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Oracle warns that the analytics features of ZFS can crash systems

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July 27, 2015

Oracle has warned its enterprise customers this morning that the analytics features of its ZFS storage appliances can result in unresponsive or crashed systems.

The news come from Oracle staffer Matt Barnson, and he adds-- “I've received a number of questions about the analytics features and the issues they cause for the Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance.”

There's nothing wrong with Oracle's analytics, he added. Barnson says they're a great reason to consider a ZFS appliance, but that it appears that owners of the appliances may be abusing them.

“From takeover times to unresponsive systems, it's possible for a customer to cause their appliance numerous challenges by invoking analytic services without a care for the system cost,” Barnson warned.

He then went on to explain the wrong way to run analytics on the ZFS appliance, offering a list of worst practices one ought to avoid if one prefers a working storage array.

He added that the worst thing one can do to a ZFS appliance is “any breakdown at all involving L2-ARC. Use them, but turn them off when you're done. There are some challenges with zpool import (circa 2015) that, since L2-ARC is restricted to a specific head results in long pool takeover times if L2ARC-related analytics are enabled when a takeover is performed.”

Overall, guidance like this is always welcome in the IT industry, not least because Barnson says more than a few users are having trouble with ZFS analytics.

News that the appliances are not smart enough to warn users about the impact of their analytical endeavours may be less so.

He promised us an update on this in a few weeks. We'll keep you posted on these and other news.

Source: Oracle.

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