Is napp-it stable enough for production?

GCM

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Aug 24, 2015
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Looking at a ZFS setup for a client, and I'm considering going down the napp-it route. Is anyone here using it in production for a small office?
 

Derf

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May 31, 2013
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SoHo user here, I have been running it since ~2013 and it has been very stable. I did just recently run into an issue where the snapshots filled up my boot drive and caused a crash, which took about 24hrs to troubleshoot via Google searches on the web. Prior to the crash my uptime was over a 380 days.

I would suggest quality hardware that is well supported and you should be fine. Also, it isn't 100% hands free- some general maintenance and updates are probably necessary so consider setting up remote login capabilities.
 

GCM

Active Member
Aug 24, 2015
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SoHo user here, I have been running it since ~2013 and it has been very stable. I did just recently run into an issue where the snapshots filled up my boot drive and caused a crash, which took about 24hrs to troubleshoot via Google searches on the web. Prior to the crash my uptime was over a 380 days.

I would suggest quality hardware that is well supported and you should be fine. Also, it isn't 100% hands free- some general maintenance and updates are probably necessary so consider setting up remote login capabilities.
Interesting, why were snapshots filling your bootdrive?
 

rpross3

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Feb 16, 2016
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Not to take anything away from Gea, but napp-it is basically a management gui for a short list of Solaris/Illumos derived OSes. So the stability and/or suitability question should be focused on Illumos variants like OmniOS vs Solaris. I hear the pitter patter of little penguin feet coming, too.

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GCM

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That's very true.

The last ZFS deployment I did was on RHEL, and I'm just looking at other options.
 

bds1904

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Aug 30, 2013
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For a client? I'm not a fan of roll-your-own storage solution in that situation. The only way I would be is if it's for basic storage, which at that point zfs could be considered overkill.

For yourself or your own business, sure, roll your own. You won't have anyone to fire but yourself! Haha

Seriously, if roll-your-own is truly the only option that fits the iops/price ratio be sure to use new, fully supported hardware and make them have a support contract. Have spare drives on hand and have a seperate backup target on-site. Keep in mind that unless this is serving storage for virtualization many people over-estimate their IOPS needs grossly. You would be amazed what a good SSD cache will get you in most use cases.

To finish answering your question, if I were going to run a roll-your-own solution in production it absolutely would be OmniOS+Napp-It on bare metal.
 

rpross3

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Feb 16, 2016
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This is good advice whether commercial or DIY.

How about Nexenta? CE is free up to 18TB.

Sent from my HTC One_M8 using Tapatalk
 

GCM

Active Member
Aug 24, 2015
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Have to admit, not a huge fan. ( I know, don't kill me)

For a client? I'm not a fan of roll-your-own storage solution in that situation. The only way I would be is if it's for basic storage, which at that point zfs could be considered overkill.

For yourself or your own business, sure, roll your own. You won't have anyone to fire but yourself! Haha

Seriously, if roll-your-own is truly the only option that fits the iops/price ratio be sure to use new, fully supported hardware and make them have a support contract. Have spare drives on hand and have a seperate backup target on-site. Keep in mind that unless this is serving storage for virtualization many people over-estimate their IOPS needs grossly. You would be amazed what a good SSD cache will get you in most use cases.

To finish answering your question, if I were going to run a roll-your-own solution in production it absolutely would be OmniOS+Napp-It on bare metal.
I've done multiple "roll your own" solutions via ZoL on Redhat with an active support subscription. Ultimately if I do not find something else that looks "good" I will just continue to do this. I'm a huge fan of DIY especially when you have the skills required for said DIY. I've built excellent storage platforms with ~100TB of usable space for $75,000 less than Tegile and Co. would offer, and they've been absolutely bullet proof.

This is good advice whether commercial or DIY.

How about Nexenta? CE is free up to 18TB.

Sent from my HTC One_M8 using Tapatalk
I'll have roughly 180TB @ rz3
 

gea

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Dec 31, 2010
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Let me add a few comments about stability or production use of OpenSource or OpenStorage solutions, can be napp-it or others. Basically the questions are.

- Is ZFS stable?
no question, yes. In production use with Petabytes of storage

- Is ZFS on the operating system stable (BSD, Linux, Solaris)
no question, yes. In production use with Petabytes of storage

Beside genuine ZFS from Oracle for Solaris with some unique features like ZFS encryption or fast sequential resilvering that are not in Open-ZFS, all Open-ZFS solutions share the same ZFS codebase so ZFS filesystem differences are minimal. For me the golden ZFS standard are Solarish based systems as ZFS is native there with a unique integration of ZFS and services like iSCSI, NFS and SMB into the OS

Remains the question about the OS itself. There are options that I would not declare stable like OpenIndiana dev, others like BSD, Solaris or OmniOS are stable with continous development and security/ bugfixes. Oracle Solaris is one of the big Unix Players.

For me, the OS family question (BSD, Linux or Solarish) is much more relevant as the question what management GUI you are using on top, can be FreeNAS, Nas4free or ZFSGuru on BSD, NexentaStor, napp-it or Oracle solutions on Solarish or for a GUI for Linux.

- Is the OS +management software stable?
This is different on solutions. FreeNAS x is tight to BSD y release. NexentaStor is based on Illumos like OmniOS but they support their own distribution/variant of Illumos with some improvements that are not in Illumos/OmniOS.

Napp-it is not tight to an OS release or even OS distribution. It is an option if you want to use a core enterprise operating system where it adds management and usability. For production use, you should use Oracle Solaris or OmniOS. You can also use OpenIndiana but I would not do on a production setup. Linux is another napp-it option but with reduced functionality

Beside that, napp-it development started about 8 years ago on OpenSolaris and NexentaCore. Most of napp-it especially ZFS management is very stable, other parts like appliance clustering and failover are under development and not yet production ready.

- Is the hardware stable with the OS of choice?
Depends on Hardware and OS

If you are not experienced, use a suggested SuperMicro solution or ask for independent consultation ex Kateley Company – Simplifying Complexity, Linda Kateley is very skilled on BSD based ZFS solutions and Solaris based ZFS solutions and offers training as well.

Anyway, prefer a qualified local reseller for server equippment that you can trust. I would prefer SuperMicro as preconfigured built to order option but can be Dell, HP or Lenovo.

And yes, napp-it on Solaris or OmniOS is in production use up to Petabyte storage solutions.
 
Last edited:

wildchild

Active Member
Feb 4, 2014
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Very well put gea.. to add. For omnios there is a per processor support possible and the oracle exadata systems are fully zfs based.. and they remain on the top of the performance list , especially for huge oracle database.
As for another big player that uses zfs, that would be dells compellant, eventhough the run it on top of bsd and add lots of custom bits
 

GCM

Active Member
Aug 24, 2015
137
43
28
Let me add a few comments about stability or production use of OpenSource or OpenStorage solutions, can be napp-it or others. Basically the questions are.

- Is ZFS stable?
no question, yes. In production use with Petabytes of storage

- Is ZFS on the operating system stable (BSD, Linux, Solaris)
no question, yes. In production use with Petabytes of storage

Beside genuine ZFS from Oracle for Solaris with some unique features like ZFS encryption or fast sequential resilvering that are not in Open-ZFS, all Open-ZFS solutions share the same ZFS codebase so ZFS filesystem differences are minimal. For me the golden ZFS standard are Solarish based systems as ZFS is native there with a unique integration of ZFS and services like iSCSI, NFS and SMB into the OS

Remains the question about the OS itself. There are options that I would not declare stable like OpenIndiana dev, others like BSD, Solaris or OmniOS are stable with continous development and security/ bugfixes. Oracle Solaris is one of the big Unix Players.

For me, the OS family question (BSD, Linux or Solarish) is much more relevant as the question what management GUI you are using on top, can be FreeNAS, Nas4free or ZFSGuru on BSD, NexentaStor, napp-it or Oracle solutions on Solarish or for a GUI for Linux.

- Is the OS +management software stable?
This is different on solutions. FreeNAS x is tight to BSD y release. NexentaStor is based on Illumos like OmniOS but they support their own distribution/variant of Illumos with some improvements that are not in Illumos/OmniOS.

Napp-it is not tight to an OS release or even OS distribution. It is an option if you want to use a core enterprise operating system where it adds management and usability. For production use, you should use Oracle Solaris or OmniOS. You can also use OpenIndiana but I would not do on a production setup. Linux is another napp-it option but with reduced functionality

Beside that, napp-it development started about 8 years ago on OpenSolaris and NexentaCore. Most of napp-it especially ZFS management is very stable, other parts like appliance clustering and failover are under development and not yet production ready.

- Is the hardware stable with the OS of choice?
Depends on Hardware and OS

If you are not experienced, use a suggested SuperMicro solution or ask for independent consultation ex Kateley Company – Simplifying Complexity, Linda Kateley is very skilled on BSD based ZFS solutions and Solaris based ZFS solutions and offers training as well.

Anyway, prefer a qualified local reseller for server equippment that you can trust. I would prefer SuperMicro as preconfigured built to order option but can be Dell, HP or Lenovo.

And yes, napp-it on Solaris or OmniOS is in production use up to Petabyte storage solutions.
Thank you for the incredibly detailed reply!