Lustre runs ZFS on Linux

Lustre announced that their network file system will use ZFS in the future – running on their Linux machines.

The announcement is clear on the subject: they are not going to switch to Solaris, but they will use ZFS on Linux:

Cluster File Systems™, Inc. (CFS), announced that the open source Lustre™ network file system will start using Sun’s open source OpenSolaris™ ZFS disk file system on Lustre servers running Linux operating systems.

And Sun even confirmed it. Marc Hamilton, Sun’s vice president for Solaris marketing, wrote in his own blog:

Please do read the fine print, Cluster File Systems will not just be using ZFS for their Solaris implementation, they will be using ZFS as the basis for all versions of Lustre. Now that is cool.

However, ZFS’ licence and Linux’ licence are both Open Source, but also incompatible. Therefore there is currently only one way to run ZFS on Linux: in userspace with FUSE. And indeed looking at the architecture description of the ZFS-Lustre project FUSE is mentioned, and the zfs-fuse project is also linked.

This means that the FUSE implementation used by Lustre (I’m not totally sure if they use the linked zfs-fuse sources or have own) is considered stable enough quite soon to be used in enterprise environments under heavy load:

Lustre servers […] handle 100’s of GigaBytes per second in I/O coming from clusters with many 10,000’s of client systems, hundreds of servers and petabytes of storage

And this is interesting. I wasn’t aware of that there is a well working, bullet proof way to run ZFS on Linux in a performance way. I would like to see benchmarks compared to other file systems as well as compared to ZFS on Solaris. And I would like to know how easily it can be set up on Linux.
Also, if all the things are possible I wonder what has to be done to start Linux from a ZFS, to use ZFS as the main operating system on a Linux machine.


2 thoughts on “Lustre runs ZFS on Linux”

  1. Under debian atleast, zfs with fuse is exceedingly easy to setup using the apt archive “deb ./
    ” and apt-get install zfs-fuse and thats about it. It appears to work very well, I have been testing it on workstations and servers as a secondary file system and have had no problems with it yet. I am starting to convert systems to a dual fs setup – ie booting off ext3 and then using zfs for everything else. I believe that there maybe work going on to build zfs support into grub so it will be possible to boot from it, but I have yet to look into this.

  2. Just to clarify – Lustre will not be running ZFS on FUSE on Linux, but rather only using the DMU part to provide object-based storage for Lustre to export over the network. This is completely different than FUSE.

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