFS to manage my data these days.

It seemed to be an issue that existed apparently way before the actual
disk copy, because I've always wondered about transient glitching in my
music, but no issues being reported in the event log. Thanks to ZFS'
aggressive checksumming, had it been in use instead, I'd have noticed
long before. Now the formerly transient glitches have become permanent.

As far as all these reliability studies go, my practical experience is
quite the opposite. I'm fixing computers of friends and acquaintances
left and right, bad sectors are rather pretty common. While it would be
impractical to introduce RAID or just put ditto blocks on virtually
everything, being able to guarantee those users some safety (excluding
complete drive failure) on at least their dearest data, like important
documents or holiday pictures is actually a nice thing. You don't get
that stuff with most other free filesystems (if at all).

Granted, for the average user, that isn't versed in such things, a ZFS
status Gnome applet or whatever would help a lot, because those people
won't be occasionally doing manual system checks like I do and as such
not notice bigger issues.

-mg

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