Worth migrating to Solaris?

manxam

Active Member
Jul 25, 2015
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I'm currently using OmniOS 15022 (old) with Napp-it pro but would really like a storage system with SMB3 multichannel support.

I really like how simply OmniOS/Napp-it integrate with my domain and allow the use of compmgmt.msc to control permissions and would like to continue using this.

I'm not certain if I should migrate to FreeNAS or full-blown Solaris? My concern is future compatibility.
I'm under the impression that I can import my pool to either OS but, if using Solaris, lock myself into their ZFS infrastructure. Is this a concern?

I'm looking for stability and performance for 32x 4TB drives configured in 8 drive Raid Z3 vdevs in one Pool.

Any insight or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
 

gea

Well-Known Member
Dec 31, 2010
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There are some aspects to consider.

The first one is that Solaris is a commercial OS. While Oracle guarantees OS support at least until 2034 when I remember correctly, its price is at least more than 800 USD per year for a single socket server. As in any serious production environment you use more than one storage system and more than one backup system this can result in several thousand USD per year. In a noncommercial home situation this may be different as Oracle allows noncommercial use for demo and development without costs.

If costs would not be a concern or Oracle would still be like Sun with OpenSolaris (open to users and innovative), I would switch my own machines completely to Solaris as Oracle is still the biggest fish among all in ZFS involved parties with the best (fastest, most feature rich) ZFS implementation with best of all integration of iSCSI, NFS and SMB within ZFS and the OS as Solaris internal projects (no third party software like SAMBA needed for a storage server)

You must decide now whether you want a genuine ZFS (Solaris) or Open-ZFS. Both are incompatible. A switch means backup, destroy the pool and restore. On Open-ZFS you can either use the free Solaris fork Illumos wth distributions like OmniOS with a stable/long term stable and a commercial support option, OpenIndiana or SmartOS or distributions based on FreeBSD or those on Linux. You can more or less move pools between them unless they support the same features and they do not hinder a move by a special partition cheme.

The quality and availability of web management tools may also be an item. napp-it supports for Solaris, OpenIndiana or OmniOS. On Free-BSD you can use either Free-NAS or Nas4Free as a management tool. On Linux there is OMV but not with a special ZFS focus.

As you mostly want an FC/iSCSI, NFS or SMB server out of ZFS you can either use the ZFS/OS embedded kernel-services on Solaris and its forks or SAMBA and all the other services that are available on any X-Platform or BSD/Linux with a different set of advantages and disadvantages. For my own use case, the Solarish SMB service was the first to be able to replace my real Windows servers due its support of ntfs alike permissions with inheritance, Windows sid identifiers, SMB groups and ZFS snaps as Windows Previous Versions as a trouble free out of the box option.
 
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Boris

Member
May 16, 2015
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@gea should get a job at Oracle, hard to not want to build one more Solaris based server now... :)
 

m4r1k

Member
Nov 4, 2016
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Feature-wise it’s perfectly like Gea said, but a bit beyond those, one needs to consider all Oracle model disadvantages:
- without an Oracle Solaris subscription, security updates, bug-fixing and support for newer hardware is off limits
- without the subscription is impossible to upgrade to one release to another (see 11.3 to 11.4 that needs at least 11.3RSU23, see 11.2 to 11.3 etc)
- Oracle is laying off as many Solaris people as they can, even supporting until 2034, one should think of the future
- Oracle Solaris ZFS pool cannot converted/imported to any OpenZFS ones
- Community-wise, Oracle Solaris is zero. Even if there are still many people around with Solaris knowledge, this is at best updated to Sun days. Solaris-forks have got a different shape and many pieces behave differently. Oracle Solaris-wise besides basic OS documentation, everything concerning the real value (aka reccomandations, support access, etc) is only accessible through a Solaris subscription

Think about this: unless one is setting up a NAS for very low-value contents, it’s highly possible that when the current hardware will have a failure there will be no free Oracle Solaris bits around to support new hardware. Or no support to help you out from a specific issue. Or even more, an issue that prevented using any longer Solaris.
Open source and community are a value much bigger than technical features. Just guess why UNIX died and Linux won against armies of allengedly super highly skilled developers (its of course not that simple but the community played a massive role)
 

manxam

Active Member
Jul 25, 2015
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Thank you @gea and @m4r1k. You both make excellent points. While I would really like the features of Oracle Solaris, I do worry about my data going forward. Obviously critical items are backed up but there's a lot of data I would prefer not to lose in the event of a hardware failure.

@gea 's points about management are why I love OmniOS and napp-it so much. My windows machines don't even know that they're talking to a Solarish server due to the NTFS-like ACL's and ability to control shares and permissions from within Windows.

I understand that I'll lose this with Samba but am really missing SMBv3 that is available currently which will allow exporting / importing HyperV machines to the filer, multiple tcp streams, etc without going down the route of NFS, iSCSI, and LAG/NIC teaming.

I really with Nex. would upstream SMB3 like they did 2.1. :(
 

mstone

Active Member
Mar 11, 2015
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Think about this: unless one is setting up a NAS for very low-value contents, it’s highly possible that when the current hardware will have a failure there will be no free Oracle Solaris bits around to support new hardware. Or no support to help you out from a specific issue. Or even more, an issue that prevented using any longer Solaris.
Or they wake up one day and decide to change the license terms. Again.