One of the first things I really hoped ZFS could do when I heard about it (and its ability to share using iSCSI) was the ability to resize things at will. Resizing file systems is something that has been possible for a while but it has never been this easy, at least in my mind. With the ability to resize storage volumes you can put a ton of disks into a single system and then share out exactly what is needed to your systems and then resize if you need more later on. Today I got a chance to test ZFS’s ability to resize volumes as well as how Windows handles the task.

Although the ability to resize file systems has been around for a while it has never been as easy as it is today. Linux has been able to resize file systems for some time and the latest versions of Windows provides the ability right in Disk Management. I run a number of Windows systems and the ability to resize NTFS iSCSI volumes is what I’m primarily interested in.

Click read more to learn how this is done. This isn’t a full how-to but more of an overview of how to make it all happen.

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One of the things I need to test is using iSCSI to store data on some Windows servers. Here is a quick synopsis of how to create a storage pool and then create a ZFS dataset that can be shared using iSCSI

Create the pool from the available disks, if they don’t already exist. Be sure to read docs on what kind of pool you want to create. I’m using raid-z

zpool create raid-z test /dev/dsk/c0t1d0 /dev/dsk/c0t2d0 /dev/dsk/c0t3d0 /dev/dsk/c0t4d0

Create the data set and share it using iSCSI

zfs create -s -V40G test/iscsi
zfs set shareiscsi=on test/iscsi

You should now have 40GB of iscsi based storage available. Use iscsi-initiator on Windows XP/Vista/Server 2003 to attach to the iscsi target, assign a drive letter and format.

A really good friend of mine likes call me an OS whore from time to time. It’s all in fun but he is right, I am. I can’t make up my mind which OS I like the best. Windows, Linux, Windows, Mac? Which is it? To be honest, I don’t know. I change my mind depending on my current needs, current capabilities of the operating systems of the day and I really just like to tinker. I also like to use whatever works based on what I need to get done.

Although my current favorite OS is definitely OS X I’m not exactly afraid to try out other operating systems. OpenSolaris is an OS I’ve played with before simply because I wanted to get to know ZFS, an incredible file system that should not be over looked. I have written about ZFS before but haven’t really worked with it much since then.

My interest in OpenSolaris and ZFS has been renewed as of late because of the need for a good amount of storage in the most cost effective manner possible. In the coming weeks I’ll be posting quite bit as I learn how to use OpenSolaris. Many posts will simply be reference information for myself and others might be more educational. Stay tuned.