ZFS Remote Replication
Switch branches/tags
Nothing to show
Clone or download
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Failed to load latest commit information.



Zettabee performs incremental, block-level, asynchronous replication of remote ZFS file systems through the use of zfs send and zfs recv commands. Synchronous operation is not available (as ZFS itself does not support it). A replication pair comprises a file system in a remote source system and a local destination file system. SSH is used as a control channel to execute commands on the remote source system and, optionally, the mbuffer utility to enable high levels of network throughput to transfer unencrypted ZFS streams. SSH keys must enable password-less root login from destination systems into remote source systems. File system recursiveness is not supported.


Zettabee can be built and deployed as a Ruby gem (recommended). It is currently only supported with Ruby v1.8.7 and requires the following Ruby gems:

* net-ssh (>2.1.4)
* open4 (>1.0.1)
* log4r (>1.1.9)
* zmq (>

ZMQ requires building native libraries. Additionally, the Nagios send_nsca utility must be present and configured in order to use Nagios passive monitoring functionality.


zettabee [options] <action> [<destination>]

where actions are one of:

* setup
* initialize
* update
* status [--fullstatus]
* runstatus
* unlock
* logfile
* fingerprint
* purge

and options include –debug, –verbose, and –nagios. Some actions, such as fingerprint and status, can act on all available destinations. All others require the specification of a destination.

A –version option prints out the installed version, while –help outputs help.


The default zettabee.cfg configuration file is /local/etc/zettabee/zettabee.cfg. Use the -c flag to select a different location. One pair per line, where the format is:

source   destination   options


Source and destination are specified as follows:



Each replication pair has options that configure operational parameters.

* transport: mbuffer, ssh (not yet implemented)
* port: port used by mbuffer on destination system
* sshport: SSH port on remote source host
* sshkey: full path to private SSH key file to access remot source system
* wlag: warning lag threshold (in seconds)
* clag: critical lag threshold (in seconds)
* wrun: warning run threshold (in seconds)
* crun: critical run threshold (in seconds)


* initialize
  Initializes a replication pair by performing a full transfer of the source file system into the destination.
  Depending on the size of the file syste and the available bandwidth beteen source and destination, this process
  can take a fair amount of time.

* update
  Updates a remote replication pair by performing a differential transfer of the source file system into the
  destination file system from the last good known checkpoint.

* fingerprint
  Each ZettaBee pair is assigned a MD5 hash which serves as its fingerprint. This fingerprint uniquely identifies
  a pair and it is used to generate lock, log and status files names as well as the Nagios service name.

* logfile
  Outputs the full path of the logfile for a given ZettaBee pair. This is useful when used as follows:
  # tail -f `zettabee logfile <destination>`

* status [--full-status]
  Display status of a given Zettabee pair. The fields shown are as follows:

    source   destination   state   lag   snapshot:port   status (runtime)

  The --full-status flag adds the fingerprint and mbuffer port.

* runstatus
  Display the running status of a given pair. This directly connects to mbuffer's stderr stream and shows transfer
  rates and quantities in real time. Use Ctrl-C to quit (the actual transfer is not affected).

* unlock
  If ZettaBee terminates abnormally, it will leave a lock file behind. This is to prevent an 
  updates from taking place on a possibly inconsistent pair.



All Zettabee pairs must be initialized, a process that may take a long time (use of the GNU screen utility is highly recommended).


Once a Zetabee pair is initalized, updates are run on the pair on a regular basis (from cron or any other scheduling facility). Under normal circumstances, zettabee does not produce any output on stdout. The use of Nagios passive monitoring is highly recommended.


Zettabee utilizes Nagios passive monitoring to report status.

Additionally, real time status is available via the runstatus action (when using mbuffer).