ZFS for an external drive holding build directories

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ZFS for an external drive holding build directories

Postby RJVB » Tue May 23, 2017 1:24 pm

I've been looking to offload the bulk of my build directories to fast storage on a dedicated device that's not so much larger that I'm going to be tempted to use it for other things too. 64Gb is the sweet spot, also price-wise.

An earlier test with a supposedly fast SDHC card was anti-conclusive (the fastest type my Mac supports is orders of magnitude too slow for writes). It did confirm the hypothesis that transparent compression can increase IO speeds: putting a simple ZFS pool on the card made using it almost bearable.

I now have an external MSATA SSD in a USB3 enclosure, which is a lot faster, but annoyingly I missed the fact that it only goes to 80MB/s for writes when I ordered.

I'm thus thinking of trying ZFS again. One issue I ran into with the ZFS/SDHC set-up was memory pressure, not helped by the fact I have only 12Gb or RAM that's also used by a certain number of memory hogs (web browser, IDEs, etc).

What would be a good set of ZFS parameter settings, possibly even for running with sync=disabled without exploding my RAM usage?

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