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I'm evaluating the Nexenta platform to hopefully one day replace our legacy file servers. I would primarily use it as a CIFS server in an Active Directory environment.

  1. Anyone out there have any experience using it? Good? Bad?
  2. Which hardware vendor did you go with? Why? Did you build your own (Supermicro) or go prebuilt?
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Did you even end up going with a Nexenta based solution for your CIFS sharing? –  tsquillario Jul 20 '11 at 14:04
    
Not yet, I am still testing it out. So far, I have CIFS working in AD, but still trying to get a feel for ACLs. –  churnd Jul 20 '11 at 19:22

8 Answers 8

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Sadly there is a massive stack of Kerberos and AD bugs in opensolaris (and nexenta) that are plaguing MS AD users. I've been cataloging mine since Dec 09. I wouldn't count on using CIFS reliably with AD at this point.

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Can you install Samba and use it for CIFS and Windbind for AD auth? I know it's possible to do that on OpenSolaris....but I don't have any experience with Nexenta. I'm not sure that will solve any of the Kerberos issues though as I know that Sun/Solaris has it's own implementation of it. Which from a client point of view is supposed to be compatible with Kerberos MIT. –  3dinfluence Apr 8 '10 at 2:42
    
That is a major bummer, because that's pretty much all I wanted to use it for. Have you tried Nexenta 3.0? In my environment, I would have to use nested groups (AD users in local groups). I've been told by Nexenta support that this would work. Another concern I have is the AD users don't have unix attributes. I'm assuming Nexenta will derive it's own? –  churnd Apr 8 '10 at 3:41

I can't comment on Nexenta's AD/CIFS implementation as I've just started using that feature, but we have been using it as our primary storage for just over a year now, with an appliance here in the office and one in the datacenter. I assume you're talking about the NexentaStor appliance platform, and not the Nexenta distribution.

1 - It has been great to use, though we are primarily using it for NFS. Depending on the system configuration, it is very fast and reliable. In our (crappy) office, we have had quite a few power outages, and it never skips a step. We use it with both OracleVM (Xen) and VMware esx, it has been great for both. The only caveat, at least with NFS, is to be sure to have dns setup and fully populated with all your servers.

2 - I would recommend going through a vendor, having both built our own (in the office) and purchased from a reseller (PogoLinux appliance in the datacenter). Everything works fine on the one we spec'ed out ourselves, but performance could be better, and we forgot a couple things up front. We didn't spec out OOBM on our home-built one, so that has bit us a couple times and necessitated a couple late night drives to the office. We also chose a storage controller (sata JBOD) that I've since heard is very slow compared to other stuff out there. Our experience with PogoLinux has been great, the solution we created them has been top-notch performance wise, and their support is a great addition to normal nexenta support as they have a lot of hands on experience with the hardware, software, and storage implementations in general. Price-wise, it was very close to building it ourselves, so the extra 2% or so we spent with PogoLinux has been well worth it.

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+1 Pogo Linux is indeed a fantastic vendor to work with, particularly for Nexenta storage servers. –  Skyhawk Mar 29 '11 at 2:05

I can't add comments directly since I don't have enough 'karma' yet.

@3dinfluence: Not that I am aware of.

@churnd: AD users get unix attributes via ACL's and idmapping. I'm presently running 3.0 but started with 2.2. CIFS/AD works for SOME users just fine, but I've helped multitudes of people diagnose and work around kerberos bugs that interweave with CIFS. It's not fun nor very stable. Though I guess technically it's not even Nexenta's fault since they are OSOL bugs but since I'm a paying user I think they should at least consider fixing the bugs themselves and uploading the code to the OpenSolaris OVN for review.

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I was quite impressed with how well nexanta fulfilled it's primary purpose, pulling in data from other systems and snapshotting it. I have gotten extremely high dedup/compress rate, 3.67x with .5T of data. Any linux/bsd system will lag behind on zfs fixes compared to a opensolaris version.

I for one without knowing much about the cifs in opensolaris would trust it as a samba server.

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Of course one way to get around this is to use a separate device for the L2ARC. As for stability and production readiness - http://www.informationweek.com/news/software/open_source/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=227600191&subSection=Hosted+Software - ultimately will be 1PB - mission critical stuff.

Both Illumos and OpenIndiana will provide a solid base for the future of OpenSolaris I think. It maybe that they merge at some point to pool their resources.

I know Nexenta are hiring CIFS chaps from Redmond to work on getting that side of things tip-top though it works well already. Personal experience here.

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I tried it in a VM and it seemed ok, however do be aware that as Oracle (Sun) have now (essentially) killed OpenSolaris this may spell the end for Nexenta.

An alternate ZFS serving platform would be FreeBSD.

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"as Oracle (Sun) have now (essentially) killed OpenSolaris" - uhm, how did they kill OpenSolaris? –  joschi Apr 7 '10 at 11:43
    
I admit there's no clear statements either way, but they've done a licence change for Solaris, and also announced that OpenSolaris will no longer recieve new features as a test bed, which will likely cause OpenSolaris to stagnate. –  LapTop006 Apr 7 '10 at 12:16
    
Got a link? The only thing I've seen is that Solaris itself is no longer free to use and you must license it for commercial use after a trial period. Also the creator of ZFS just joined the Nexenta Advisory Board. I wouldn't be too concerned about the future of OpenSolaris or Nexenta. –  3dinfluence Apr 7 '10 at 13:50
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@LapTop006: There was no such statements by Oracle about OpenSolaris. Only that some Solaris new features might not be included in the OpenSolaris source code which was already the case anyway. As of Solaris no more being a freeware, this has nothing to do with OpenSolaris and even less with Nexenta which is an independent project. –  jlliagre Apr 7 '10 at 13:51
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opensolaris has not changed. Beyond that Nexenta is an entire distro using the opensolaris kernel and gnu tools. –  Nick Anderson Apr 7 '10 at 14:34

This is old but I don't think it has been adequately answered. The CIFS integration with ZFS is terrible. I know of no one using it in a production environment, it is just broken. ACLs get horribly mangled and it is impossible to keep them managed.

Samba, OTOH, is fine - or at least, far more mature.

I'm not pumping my own blog (I get about one visitor per month and don't care), but I already went into some more detail about it:

http://jimcollier.blogspot.com/2010/03/2kc820q3.html

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You might want to consider the 3+ years bug with ZFS ARC that still persists before jumping in too deep with ZFS...

http://bugs.opensolaris.org/bugdatabase/view_bug.do?bug_id=6522017

(This one is nasty as it will also go out-of-bounds from the VM limits of a hypervisor!)

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See my comment over here: serverfault.com/questions/144639/… –  EEAA Jul 26 '10 at 2:13
    
See my response at serverfault.com/questions/162693/… –  user48838 Jul 26 '10 at 2:51
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@user48838 - cross posting the same response to every ZFS-related question, regardless of its appropriateness to the question helps nobody. Can I ask you to only post appropriate responses to questions please as your efforts in the last day have generated a number of moderator attention alerts. –  Chopper3 Jul 26 '10 at 9:45
    
The collective "moderator zombie" response is bewildering, especially when reviewing the following - serverfault.com/about with the "operative" references to "site for system administrators and IT professionals..." –  user48838 Jul 27 '10 at 7:33
    
I have been ignored repeatedly to sensible requests for careful (re)reading of the postings in their full context - yes it is repeatish, but they are relevant responses to the original posted questions: "Is ZFS ready for production consideration?" The negative noise (in the guise of "moderatorism") totally and effectively side-steps the valid warning of the production significance (along with the possibly career inhibiting implications) of this bug... –  user48838 Jul 27 '10 at 7:35

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