Has anyone an experience working with Solaris 10 iSCSI and zfs zvol devices?

From my experience in OpenSolaris 2009.6, zvol devices are slow and people use files as a disk images to store LUNs, it's may be unsafe but is the only one way to get a good speed. As far as I know this was fixed in the latest OpenSolaris builds but as you know, OpenSolaris project is closed and there will be no any stable versions anymore.

I have a task to resetup one of our sun-boxes used as SAN and at this moment the best choose seems to me to install an old but good Solaris 10.8.

So, my question is simple: what to choose in Solaris 10 for iSCSI sharing to store LUNs: zvol devices or files? Anyone has an experience with zvol, is it fast? We don't require any hyper speeds, 200mbytes/sec will be more than enough (disk array allows it of course).


Flat files will be faster, but you loose all management. No snapshots, no dynamic resize, backups are a pain, etc, etc. If all you care about is absolute raw speed go with flat. (But I personally don't recommend it.)

  • why no snapshots? If I snapshot a volume containing an image file, doesn't it snapshot everything, including file blocks which're still in the memory cache etc.? – disserman Aug 22 '10 at 1:08

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