[Samba] Re: How Samba let us down

Jay Ts jay at jayts.cx
Wed Oct 23 20:02:09 GMT 2002

On Wed, Oct 23, 2002 at 02:34:28PM -0500, Esh, Andrew wrote:
> We regularly do large file Copy-Paste tests with files between 30G and 60G.
> We have yet to see a problem.
> Tricord's market is Network Attached Storage, and our product is a file
> system. Samba is the main interface between our market and our file system.
> We spend a lot of time making sure the data that goes through Samba and into
> our file system comes back out in the same shape it went in. We have a whole
> department devoted to that purpose. Trust me, we'd notice if there was a
> problem. :)

Ok, that's interesting, and convincing in a limited way. Now I'm very
sure that your company's products work well -- that is, Samba is not
messing anything up running on the hardware/software in your products,
with the way you have Samba configured on them.

But, what about "everything else"?  There are over 300 Samba configuration
parameters, each of which can be at least boolean, and may have many
possible settings. Combine that with all the possible architectures
Samba can run on (hardware and OSs), and all the network configurations,
and such.  We're way beyond "Rubik's Cube" levels of complexity here!
There is absolutely no way I'm going to believe anyone's tested every
possible configuration. The most you can do is test for what you think
is most likely to be a problem, while choosing to completely ignore
other possibilities. I'm not saying that's wrong; on the contrary,
there's simply no way to avoid it!

I can easily believe that the Samba Team knows of no possible ways
in which Samba can corrupt data, but my way of dealing with reality
is more to admit that "things can happen" and be open to reports,
rather than to maintain an "attitude" and try to squash any reports
that would suggest otherwise.

I'm a little surprised at how quickly Samba Team members jumped
on what I wrote, even though I was not actually maintaining that
Samba corrupted data!

You can take this as a philosophical meandering if you please. ;)


Jay Ts

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