Incomplete / under construction
The following design aspects may convince you that
zrepl is superior to a hacked-together shell script solution.
Testability & Performance¶
zrepl is written in Go, a real programming language with type safety, reasonable performance, testing infrastructure and an (opinionated) idea of software engineering.
- key parts & algorithms of zrepl are covered by unit tests (work in progress)
- zrepl is noticably faster than comparable shell scripts
While it is tempting to just issue a few
ssh remote 'zfs send ...' | zfs recv, this has a number of drawbacks:
- The snapshot streams need to be compatible.
- Communication is still unidirectional. Thus, you will most likely
- either not take advantage of features such as compressed send & recv
- or issue additional
sshcommands in advance to figure out what features are supported on the other side.
- Advanced logic in shell scripts is ugly to read, poorly testable and a pain to maintain.
zrepl takes a different approach:
- Define an RPC protocol.
- Establish an encrypted, authenticated, bidirectional communication channel...
- ... with zrepl running at both ends of it.
This has several obvious benefits:
- No blank root shell access is given to the other side.
- Instead, an authenticated peer can request filesystem lists, snapshot streams, etc.
- Requests are then checked against job-specific ACLs, limiting a client to the filesystems it is actually allowed to replicate.
- The transport mechanism is decoupled from the remaining logic, keeping it extensible.
zrepl implements its own RPC protocol. This is mostly due to the fact that existing solutions do not provide efficient means to transport large amounts of data.
Package github.com/zrepl/zrepl/rpc builds a special-case handling around returning an
io.Reader as part of a unary RPC call.
Measurements show only a single memory-to-memory copy of a snapshot stream is made using
github.com/zrepl/zrepl/rpc, and there is still potential for further optimizations.