ZFS: Reorganizing Zeefus

About four and a half years ago, we bought new drives for our fileserver… a trio of WD Reds in 4TB. One of them had to go back under warranty as it stopped working, but otherwise it’s been pretty good this whole time. The pool started life on FreeBSD and was migrated over to Linux without any real concern.

However, about two years ago we started to notice we were getting dangerously close to the 85% threshold that ZFS sysadmins don’t like to let their pools get over (I’m not actually sure if the “slow mode” stuff that used to afflict these pools is still a thing, but it’s definitely still something everyone tries to avoid anyway). We threw away a heap of data and kept chugging along, but it’s been on the back of our minds that we’re going to have to plop the money for new disks at some point in the future… just “not right now” as we were in the process of buying this house!

The other day I noticed we were once again getting a bit close, so I started moving things around to work out where our storage space was going without doing a du -hs on terabytes of data at a time (because it’s fast enough the second time through once all the dents, I presume, are in the cache, but the first time through it’s excruciatingly slow!).

So this weekend, I took several of the containers that depend on these things offline and moved the data over using some overly-complicated shell scripts to avoid screwing up permissions, but also to avoid having two copies of more than one file at a time because we just don’t have the space for that.

In the process of this, I figured out a few things:

  • Sabriena’s got backups of all her Sims games… not sure we need those. It’s mostly the downloaded content (mods etc I guess?) that takes up a significant amount of space in her Windows backups.
  • The Steam backups are taking up nearly a terabyte on their own, so I blew those away and set up a lancache with a 500GB limit. This has the added benefit of if more than one of us wants the same game at the same time, we just start the downloads and let the cache worry about it.
  • I still have the backup contents of two of my old work Macbooks on the server. Not only is this a waste of space, it’s also possibly a violation of the new “company data” policy we have (not sure how good the encryption of time machine backups is, and whether that’d be acceptable under the policy), so blew that away.
  • My desktop was backing up about 500GB of VirtualBox VMs I didn’t ask it to.

The last one was most annoying, because I specifically excluded a ton of things on my desktop to keep backup sizes low. No dramas though, just exclude this and delete them and we should be good right?

Yes dramas… I have Windows 11, an “upgrade” from Windows 10. And absolutely none of the web search hits for where to find the “Backup” settings are accurate any more, because Windows 11 is, like 10, half-fucking-baked and they keep changing shit for no good reason and not updating their documentation.

Typing “backup” into the start menu search only comes up with “Back up and Sync your settings”, which is only for backing up Windows settings to OneDrive. Fucking useless.

After some time, I figured out that if I open the old school control panel, and then navigate to “File History”, I can configure them there. However upon closing that menu and thinking about writing this entry, I managed to forget, and had to spend another 10 minutes figuring it out all over again.

I swear, Windows 10 and 11 (and probably 8 too, though I didn’t really use that that much) are basically a perpetual A/B test and it’s infuriating how the way you do critical tasks seems to change just often enough to piss you off.

Horsham, VIC, Australia fwaggle



Filed under:


Horsham, VIC, Australia

Navigation: Older Entry Newer Entry