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Sat, 17 Mar 2012

Content Addressable Storage

Because I am backing up a whole bunch of machines that may have identical files on them (many copies of Windows, old backups, etc), I am interested in finding ways of having n copies of a file not occupy n times the amount of storage.

I see three ways of doing this:

  1. Using ZFS file depuplication on my backup server. This sounds good, but all of the ZFS configuration guides I've seen recommend having lots of RAM when you use dedup, and my little backup servers have only 2 to 4 GB of RAM, so this seems like a non-starter.
  2. Using a manual dedup script that uses hardlinks to free up diskspace on a Unix volume... Something like dedup from Roderick Schertler (documented here), trimstrees at CPAN, harlink from Julian Andres Klode, opendedup, or fileuniq on sourceforge (there is a list here) actually. That sounds attractive, but I am not sure how long it would take on 1 TB of data, and I am not sure hardlinks will work well on files owned by multiple users.
  3. Then, there is the possibility of Content Addressable Storage. EMC does this on its Centera product line, and it is quite useful in the Corporate space... in the Open Source world, I have been interested by Poul-Henning Kamp's stow package for a while (see here for the old version or here for the new version that phk is working on this year).

Stow looks interesting... I'll try to find some time to dig further into it.

/FreeBSD | Posted at 11:48 | permanent link

Mon, 05 Mar 2012

Windows 8 Consumer Preview edition

The Windows 8 Consumer Preview edition was out Feb 29th. I've downloaded it in ISO image form from here. I have tried installing it in vmware player virtual machine a couple of times, but I have not been successful yet (had an error message when scanning for devices, and haven't really had the time to look at it further since).

Update: I have successfully installed it on a leftover acer PC with quadCPU, 4GB RAM, and 2x 500GB drives. Runs quite well with essentially no complaints.

At first glance, it looks pretty good. I look forward to trying it a good thorough try. I like the look of Metro, but they need to have right-click do something intelligent in it, if it's ever going to be used for anything real.

Anyway, let's hope that in the great rush to send everyone into mobile mode using cordoned-off App world with limited freedom, our industry doesn't lose sight of the fact that many of us still want (nay, need) to really use our machine every once in a while.

/software | Posted at 17:25 | permanent link

Thu, 01 Mar 2012

The HP Proliant Microserver

I have mentioned before the HP Proliant Microserver, about which one can find information here.

I have purchased one of those and I am not successfully running it under FreeBSD 9.0 as a server on my LAN. Quite useful, quite well built, I am fairly pleased with my purchase! This must be from the old Compaq crew at HP, they've always made good servers :-) (Hey, how long has it been since Mary McDowell has left HP? Must be getting close to 10 years now... one of my preferred Compaq executives! My my, how time flies!)

/hardware | Posted at 15:57 | permanent link