I’ve just played around with 3 different ways of sharing files from OpenSolaris to my Mac:
- Using ZFS built in SMB sharing
- Using ZFS built in iSCSI sharing (with globalSAN iSCSI initiator for mac)
- Using AFP from netatalk 2.1
Using ZFS built in SMB sharing
This is by far the easiest, it requires no special software to install on either machine after the OS itself.
Using ZFS built in iSCSI sharing
Setting up the iSCSI share is just as easy as the SMB, however Mac doesn’t have an iSCSI client built in. You need to download and install the globalSAN iSCSI initiator for Mac.
This method should be good for Time Machine because the iSCSI device appears as a real hard drive, which you then format as Mac OS Extended and Time Machine’s funky little linked files and things should all work perfectly. No need to worry about users and accounts on the server, etc. In theory , this should deliver the best results, but it’s actually the worst performing of the lot.
Using AFP from netatalk 2.1
A little bit of work is required to install Netatalk 2.1. See my previous post and thanks again to the original posters where I learned how to do this.
This one should also be a very good candidate since it appears as a Mac server on the network and you should be able to access this shared Time Machine directly from the OS X install disc – an important consideration if the objective is to use it as a Time Machine backup (which it is for me).
Additionally, this one proved to have the best performance:
I tested copying 3GB files to each of the above shares and then reading it back again. Here’s the results:
Writing 3GB over gigabit ethernet:
iSCSI: 44m01s – 1.185MB/s
SMB share: 4m27 – 11.73MB/s
AFP share: 2m49 – 18.52MB/s
Reading 3GB over gigabit ethernet:
iSCSI: 4m36 – 11.34MB/s
SMB share: 1m45 – 29.81MB/s
AFP share: 1m16s – 41.19MB/s
The iSCSI was by far the slowest. Ten times slower than SMB – yikes! I have no idea if that’s due to the globalSAN initiator software or something else. Whatever the case, it’s not acceptable for now.
And Netatalk comes up trumps. Congratulations to everyone involved in Netatalk – great work indeed!