StarWind Virtual SAN uses Linux OS for the underlying VSA for several releases. Part of each VSA is also ZFS. In this post, we'll have a look at some advantages of ZFS if you're not aware of them, when you're looking for a storage solution. Most likely you'll already know what ZFS is and that it is present in many storage appliances as it has many advantages including protection against silent data corruption.
ZFS in fact does integrity checks for both data and metadata. For more protection, you can also activate scheduling of disk scrubbing operations which allows you to eliminate potential bit rot errors.
Quote From StarWind:
StarWind combines the ZFS on Linux benefits with its native all-nodes active-active replication and all-cluster components health monitoring. ZFS can also support up to 256 trillion yobibytes (2^128 bytes) of storage capacity, making it easily scalable to meet any future growth demands. With this in mind, data is protected on every layer of a StarWind-based cluster, while StarWind continues to constantly monitor the health state of each cluster node, every disk, and the file system itself.
StarWind VSA is very easy to deploy on VMware ESXi as it is distributed as a virtual appliance (OVF). Simply deploy and configure through a completely new assistant. We have detailed some of the steps in our post here, but there is also a large and complete section on the StarWind website if needed – How-to deploy and install guide of the StarWind Free NAS and SAN solution.
You can download a free version based on their flagship product, StarWind VSAN, but with some additions and a completely new UI and wizard that makes the setup really much easier. This version is free and is destined for VMware users willing to get started with a lightweight NAS and SAN product.
You can deploy StarWind on your existing ESXi host, then activate iSCSI, NFS or SMB storage protocols.
Some features of ZFS:
- Pooled storage – ZFS can create a file system that spans across a series of drives or a pool. You can add storage to a pool by adding another drive.
- Copy-on-write – Usually when data is overwritten, it is lost forever. On ZFS, the new information is written to a different block. Once the write is complete, the file systems metadata is updated to point to the new information. This helps when there is a crash during writes. The old data will be preserved. Also, that the system does not need to run fsck after a system crash.
- Snapshots – ZFS uses snapshots to track changes in the file system. “The snapshot contains the original version of the file system, and the live filesystem contains any changes made since the snapshot was taken. No additional space is used
- Data integrity verification and automatic repair – When new data is written to ZFS, it creates a checksum for that data. When that data is read, the checksum is verified. If the checksum does not match, ZFS knows that an error has been detected and tries to fix it automatically.
- RAID-Z – RAID-Z is actually a variation of RAID-5. To use the basic level of RAID-Z (RAID-Z1) you need at least two disks for storage and one for parity. RAID-Z2 required at least two storage drives and two drive for parity. RAID-Z3 requires at least two storage drives and three drive for parity. When drives are added to the RAID-Z pools, they have to be added in multiples of two.
- Maximum 16 Exabyte file size – don't uses 64-bit, but 128-bit. ZFS “offers 16 billion times the capacity of 32- or 64-bit systems….
- Maximum 256 Quadrillion Zettabytes storage
Check the StarWind ZFS Integration page, where you can also download a PDF.
Check the StarWind NAS and SAN product page with download at StarWind.
Recent StarWind news on ESX Virtualization:
- StarWind Free NAS & SAN For VMware vSphere Released (NEW)
- StarWind VSAN latest release (NEW)
- StarWind VSAN as a truly fault-tolerant virtual storage pool
- Free License of StarWind VSAN from StarWind for IT pros
- StarWind HyperConverged Appliance for Video and Surveillance
- How to Build Your StarWind VSAN Infrastructure from Scratch and ensure that it runs at Maximum Speed
- StarWind Virtual SAN on Linux for VMware vSphere
- VMware ESXi Free and StarWind – Two node setup for remote offices
- VMware vSphere and HyperConverged 2-Node Scenario from StarWind – Step By Step
- StarWind Storage Gateway for Wasabi Released
- StarWind and Highly Available NFS
- StarWind VVOLS Support and details of integration with VMware vSphere
- StarWind VSAN on 3 ESXi Nodes detailed setup
- VMware VSAN Ready Nodes in StarWind HyperConverged Appliance
More posts from ESX Virtualization:
- vSphere 7 U2 Released
- vSphere 7.0 Download Now Available
- vSphere 7.0 Page [All details about vSphere and related products here]
- VMware vSphere 7.0 Announced – vCenter Server Details
- VMware vSphere 7.0 DRS Improvements – What's New
- How to Patch vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) – [Guide]
- What is The Difference between VMware vSphere, ESXi and vCenter
- How to Configure VMware High Availability (HA) Cluster