ZFS is an amazing technology. Its snapshot capability quickly changes the way you work on the desktop or server. Add replication via zfs send .. and zfs recv .. and life gets even better.
Jeff, Bill, and crew, geniuses that they are, did something very special and exceptionally powerful that you might be overlooking… ZFS replication is just a simple stream. Simply brilliant that is, because that means you can dump a ZFS Snapshot into a single file which we would commonly call an “archive”. Example:
root@aeon ~$ zfs snapshot local@mysnapshot root@aeon ~$ zfs send local@mysnapshot > /export/local-snapshot.zarchive
You can recover that “archive” by piping it into zfs recv….
Now, consider the possibilities if you will… we have the ability to pipe this output from one tool to the next. So what if we take a snapshot, then we zfs send… that snapshot through bzip2 to compress it, and then into “encrypt” to encrypt it and output that to an “archive” file?
root@ultra ~$ zfs create pool/test root@ultra ~$ cp -r /var/adm/* /pool/test/ root@ultra ~$ zfs list pool/test NAME USED AVAIL REFER MOUNTPOINT pool/test 208K 350G 208K /pool/test root@ultra ~$ zfs snapshot pool/test@snapshot-`date +%m-%d-%y` root@ultra ~$ zfs send pool/test@snapshot-`date +%m-%d-%y` | bzip2 --stdout | encrypt -a aes -o /tmp/ pool.test.snapshot-`date +%m-%d-%y`.archive Enter key: <--- "zfs rules" root@ultra ~$ zfs get refer pool/test@snapshot-`date +%m-%d-%y` NAME PROPERTY VALUE SOURCE pool/test@snapshot-10-24-07 referenced 208K - root@ultra ~$ ls -alh /tmp/pool.test.snapshot-10-24-07.archive -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 11K Oct 24 13:17 /tmp/pool.test.snapshot-10-24-07.archive
Now we just turn that around to restore it...
root@ultra ~$ zfs destroy -r pool/test root@ultra ~$ decrypt -a aes -i /tmp/pool.test.snapshot-10-24-07.archive | bunzip2 --stdout | zfs recv -d pool Enter key: root@ultra ~$ zfs list pool/test NAME USED AVAIL REFER MOUNTPOINT pool/test 208K 350G 208K /pool/test
Is that kool or what? Power, lots of power... with ZFS Snapshots you can replicate and pipe your way to glory!