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To support high availability environments, providing an instant copy of the information on both the currently active machine and the hot backup is a critical part of the HA solution. There are many solutions to this problem, such as Replication.
The ZFS file system provides functionality to create a snapshot of the file system contents, transfer the snapshot to another machine, and extract the snapshot to recreate the file system. You can create a snapshot at any time, and you can create as many snapshots as you like. By continually creating, transferring, and restoring snapshots, you can provide synchronization between one or more machines in a fashion similar to DRBD.
The following example shows a simple Solaris system running with a
single ZFS pool, mounted at
Filesystem size used avail capacity Mounted on /dev/dsk/c0d0s0 4.6G 3.7G 886M 82% / /devices 0K 0K 0K 0% /devices ctfs 0K 0K 0K 0% /system/contract proc 0K 0K 0K 0% /proc mnttab 0K 0K 0K 0% /etc/mnttab swap 1.4G 892K 1.4G 1% /etc/svc/volatile objfs 0K 0K 0K 0% /system/object /usr/lib/libc/libc_hwcap1.so.1 4.6G 3.7G 886M 82% /lib/libc.so.1 fd 0K 0K 0K 0% /dev/fd swap 1.4G 40K 1.4G 1% /tmp swap 1.4G 28K 1.4G 1% /var/run /dev/dsk/c0d0s7 26G 913M 25G 4% /export/home scratchpool 16G 24K 16G 1% /scratchpool
The MySQL data is stored in a directory on
/scratchpool. To help demonstrate some of the
basic replication functionality, there are also other items stored
/scratchpool as well:
total 17 drwxr-xr-x 31 root bin 50 Jul 21 07:32 DTT/ drwxr-xr-x 4 root bin 5 Jul 21 07:32 SUNWmlib/ drwxr-xr-x 14 root sys 16 Nov 5 09:56 SUNWspro/ drwxrwxrwx 19 1000 1000 40 Nov 6 19:16 emacs-22.1/
To create a snapshot of the file system, you use
snapshot, specifying the pool and the snapshot name:
root-shell> zfs snapshot scratchpool@snap1
To list the snapshots already taken:
root-shell> zfs list -t snapshot NAME USED AVAIL REFER MOUNTPOINT scratchpool@snap1 0 - 24.5K - scratchpool@snap2 0 - 24.5K -
The snapshots themselves are stored within the file system metadata, and the space required to keep them varies as time goes on because of the way the snapshots are created. The initial creation of a snapshot is very quick, because instead of taking an entire copy of the data and metadata required to hold the entire snapshot, ZFS records only the point in time and metadata of when the snapshot was created.
As more changes to the original file system are made, the size of the snapshot increases because more space is required to keep the record of the old blocks. If you create lots of snapshots, say one per day, and then delete the snapshots from earlier in the week, the size of the newer snapshots might also increase, as the changes that make up the newer state have to be included in the more recent snapshots, rather than being spread over the seven snapshots that make up the week.
You cannot directly back up the snapshots because they exist within
the file system metadata rather than as regular files. To get the
snapshot into a format that you can copy to another file system,
tape, and so on, you use the
zfs send command to
create a stream version of the snapshot.
For example, to write the snapshot out to a file:
root-shell> zfs send scratchpool@snap1 >/backup/scratchpool-snap1
root-shell> zfs send scratchpool@snap1 >/dev/rmt/0
You can also write out the incremental changes between two snapshots
root-shell> zfs send scratchpool@snap1 scratchpool@snap2 >/backup/scratchpool-changes
To recover a snapshot, you use
zfs recv, which
applies the snapshot information either to a new file system, or to
an existing one.