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Comment: Re:FreeNAS (Score 1) 209 209

Same here.

zfsonlinux doesn't have built in CIFS export

It's not built in, but it is integrated. Just use
zfs set sharesmb=on pool/srv

If you are having perms issues, make sure you have acl support enabled in your kernel and userland, and then use the aclinherit property on your zfs pool. Samba should handle the translation between NT and posix ACLs seamlessly, but you may need to use Samba4 for the best results.

Comment: Re:FreeNAS (Score 1) 209 209

I'll go with one of the co-architects of ZFS, Matthew Ahrens,

There's nothing special about ZFS that requires/encourages the use of ECC RAM more so than any other filesystem. If you use UFS, EXT, NTFS, btrfs, etc without ECC RAM, you are just as much at risk as if you used ZFS without ECC RAM. Actually, ZFS can mitigate this risk to some degree if you enable the unsupported ZFS_DEBUG_MODIFY flag (zfs_flags=0x10). This will checksum the data while at rest in memory, and verify it before writing to disk, thus reducing the window of vulnerability from a memory error.

I would simply say: if you love your data, use ECC RAM. Additionally, use a filesystem that checksums your data, such as ZFS.

In other words, there is a non-zero chance that you will get silent data corruptions on disk if you don't use ECC RAM. It is the same risk with ZFS as with any other filesystem. And yet, personal computers have been running without ECC RAM for decades and it hasn't been a travesty. So yeah, if you are running in the type of situation where you absolutely must ensure the highest level of data integrity, then you must use ECC RAM. If you are running your own personal home media NAS, it is probably not an unmitigable risk to buy cheaper hardware. The storage gurus will argue, "Why use ZFS if you don't care about it's data integrity features?" My response is that ZFS has a ton of other very useful features that make it a great filesystem.

BTW, bad vs. good RAM is not the same thing as non-ECC vs. ECC RAM. While ECC RAM will protect you from bit flips, a bad stick of RAM is still a bad stick with or without the extra parity bit. Aaron Toponce has a good (non-sensational) discussion on the topic,

Comment: Re:OwnCloud (Score 1) 209 209

Owncloud is a poor substitute for a fileserver because everything has to be owned by the webserver user at the the filesystem level. All of the access controls and versioning is handled by the owncloud webapp. So if you need to operate outside of the owncloud environment you are screwed, like for example using owncloud's dropbox-like client for easy syncing and at the same time exporting the filesystem via Samba for people to map network drives.

Comment: Re:ZFS (Score 2) 209 209

Also, can you easily find all the snapshots for a single file?

If you export the filesystem via Samba, you can enable the VSS compatibility feature, which allows Windows users to access the "Previous Versions" tab. There is no equivalent for other Mac or Linux clients, or other network filesystems (NFS, etc) that I know of. It would be a nice feature to have.

Comment: Re:For people who don't speak buzzwords (Score 2) 54 54

Well, containers (some variants, at least) do offer the ability to constrain resources. You should be able to prevent your Apache container from using up all of the memory on your system, for example. But the real strength of a container is the ability to just pick it up and move it to another machine, even while it is running. So it helps your situation quite a bit. Instead of needing to reprovision everything every time you move to a newer bigger box, you just configure the base system and drop the container into it, done. Ideally, your users don't even notice and their running jobs don't get interrupted. There are still a few rough spots to work out, but it's getting there.

Another use of containers is isolation. For example, a shell for users to log in to vs. the webserver. Everything can run on a single box, but you can have different security policies for each.

Comment: Re:For people who don't speak buzzwords (Score 2) 54 54

Portability of the container, not portability of the program. Most container variants have the ability to migrate to another node or clone additional instances, but it's usually a bit rough and doesn't always go completely smoothly. Docker is really making an effort to polish this so that you can, say, configure an instance of your data analysis container, start it up on a single node, quickly expand it to 20 nodes under load, and then bring it back down to 1 node, or have it failover to different nodes if one crashes, etc.... That's the ideal that VMs have been able to do for some time, but hasn't quite worked out with containers yet.

Comment: Re:For people who don't speak buzzwords (Score 4, Insightful) 54 54

Jeez, slashdot really is a shell of its former self. None of my containers run "a single application." The benefits of a container over a VM when you are running on the same core OS on the same architecture should be obvious to anyone who manages servers. What Docker containers bring over "ordinary" containers is superior portability. So, yeah, it is good for software deployment, but nobody is going to use it to bundle libreoffice.

Comment: Re:It means... (Score 3, Insightful) 54 54

But, that ignores the problem that modern containers really exist to solve dependency hell

Uh, no, that is not why containers exist at all. Containers are the linux equivalent of BSD jails and Solaris zones, which have many use cases. While you CAN use containers to manage dependencies, there are many other (better) ways to do that.

And, there's the annoying tendency of container users (and VM users) to treat everything as root within the context of the container/VM,

I don't know anybody who does this. Who do you work with?

Comment: Re:Alternatives to Mendeley (Score 1) 81 81

Can you explain that a bit further? I use Mendeley daily and am fairly happy with it, minus a feature here or there. For that matter, I don't understand what this article is on about. Yes, they were purchased by Elsevier. No, it hasn't affected their service. In fact, a few things, like the tablet client, are much better than they used to be.

Much of the excitement we get out of our work is that we don't really know what we are doing. -- E. Dijkstra