Latest interface: 0.3.1
Latest system: 010
Pages: 1 2
Jason
Developer

806 posts

Posted on 1 January 2017 @ 16:34edited 16:35 50s
Dear ZFSguru users,

I have released a statement many users would like to read: Statement From Jason.

If after reading my statement you have any feedback to share, then please do so in this thread!

In particular, share with us your vision of the future of the project - now is the time to convince us!

In due time, developer CiPHER will respond to your inquiries.

Have a nice day!
- Jason
Jason
Developer

806 posts

Posted on 1 January 2017 @ 16:34edited 16:36 09s
<reserved post for future reference>
CiPHER
Developer

1199 posts

Posted on 1 January 2017 @ 16:52edited 16:53 58s
Hello folks!

First of all a happy 2017!

For those who do not know me: i am the ambitious type, much like Jason. Adventurous and optimistic.

I have many plans! Plans for the future of the project.

But before i share my plans, i want to listen to yours first!
jelle
User

2 posts

Posted on 1 January 2017 @ 23:34
Hi CiPHER,

I have been using zfsguru as a storage backend for my home vmware hypervisor installation.
Features:
- NAS / NFS performance
- Samba integration with an active directory
- Security
- Improved network configuration

Project:
- Allow for contributions, could be an open environment or let developers register with you first e.g. to wave all rights to you. Main issue here is to get continuity for the project.
- Setup something like uservoice for feature requests
- Maybe take on sponsored features?
- Have a realistic goals/roadmap

Just my 2 cents.
Nilz
User

2 posts

Posted on 2 January 2017 @ 00:02
Happy new year and congrats to CiPHER!

I've been using ZFSguru for about 3 years now and I've generally been satisfied, but I feel like there hasn't been any development with ZFSguru in the meantime. And I think this feeling is mostly because there doesn't seem to be any communications from you guys to the community. There are bulletin messages within ZFSguru but the last ones are from October and January. This update should be on the bulletin board as well right?

So what I'd really like to see is better communications about status of current development progress or other stuff as it would be nice to know what you're working on right now and how that'll affect the users. As an example from the bulletin board, there was a message in January this year stating: "In the last months of 2015, development progress was focused on our new website and the underlying framework Mesa".
Why are you putting this much effort on the website and a framework when there are readily available alternatives (not sure about this since I'm not a programmer or poweruser)? What's the status of this and what's the plan?

With this, I also would like to see something like feature requests, so you know which features the community would like to see, instead of just working on what you think to be the most important thing.

Anyway, I'm confident in you CiPHER. I regularly read the ZFS topic at Tweakers.net and you seem really passionate about the project and ZFS in general. I wish you (and Jason) the best of luck in continuing this project.
Hakker
User

76 posts

Posted on 2 January 2017 @ 20:18edited 20:20 27s
Ok instead of trying to reinvent the wheel and make it a rectangle, sorry Jason but that's what has been happening the last few years, start embracing third party solutions and work from that and when more people decide to join you can start your own implementation. Now it has basically stalled for the user for years now.

Instead of waiting for this CMS you are building the last 3 years add a frigging site and integrate it with Gitlab or something which can serve as an issue tracker as well and trust some 3rd party applications more because in the past it became very clear how ridiculously paranoid this project was in terms of anything that wasn't done internally.

Really in short start simplifying it and slowly expand the project instead of just doing some massive projects which don't move a step forward. Thanks to those decisions simple things like forum password retrieval and email/push message when a pool goes degraded aren't done for years now. Yet have been asked for in the past several times.

Heck even the whole licensing thing has been on the table for years now. The cold hard reality is that we aren't allowed to use this software in any way legally at this time not even for testing purposes because it simply lacks a license.

Sorry to sound so negative but when I started using it it was full of promises and the last few years little progress have been made which users can see and even simple things have been put on the backburner for years now. Thanks to that I basically taught myself half ass BSD usage and just dumping services to put on a different machine. making my server nothing more than an SMB/NFS fileserver.
CiPHER
Developer

1199 posts

Posted on 3 January 2017 @ 22:50
@jelle: thanks for your feedback!

@Nilz: thanks, you also made very good points! I'm going to add this thread to the database now. However, since i've got this all setup on my older backup fileserver with lots of drives, it's always an obstacle for me to turn it on and gain access to the GuruDB manipulation utility and make the changes. I hope to change this in the future with a smaller system that i can have on 24/7. So these are things i want to improve before spending more time on the project. I need a good working setup specifically for this project alone.

Why are you putting this much effort on the website and a framework when there are readily available alternatives (not sure about this since I'm not a programmer or poweruser)? What's the status of this and what's the plan?Good question. The plan is that all these things would unify and share the same code. This would be possible only or achieved most easily if the solutions are developed in-house. However, it is quite ambitious indeed. Read: crazy lot's work.

The grand plan is that - in time - the project would be ready to offer social functionality deeply embedded in the web-interface, having opinions about subjects on various pages, such as whether or not to get ECC, which disks to get, etc. Also asking for help via the online community would be much easier. People would warn each other if a certain version of a service is broken or having issues. The system that makes all this possible, would essentially use the same engine as the new website and forum software. Because they are unified, maintaining everything would be far easier and easy to build upon for similar features.


Anyway, I'm confident in you CiPHER. I regularly read the ZFS topic at Tweakers.net and you seem really passionate about the project and ZFS in general. I wish you (and Jason) the best of luck in continuing this project.Thank you! I can only hope that you like the new plans that i am itching to reveal to you guys. I hope that you guys would be patient enough to give me a chance to present my vision of the future for this project, in the coming months and probably years to come.
CiPHER
Developer

1199 posts

Posted on 3 January 2017 @ 23:23
@Hakker:

Well i guess one important question for me is: what did you want ZFSguru to be? From your tone of speech i gather that you did not want ZFSguru to grow to anything more than just a basic NAS. Am i correct?

Your comments on re-inventing the wheel are reasonable. But do not forget that while there are many parts out there, they would require significant changes in order to unify the way that was envisioned. By creating our own infrastructure, we proved to be able to do things independently. That is why ZFSguru was not stuck on NanoBSD in the first place, but is a 'true' release of FreeBSD. The many choices you oppose did create ZFSguru's unique features and in a way also reflects our character in a way - doing things differently.

I'm trying to understand your frustration. Please correct me where applicable, but i get the sense that you wanted ZFSguru to be nothing more than a pure and simple NAS solution. And you didn't like the direction ZFSguru went with supporting more apps and investing on the appliance-kind of thinking and all that fancy stuff. Am i correct to any degree?

If so, i can understand it somewhat. But understand that what you want is different from others. Other people do want the fancy stuff. Jason always wanted to reach out to a public that did not have a very technical background, but was still able to setup things like a HTPC with ZFSguru - i think that is amazing. The ambitions we had always went much further than just a simple web-interface to govern ZFS and Samba, if that is all you wanted.

However, i may have good news! For the likes of you, the conservative users perhaps?, i want to present a plan that would address your needs prior to that of others. In the sense that, the first group that would benefit from the chosen direction would be the group with the least 'crazy' demands.

I will explain in due time. Right now i am just thinking things through really; and you guys can at least influence my way of thinking. ;)
karmantyu
User

123 posts

Posted on 4 January 2017 @ 15:37edited 15:38 08s
I know the Christmas is over and hope I am not too late with my wishlist for ZFSguru so I would like the following. I would like to have a simple and sleek NAS system AND the lot of "fancy stuff" too. It is pretty much what ZFSguru is today, but there is generally a space to fill to be more sophisticated, user friendly and noob proof.
I would leave the menu system of the web interface how it is today and expand it with new menus cross-referenced with the existing ones.

New menus example:
- Network
o FIX/DHCP
o Firewall
o Remote desktop
- Power management
o System power
o HDD/SSD
o UPS settings (NUTS)
- Logs and reporting
o e-mail events
o logs setup
o log view
etc.

A functional service download and install would make the use of services more foolproof. For example if I choose to have X on my system the setup should automatically download and install all the functional dependencies consecutively too. This functional setup - like the menu system - would commit the necessary changes to \etc\rc.conf and \boot\loader.conf respectively. (I know it is possible to check autostart at system services menupage or edit rc.conf manually but it may not be obvious for everyone.)

I would like to see Samba as a service of course the 3.4 and 4.x branches too. The existing Samba configuration is very nice and nuanced, however it is not necessary to have the very sleek user access right setup if it is too much work to re-implement there. A simpler per user / share - read / write checkbox or dropdown selection or whatever is quite enough.

A redundant distribution and service cleanup from \download directory would make keeping the system clean easier for everyone. (pkg autoremove clean too)
When we are already by cleaning up a sanity check at system startup for ZFSguru system functions - autorepair the basics if problem detected is needed. The expanding complexity of ZFSguru itself gives more space for user error too so (lighttpd / log / permission) checking is recommended especially after using pkg upgrade.

At last and not least I would like to express my sincere gratitude for Jason bearing the heavy weight of developing and governing such a big project so successful and wish CiPHER the strength for the efforts continuing the project He was an indispensable part in it already.
DVD_Chef
User

104 posts

Posted on 4 January 2017 @ 22:54
As far as I am concerned the most important thing is a way to upgrade without loosing the configuration for all my services and having to manually copy from the previous instance.
Hakker
User

76 posts

Posted on 5 January 2017 @ 17:07
CiPHER wrote: @Hakker:

Well i guess one important question for me is: what did you want ZFSguru to be? From your tone of speech i gather that you did not want ZFSguru to grow to anything more than just a basic NAS. Am i correct?

Your comments on re-inventing the wheel are reasonable. But do not forget that while there are many parts out there, they would require significant changes in order to unify the way that was envisioned. By creating our own infrastructure, we proved to be able to do things independently. That is why ZFSguru was not stuck on NanoBSD in the first place, but is a 'true' release of FreeBSD. The many choices you oppose did create ZFSguru's unique features and in a way also reflects our character in a way - doing things differently.

I'm trying to understand your frustration. Please correct me where applicable, but i get the sense that you wanted ZFSguru to be nothing more than a pure and simple NAS solution. And you didn't like the direction ZFSguru went with supporting more apps and investing on the appliance-kind of thinking and all that fancy stuff. Am i correct to any degree?

If so, i can understand it somewhat. But understand that what you want is different from others. Other people do want the fancy stuff. Jason always wanted to reach out to a public that did not have a very technical background, but was still able to setup things like a HTPC with ZFSguru - i think that is amazing. The ambitions we had always went much further than just a simple web-interface to govern ZFS and Samba, if that is all you wanted.

However, i may have good news! For the likes of you, the conservative users perhaps?, i want to present a plan that would address your needs prior to that of others. In the sense that, the first group that would benefit from the chosen direction would be the group with the least 'crazy' demands.

I will explain in due time. Right now i am just thinking things through really; and you guys can at least influence my way of thinking. ;)
It's actually the opposite. I really like the idea of easy services. However the testing behind it was under par. Gnome literally broke. having to install 3 or 4 dependencies first before you can install Gnome is just weird. I tried it manually but somehow that didn't work then again my knowledge of BSD is pretty limited. However NCDC doesn't need a GUI yet requires the dependencies at least the last time I checked it so I managed to install that manually. I had breaking of sabnzb, couchpotato etc service which was then 1 big service. I haven't updated since 10.3 versions mainly due to breakage.
I actually wanted those to work, but it kept breaking down also not importing configs over new installs is a big drawback for users. Yet is something I heard 4 years ago to be in the making. Yes it probably is a hard task since configs are stored all over the place, but yeah that would be a really big push for people to actually update.

I know and understand it's sometimes a tough decision what needs to be done, but simple and even basic functions were left untouched for years. Like I earlier stated mail alert, web shell, the firewall is still very very basic and prone to user error and getting an inaccessible machine. I mean there should be at least an anti lock-out rule (people are inheritly stupid... I know I managed to do stupid stuff like that just in order to get forward). Lagg creation. Just to name a few which and some are just more core functions.

What I would like to see in order of personal importance
email/push notifications of degraded pools, automatic snapshot start for instance. At least an email notification would be very handy.
The illustrious migration manager.
Easier service install. Instead of first having to install certain dependencies the service should do that for the user. Maybe jail them at the same time if not done already.
A web shell
Some network options love, with on top LAGG
Some luv to the firewall
FTP, Rsync, AFP, DynDNS, SNMP, UPS through the web
Maybe an idea to have an encrypted config backup on the zfsguru server which you can retrieve on a new install.

Also consider recolor the stable releases as orange or yellow since those are more like pre-release versions. Just a weird BSD naming scheme which is a bit confusing if you ask me.
throbby
User

58 posts

Posted on 7 January 2017 @ 16:12
For me the top things would be:
Easy way to update services (like sab, etc) to newest version
Ability to set snapshots up easily and have a list of the snapshot tasks that are setup
Ability to set scrub schedule
A way to light up a specific device's LED so when drives go bad, I can easily see which one I need to replace in the unit.

I am a ZFSGuru fan! I ran a whole visual effects facility off of a ZFSGuru server for a year. It was pretty glorious.
tmau
User

7 posts

Posted on 8 January 2017 @ 23:13
Happy New Year, Jason & CiPHER! Glad to know ZFSguru is going to continue and I'm looking forward to the Migration Manager in interface 0.4 (next month?).

I started the ZFSguru journey many years ago and actually don't use the services all that much. The command line and trying to get jails working inspired me to learn more about FreeBSD so I've been installing ports manually.

Every time I do try to get ezjails to work I hit a wall because I can't quite wrap my mind around how to set it up. So my biggest hope besides having the Migration manager soon is that you include ezjails or something comparable in the services/webgui section.

Also, is Mesa still going to be a thing?
EnerQi
User

2 posts

Posted on 9 January 2017 @ 19:33
Hi all!

My wishlist for ZFSguru
- e-mail/notifications when a drive is failing or a process/add-on stopped working.
- explorer like window in ZFSguru to move files between 2 pools without using another PC ;-). I don't know the commands by heart
- snapshot automatisation and deleting of snapshots (or explaination, I've no idea what I'm doing. Especially deleting snapshots!)
- communication from CiPHER/Jason about the project itself and the roadmap with rough timelines. What to expect
- more communication about updates (FreeBSD version/packages etc)
- more communication about security updates

For a long time I'm using ZFSguru as my first NAS software and it is working just fine. However I must agree to Hakker that the project is stalled/dead for a long time due to the lack of communication. The reason why I specificaly mension "security updates communication" is that most OS'en are able to update or automatically or gives a notification about an update. This is completely missing in ZFSguru and I really have the feeling my setup is out-dated (from a security perspective). I'm just a guy with a hobby in IT and not a programmer or poweruser of any unix/linux system ;-).

p.s. I'm programming a bit with arduino and the raspberry pi and mostlikely the command to update something would be "sudo update" but I don't want to fuck-up my NAS ;-)


I'm trying to understand your frustration. Please correct me where applicable, but i get the sense that you wanted ZFSguru to be nothing more than a pure and simple NAS solution. And you didn't like the direction ZFSguru went with supporting more apps and investing on the appliance-kind of thinking and all that fancy stuff. Am i correct to any degree?

Personally I like the approach of splitting the pure-NAS and NAS with extra apps. Everybody happy but keep in mind that the pure-NAS is missing basic functionalities ;-). See wishlist from myself. If needed I would like 2 ZFSguru installations on 1 machine, 1 pure-NAS and 1 with the fancy stuff (needed for security?)


When we are already by cleaning up a sanity check at system startup for ZFSguru system functions - autorepair the basics if problem detected is needed. The expanding complexity of ZFSguru itself gives more space for user error too so (lighttpd / log / permission) checking is recommended especially after using pkg upgrade.
Great idea! Similar as windows 10 repair options. An option to wipe the setup (not ZFS pools!) in case something bad happens

Kind regards EnerQi
(also same user as on Tweakers.net ;) )
dearangelo2
User

16 posts

Posted on 10 January 2017 @ 06:37
Good Day and Happy and prosperous 2017!
Please try to implement a mail service, be it a server or a client or both...
The huge amounts of mail data, that some of us need to store, would be very practical if we could do it thru ZFSguru, I know I have wished for the this in the past too..

best regards
angelo
CiPHER
Developer

1199 posts

Posted on 11 January 2017 @ 18:50
Hakker wrote: It's actually the opposite. I really like the idea of easy services. However the testing behind it was under par. Gnome literally broke. Well, depending on your experience you might remember that in the past it worked quite well, when we had Gnome2. It was only after we switched to Gnome3 when things started to get buggy indeed. The new MATE desktop is generally the continued development of Gnome2. So now at least a working non-buggy desktop environment is available, even better than the original Gnome2. MATE appears to work quite well indeed. I have not heard any complaints about MATE itself.

having to install 3 or 4 dependencies first before you can install Gnome is just weird.Well, it makes sense to have stacked dependencies, considering that otherwise individual services might grow to as large as 400MB. The dependencies allow to prevent redundant compilation of the same packages if unnecessary. It shortens the compilation time at the build server as well considerably. Dependencies are necessary!

The real issue is that dependencies should automatically be installed. Right now you have to click on the link which opens a new window for you to install the dependency, sometimes having dependencies of its own. This can be challenging and cumbersome, but only applies to users of graphical applications, and need only to be done once. So the current situation is deemed to be 'sufficient' until the Task Manager arrives which can do things asynchronously (meaning: multiple things at the same time) on the background. Then you can click the addons you want and they will be installed on the background at the same time.

However NCDC doesn't need a GUI yet requires the dependencies at least the last time I checked itNCDC was bundled with X-DirectConnect (EisKalt++ or something) in the past. In current days, ncdc is a standalone service and can be installed with few to no dependencies.

I had breaking of sabnzb, couchpotato etc service which was then 1 big service. I haven't updated since 10.3 versions mainly due to breakage.Well this is one of the areas i spend quite some time on. All those SAB services i split into separate services each with new init scripts and re-testing, as well as writing build scripts that would automate the download from GitHub the latest version and also storing the last-modification-date of the code to use as version number. All system versions built from that change onward will carry those benefits and i hope to have fixed alot of services there for a good time.

What I would like to see in order of personal importanceYour list is known and part of my plans, except DynDNS and SNMP. For UPS we have nut (command line) and the graphical frontend service X-knutclient. I did not use it myself but it looked to be very detailed and convenient. You could install the graphical stuff once and generate a good config, then copy that config to your new installation(s) in the future. So you would only have to do this once i guess. Feedback is needed from people who actually use this functionality.

Thanks for your suggestions!
CiPHER
Developer

1199 posts

Posted on 11 January 2017 @ 19:08edited 19:08 42s
karmantyu wrote: I would like to have a simple and sleek NAS system AND the lot of "fancy stuff" too. It is pretty much what ZFSguru is today, but there is generally a space to fill to be more sophisticated, user friendly and noob proof. Yes. I can tell you this is exactly the way i want to go. But with the distinction that 'NAS' as well would be an addon application, rather than a central part of the system. It would still be integrated just fine and convenient in the web-interface though. But it would only be a NAS system if you make it a NAS by installing Samba3, Samba4 or activating the integrated NFS or native iSCSI functionality - because that functionality is native to the operating system.


A functional service download and install would make the use of services more foolproof. For example if I choose to have X on my system the setup should automatically download and install all the functional dependencies consecutively too.Yes, already envisioned by Jason; relies on Task Manager to fully automate all installations and make then asynchronous - meaning you can queue up multiple installations and everything will happen automatically in the background without user interaction. The addons become available once fully installed and configured.


I would like to see Samba as a service of course the 3.4 and 4.x branches too. The existing Samba configuration is very nice and nuanced, however it is not necessary to have the very sleek user access right setup if it is too much work to re-implement there. A simpler per user / share - read / write checkbox or dropdown selection or whatever is quite enough.All right that is valuable feedback; because i am fearing for Samba 4 being the end of another cute ZFSguru invention. The previous one was the ZFSguru integration for AjaxPlorer; a web-based file explorer. It also died when the successor to AjaxPlorer became incompatibly licensed and the existing one didn't work with modern PHP any longer.

I think i can create a different but still functional web-interface for Samba4. In the beginning though, that service will be without web-interface until i have time to create one. I have to prioritize.


At last and not least I would like to express my sincere gratitude for Jason bearing the heavy weight of developing and governing such a big project so successful and wish CiPHER the strength for the efforts continuing the project He was an indispensable part in it already.
Thank you! Indeed, Jason had many ambitions and a vision for the project. Our discussions were always fruitful in discussing new avenues. But of course, discussing something and actually creating it, are two different things. Hopefully i will have the opportunity to implement many of the very good ideas that are still on the shelf. Some of them are really good! :)


Thanks for your feedback!
CiPHER
Developer

1199 posts

Posted on 11 January 2017 @ 19:15
DVD_Chef wrote: As far as I am concerned the most important thing is a way to upgrade without loosing the configuration for all my services and having to manually copy from the previous instance. Yes, this was always the idea of Jason. You could 'migrate' your existing configuration using the Migration Manager.

However, i have also thought about a slightly different design for updating. I think it is a good one. It will still be compatible with the Migration Manager. I will announce in due time. But this is an important issue you are addressing, thank you!
CiPHER
Developer

1199 posts

Posted on 11 January 2017 @ 19:19
throbby wrote: For me the top things would be: Also your list is part of the plans. Except the 'specific device LEDs' when drives go bad.

But maybe i can make something that will light up the activity LED by reading from the device for a short time (10 seconds). This makes it easy to identify the drive if you have enclosures with many disks but each with their own LED. What do you think?


I am a ZFSGuru fan! I ran a whole visual effects facility off of a ZFSGuru server for a year. It was pretty glorious.Very nice to hear! :)

Would you give permission for me to use the quote above on the main website? I think it looks very nice and good to hear at least one quote from a genuine user experience on the main website (Home). What do you think?
CiPHER
Developer

1199 posts

Posted on 11 January 2017 @ 19:32edited 12 January 2017 @ 04:59
tmau wrote: Happy New Year, Jason & CiPHER! Glad to know ZFSguru is going to continue and I'm looking forward to the Migration Manager in interface 0.4 (next month?). ZFSguru is going to continue, indeed! Which is good news for those who like this little project. But i have big plans!

I am sorry to say, however, that the Migration Manager will not be part of the ZFSguru 0.4 release i am planning for the first quarter of 2017. It is still high on the priority list, though. But i am considering a design change for the new project to succeed ZFSguru. I will explain in due time!


Also, is Mesa still going to be a thing?Yes! Mesa will be our bold attempt to create an entire infrastructure/framework for website engines, with agnostic design to allow for communication via other channels as well. Basically, the new project will be a 'plugin' of Mesa in technical terms. This means the successor of ZFSguru can concentrate on its own things and leave all the 'website engine things' to Mesa.

Mesa will be able to provide graphically appealing visual website interfaces, and will also be used for our own website as well as other things in the future, like social functionality directly embedded in the web-interface. Hopefully, all these things together will make Mesa worth the effort. It also enables me to gain experience and expand my knowledge.
tmau
User

7 posts

Posted on 13 January 2017 @ 19:51
Thanks for the detailed replies, CiPHER. Looking forward to what's coming next. :)
samo
User

2 posts

Posted on 14 January 2017 @ 10:35
I would be happy to be able to run jails and bhyve/XEN environments on ZFSguru. FreeNAS has a very good opportunity today because they have already implemented jail and bhyve management. NAS4Free already have jail management and as far as I know are close to finish work on bhyve module.
Take a look on recent FreeBSD status report: https://www.freebsd.org/news/status/report-2016-07-2016-09.html#ClonOS:-New-FreeBSD-Based-Free/Open-Hosting-Platform

This guy develop FreeBSD-based solution for virtual appliance and looking for an opportunity to combine work with NAS guys. As far as I understand Jason, ZFSguru have a problem with the spare time and the number of developers.
Kriss
User

142 posts

Posted on 16 January 2017 @ 10:24
Managing bhyve through the webinterface would be awesome indeed. But it's really easy to manage this using the CLI.

I'd like to see more community interaction, like:
- better forum
- community managed services
- maybe translation
- ...
dutchman
User

2 posts

Posted on 19 February 2017 @ 17:33
Just drop this, there is already NAS4Free, FreeNAS and Openmediavault.
All proven products with a long development history, join their development team instead to try your self with this copied idea.
Konstantin_J
User

3 posts

Posted on 4 May 2017 @ 07:32
All NAS4Free, FreeNAS and Openmediavault cannot support iscsi target storage 'out of box' for Xen servers. And they can't support ssd caching for storage and zfs only large memory. May be release it in zfsguru "out of box"? Simple I have old cpu and 2gb memory ddr2; 4-5 (200gb) sas disk on pci controller ; 2-3 (2-3Tb) sata disk ; 2-3 (40-120gb) ssd. I wont top performance of hardware if i use low memory and more ssd as accelerator. Can you do this?
Next Page »

Valid XHTML 1.1