ZFS in Windows

May 24th, 2014

I’m experimenting with getting a ZFS array up in Windows, as a working drive.

ZFS, like RAID, can load-balance across hard drives, giving a significant performance improvement. You can also add some SSDs to your array, as cache drives. Plus ZFS has some great snapshotting features, and does an amazing job of keeping your data safe.

However. ZFS is not available on Windows.

I’ve set up a ZFS array in a Linux box that can achieve almost 300MB/s transfers, but when you’re going over a gigabit you’re limited to about 110MB/s. And with SSDs, that array could get much faster.

The next step I’m trying, is to put the ZFS array in a Linux VM, on the Windows workstation. So far this is going well – My VM has raw access to the disks, and with 2 SSDs in an array, it can write at 630MB/s and read at >1GB/s!

But. Windows accessing the files over samba is getting up to 350MB/s write-speeds (and not consistently). Most worrying is the best read speed I’ve seen is 160MB/s.

That’s much better than over a gigabit network, but not good enough to justify the agro of running the linux VM.

I’ve tried googling around, but struggling to find much relevant information. I’ve tweaked the samba settings, and some helped the write-speed, but none made much of a dent in the read-speed.

Next step is to try VirtualBox… maybe it’s networking handling will be better.

UPDATE: performance in VirtualBox was similar. I find the slower read speed must confusing. I also tried using iSCSI instead of Samba, but got similar performance.

I’ve given up for the time being… Maybe the way forward is an external box hosting the ZFS array with thunderbolt between them? Except Thunderbolt cards aren’t much cheaper than 10gb network cards 🙁

Who to vote for?

May 22nd, 2014

For me, the most important political policies relate to personal freedom and privacy, particularly following the Snowden revelations.

I don’t have the opportunity to vote for The Pirate Party (they’re only represented in the North West Region), so I’m trying to figure out who else has good policies.

The Green Party’s manifesto has a good section about protecting our privacy, pushing for a digital Bill of Rights, and even promoting open-source software!

Lib Dem’s is all about protecting children – which is code for restricting freedom. They don’t even mention privacy concerns or net-neutrality. Hardly liberal.

Labour and Conservatives make no mention of policies about the Internet.

Yorkshire Wildlife Park video →

April 21st, 2014

Nan-nan took us to the Yorkshire Wildlife Park. Here’s a short video of our trip.

Easter Egg Hunt

April 20th, 2014

Oscar having an Easter egg hunt at Pop’s and Gi-Gi’s.

Playing at Hatfield House →

April 8th, 2014

A quick video from our day playing and at Hatfield House


March 19th, 2014

Oscar is TWO today!

February 5th, 2014
Oscar is TWO today!
Oscar is TWO today!

Oscar got a Postman Pat van, a bubble gun, and we went to the zoo. We saw lots of different big cats.

Super Mario Ben →

January 23rd, 2014

Awesome video by Cousin Ben. And it was me that introduced him to the original video!

Oscar (2012-2013)

December 28th, 2013

A full 15 minutes(!) of Oscar (up until he’s almost 2)

Oscar and Family

December 28th, 2013

A “trailer” for 2013 (Oscar being 1)