Friday, January 22, 2010

Don't let zpool(1M) scare you

While doing some reliability tests for my new storage node I came across some negative behavior from zpool(1M). It has a tendency to recommend that you destroy the whole pool and restore from backup even if it's possible that the pool can be saved.

Like when trying to import a raidz2 pool which has lost connectivity with one too many disks:
cannot import 'zpool01': I/O error
Destroy and re-create the pool from
a backup source.
Or even worse, when importing a second pool with the same name:
cannot import 'rpool': pool already exists
Destroy and re-create the pool from
a backup source.
Both situations where easily solved, the first by reconnecting a drive and the second I just had forgot to provide zpool import with a new name for the pool. Of course the first case could have been a fatal failure for the pool, but I think the error messages should be a bit less pessimistic, it can otherwise make new users do terrible things.

I've filed a bug but have not yet received a bugid for it.

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