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First, a quick explanation of the underlying issue. I got a new job as a sys admin and inherited a file server using ZFS as the basis for the shared data. The pool includes a number of filesystems but no volumes. Recently the Samba sharing on the server stopped working and it seems to be an authentication issue. We are working with Centrify, who provides the AD authentication integration, to find out why.

While we wait, it's been a week so the users are getting very restless and management has started to glare at us, we have been attempting to come up with a way to share the data in another way.

We have found that Centrify Samba shares work fine with Debian 8.4. At this point we would like to set up another server to temporarily give out Samba shares. This second server will need to connect to the main file server. Both NFS and iSCSI have been discussed but both have issues.

From my research NFS has performance, permission, and even data validation issues when an NFS mount is shared over Samba. It can work but does not seem to be the best solution. iSCSI on the other hand sounds like it would work great but seems to require ZFS Volumes instead of Filesystems.

So the questions are as follows.

Can ZFS Filesystems be used as iSCSI Targets?

Can ZFS Filesystems be converted to ZFS Volumes?

Or would the NFS solution work best in this temporary case?

  • This is definitely a case for a pro ;) - But can you give some detail on the OS version and ZFS solution? Is it Linux? What are the client systems? – ewwhite Feb 22 '17 at 4:24
  • How much data are you talking about? – ewwhite Feb 22 '17 at 4:26
  • please don't shoot yourself in the head and avoid using iSCSI, no reason to take file to block to file. have you considered finding a consultant to help – Jacob Evans Feb 22 '17 at 4:32
  • OS is Debian Jessie, currently 8.6. The ZFS is the native Debian version. – Chris Woelkers Feb 22 '17 at 15:10
  • The clients are a mix of Linux servers, which access via NFS, and Mac and Windows clients, which access via Samba. Total pool size is 86 TB on 84 4 TB disks split into 6 vdevs. – Chris Woelkers Feb 22 '17 at 15:16
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Yes, ZFS can be an iSCSI provider. It's not always a good idea because your data becomes encapsulated in a ZFS vol.

Filesystems cannot be converted to zvols.

If your clients are NFS-capable (Linux?), there's no reason to avoid NFS on ZFS.

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