DigitalOcean presently has a block storage feature in the beta stage. I’ve been doing some poking around with it using FreeBSD and ZFS, and it makes for an easy to set up and expand storage solution. Here’s a quick walkthrough of how to use block storage volumes with FreeBSD for ZFS, including encryption.
First off, we need a FreeBSD droplet. I’d recommend at least 4GB of RAM, as ZFS tends to be very memory intensive, especially if you’re interested in doing block de-duplication. With less than 4GB, FreeBSD will disable ZFS prefetch by default, and under 2GB will likely need special tuning to remain stable. For more on that topic, see the ZFS Tuning Guide in the FreeBSD wiki.
> doctl compute droplet create storage-test-01-nyc1 --region nyc1 --enable-ipv6 --size 4gb --image freebsd-10-2-x64 --ssh-keys 1797332 --wait ID Name Public IPv4 Memory VCPUs Disk Region Image Status Tags 19242119 storage-test-01-nyc1 192.0.2.91 4096 2 60 nyc1 FreeBSD 10.2 active
Now that we’ve got a FreeBSD droplet, let’s create a volume to use with it. We just need to specify the volume size and region, and give it a name. This name is just a label to identify the volume and can be whatever you like.
> doctl compute volume create volume-nyc1-01 --size 100GiB --region nyc1 ID Name Size Region Droplet IDs f5066553-46e4-11e6-acf9-000f53315870 volume-nyc1-01 100 GiB nyc1
Now that the volume exists, we need to attach it to the droplet, so we just take the volume ID and droplet ID from their create commands and feed them into the following:
> doctl compute volume-action attach f5066553-46e4-11e6-acf9-000f53315870 19242119 ID Status Type Started At Completed At Resource ID Resource Type Region 120277882 in-progress attach_volume 2016-07-10 21:27:42 +0000 UTC <nil> 0 backend nyc1
We can now log into the droplet (ex.
doctl droplet ssh freebsd@storage-test-01-nyc1) and confirm the volume has been attached by looking at
dmesg for da0:
% dmesg | grep ^da0 da0 at vtscsi0 bus 0 scbus2 target 0 lun 1 da0: <DO Volume 1.5.> Fixed Direct Access SPC-3 SCSI device da0: 300.000MB/s transfers da0: Command Queueing enabled da0: 102400MB (209715200 512 byte sectors: 255H 63S/T 13054C)
Just as a quick note, the local SSD for a FreeBSD droplet appears as ‘vtbd0’ and any volumes attached will appear as ‘da’ devices.
While not strictly necessary, since we’ll be using the entire volume for a single filesystem, it’s generally a good idea to put a partition map on the volume. This allows for meaningful labels to be applied among other things. In this case we’re using the GPT format:
% sudo gpart create -s gpt da0 da0 created
Then we create a single partition for ZFS, indicated by the
-t type flag. The
-l option is just a label for the partition and can be whatever we like. In this case, I’m having it match the volume’s name to help keep things straight:
% sudo gpart add -t freebsd-zfs -l volume-nyc1-01 da0 da0p1 added
If you’re not interested in encrypting data on the volume, you can skip this section and just leave the
.eli off the device name in later steps.
If you do want to encrypt your data, let’s start by loading the aesni driver to enable hardware accelerated AES encryption:
% sudo kldload aesni
Now we can configure geli encryption on the partition. The
-l option here is the key length, which has to be either 128 (default) or 256 for the default AES-XTS algorithm. The passphrase entered here will be needed when the droplet is rebooted to re-attach the encrypted partition. Also note that we’re referring to the partition by the label supplied earlier.
% sudo geli init -l 256 /dev/gpt/volume-nyc1-01 Enter new passphrase: Reenter new passphrase: Metadata backup can be found in /var/backups/gpt_volume-nyc1-01.eli and can be restored with the following command: # geli restore /var/backups/gpt_volume-nyc1-01.eli /dev/gpt/volume-nyc1-01
Now that geli has been initialized, we need to attach the encrypted partition to the system. This step will need to be done when the system is rebooted. The passphrase entered here has to match the phrase used during initialization.
% sudo geli attach /dev/gpt/volume-nyc1-01 Enter passphrase:
This will set up
/dev/gpt/volume-nyc1-01.eli, which is the decrypted version of the partition. Data written to that block device is encrypted and written out to the underlying device.
Now for the easy part, creating the ZFS pool! Since DigitalOcean volumes implement their own data redundancy, there’s no need to create multiple volumes and mirror them, or to run them in a RAID-Z configuration, we can just use the individual volume directly in the pool. We’re using the generic name of ‘tank’ for our pool, but again, it can be pretty much anything you like.
% sudo zpool create tank /dev/gpt/volume-nyc1-01.eli
Since the volume is attached over a network, access to it is going to be slower than the local SSD. In order to minimize the amount of data being written to the device, we can enable compression at the ZFS filesystem layer. This is entirely optional, and can be set on a per-filesystem basis. In this case, we’re using the ‘lz4’ compression algorithm, which is optimized for speed while still giving decent compression. For other options, consult the zfs man page.
% sudo zfs set compression=lz4 tank
At this point, we can now look and see the ZFS pool with it’s total size being slightly smaller than the total volume size, due to partitioning and formatting overhead:
% zpool list NAME SIZE ALLOC FREE EXPANDSZ FRAG CAP DEDUP HEALTH ALTROOT tank 99.5G 98.5K 99.5G - 0% 0% 1.00x ONLINE -
And the ZFS filesystem in that pool, both through the ZFS list command and a regular
% zfs list NAME USED AVAIL REFER MOUNTPOINT tank 61K 96.4G 19K /tank % df -h Filesystem Size Used Avail Capacity Mounted on /dev/gpt/rootfs 57G 2.2G 50G 4% / devfs 1.0K 1.0K 0B 100% /dev tank 96G 19K 96G 0% /tank
One of the things that ZFS makes easier is expanding the pool with additional volumes as more space as needed.
In ZFS, it’s just a matter of adding an additional device to the pool.
As above, we create the new volume and attach it to the droplet:
> doctl compute volume create volume-nyc1-02 --size 100GiB --region nyc1 ID Name Size Region Droplet IDs 212ae50c-46eb-11e6-87c3-000f53315860 volume-nyc1-02 100 GiB nyc1 > doctl compute volume-action attach 212ae50c-46eb-11e6-87c3-000f53315860 19242119 ID Status Type Started At Completed At Resource ID Resource Type Region 120287255 in-progress attach_volume 2016-07-10 22:10:49 +0000 UTC <nil> 0 backend nyc1
This new volume will be
da1 on the droplet. Which we then partition and label:
% sudo gpart create -s gpt da1 da1 created % sudo gpart add -t freebsd-zfs -l volume-nyc1-02 da1 da1p1 added
And again optionally configure encryption:
% sudo geli init -l 256 /dev/gpt/volume-nyc1-02 Enter new passphrase: Reenter new passphrase: Metadata backup can be found in /var/backups/gpt_volume-nyc1-02.eli and can be restored with the following command: # geli restore /var/backups/gpt_volume-nyc1-02.eli /dev/gpt/volume-nyc1-02 % sudo geli attach /dev/gpt/volume-nyc1-02 Enter passphrase:
And finally add it to the ZFS pool:
% sudo zpool add tank /dev/gpt/volume-nyc1-02.eli
The filesystem automatically expands to the size of the pool, which we can see in the pool and filesystem lists:
% zpool list NAME SIZE ALLOC FREE EXPANDSZ FRAG CAP DEDUP HEALTH ALTROOT tank 199G 229K 199G - 0% 0% 1.00x ONLINE - % zfs list NAME USED AVAIL REFER MOUNTPOINT tank 59.5K 193G 19K /tank
And that’s it. As more space is needed, more volumes can just be added into the pool.
For more information on ZFS on FreeBSD, consult the FreeBSD Handbook.