I haven't had any luck getting a confirmed yes or no to this question.

I'd like to run ZFS as a distributed file system (like Gluster or CEPH). OpenZFS and ZFS on Linux does not (yet) have file system clustering.

My understanding is distributed is currently a feature of ZFS in the proprietary (paid) Solaris. Is it also available in Opensolaris?

The clustering will be used with two separate servers, each using their own JBOD. Thus, we need an across-the-network (10Gb ETH) solution.


Even on Solaris, "clustered" ZFS is not really a distributed file system.

See Cluster File System with ZFS - Introduction and Configuration:

It must be noted that zpool for globally mounted ZFS file systems does not actually mean a global ZFS pool, instead there is a Cluster File System layer that is present on top of ZFS that makes the file systems of the ZFS pool globally accessible.

In other words, a "clustered" ZFS file system is actually mounted on one of the cluster nodes as a ZFS file system, and available via NFS on the other nodes.

If you know how to cluster your own file systems in whatever clustering solution you choose, it's not hard to create your own "clustered" ZFS file system - ZFS is not really any different from other non-shared filesystems such as XFS or ext4 in that it can only be actually directly mounted on one host at a time.

A co-worker of mine did just that for a Solaris customer we supported - over 15 years ago, so it's not something new. It's not hard to do, but you do have to understand exactly how ZFS import and export work, and how to use SCSI reservations to prevent multiple mounting of the same ZFS pool - that won't work and will almost certainly corrupt your data.

To get it to work, though, the storage device(s) holding the ZFS pool have to be shared between all the cluster hosts, so it's usually ISCSI or FC LUNs.


OpenSolaris has been discountinued in 2010!

You can use OpenIndiana (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenIndiana), which is based on Illumos, a fork of the last open source version of OpenSolaris. https://illumos.org/

It features ZFS, and you should contact the guys of illumos on their IRC channel to ask more about clustering...

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