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ZFS Shows Up in New Leopard Build 351

Posted by Hemos
Udo Schmitz writes "As a follow-up to rumours from May this year, World of Apple has a screenshot showing Sun's Zettabyte File System in "the most recent Build of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard". Though I still wonder: If it is not meant to replace HFS+, could there be any other reasons to support ZFS?"
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ZFS Shows Up in New Leopard Build

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  • copy-on-write (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Mr2cents (323101) on Monday December 18, 2006 @10:15AM (#17285366)
    FTA:

    Makes use of copy-on-write; rather than overwriting old data with new data, it writes new data to a new location and then overwrites the pointer to the old data
    Wouldn't that pose a problem for mmap?
  • What a moron (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 18, 2006 @10:18AM (#17285406)
    "Though I still wonder: If it is not meant to replace HFS+, could there be any other reasons to support ZFS?"

    Duh... It's called compatibility.
  • by qwertphobia (825473) on Monday December 18, 2006 @10:24AM (#17285490)

    If it is not meant to replace HFS+, could there be any other reasons to support ZFS?"
    Well, OSX 10.4 already supports FAT16, FAT32, and HFS, HFS+ (case sensitive and case-insensitive) and UFS. I don't see any obvuious conclusion that HFS+ is on the way out. Now if the OSX kernel AND os both support a ZFS-formatted partition as a boot partition, we might find it as an accceptable replacement, but otherwise I would think ZFS will be added for large enterprise SAN RAIDs and such.
  • by Bonker (243350) on Monday December 18, 2006 @10:26AM (#17285510)
    The tech behind ZFS [sun.com] at least sounds very impressive, but I have to wonder how useful it is for workstation drives.

    I've never found plain-Jane posix permissions to be all that useful on anything other than the most basic of server environments.

    HFS has going for it all the fun stuff we've come to love apple for, such as transparent file customization like icons, labels, meta data, and whatnot through resource forks. I assume that these can be made to work with ZFS by making hidden files.

    What I'd really like to see is both that kind of functionality along with NTFS's really excellent ACL permission system implemented. ACL permissions are a godsend for people responsible for running a file store that's used by humans as opposed to automated processes. NTFS also has a great deal of capacity for meta-data, although not to the same level as HFS.

    NTFS is one of the few worthwhile things that's ever come out of Redmond. I wish more people would spend a bit learning from it without throwing it away simply because it's MS bloat.

  • Re:What a moron (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Udo Schmitz (738216) on Monday December 18, 2006 @10:34AM (#17285610) Journal
    It's called compatibility.

    Wouldn't full NTFS support (or well, support for any FS more in use then ZFS today) make more sense?
  • Re:What a moron (Score:5, Insightful)

    by metamatic (202216) on Monday December 18, 2006 @10:56AM (#17285900) Homepage Journal
    Wouldn't full NTFS support (or well, support for any FS more in use then ZFS today) make more sense?

    Yeah, I mean it's not like NTFS is defined and controlled by an organization renowned for its hostility to other platforms, reluctant to document things in a way that other people can implement them, and scared of interoperability, is it?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 18, 2006 @10:59AM (#17285926)

    Going off on a tangent, it's a little funny that everyone is always going on about how "free" the GPL is, and yet ZFS is open-source, but not useable by Linux because of the GPL. I'm liking the BSD license more every day.

  • by pesc (147035) on Monday December 18, 2006 @11:03AM (#17285990)
    NTFS is one of the few worthwhile things that's ever come out of Redmond. I wish more people would spend a bit learning from it without throwing it away simply because it's MS bloat.

    I wish MS would let us. NTFS is worthless if you don't run Windows. And it hinders interoperability with other systems because its implementation and disk layout is secret/patented.

    Why, do you think, there is no stable implementation that can write NTFS volumes (other than the MS implementation)?

    Contrast this with ZFS which is released under an open source license.
  • by UtucXul (658400) on Monday December 18, 2006 @11:04AM (#17285992) Homepage
    NTFS is one of the few worthwhile things that's ever come out of Redmond. I wish more people would spend a bit learning from it without throwing it away simply because it's MS bloat.
    I think the negative opinion some people (including me) have of NTFS come not directly because it is from MS, but come from the incompatibility with everything else. I can't (reliably) read/write to it from a Mac, Linux, or Sun. That leaves only people totally in the MS camp able to use it. It may have some nice technical features, but I can't ever see them, so it is a little hard to be impressed or care about them too much.
  • by larkost (79011) on Monday December 18, 2006 @11:05AM (#17286014)
    Actually, if you are using UFS on any platform for "compatibility", then "sucks to be you". NeXT's/Apple's version may be a little farther out than other implementations, but UFS in general suffers from many mutually incompatible variants. In fact it is better to assume that any compatibility is purely accidental, you will have a better expectation level that way.
  • by More Trouble (211162) on Monday December 18, 2006 @11:13AM (#17286136)
    HFS has going for it all the fun stuff we've come to love apple for, such as transparent file customization like icons, labels, meta data, and whatnot through resource forks. I assume that these can be made to work with ZFS by making hidden files.

    You assume correctly, since most of that business is taken care of with Bundles. This is why it more or less works on UFS, which is already supported on Mac OS X, and has been for years. Forks & whatnot are really a legacy idea.

    What I'd really like to see is both that kind of functionality along with NTFS's really excellent ACL permission system implemented.

    That's funny! The HFS+ ACL system is Microsoft's ACL system, much to the chagrin of the Unix community.

    :w
  • Re:Otherwise... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Sancho (17056) * on Monday December 18, 2006 @11:41AM (#17286506) Homepage
    That said, there's zero chance (IMO) that Microsoft would add ZFS to Vista. They already dropped their transaction-based filesystem in order to get Vista out the door this decade. Adding ZFS support (much less using it as the default or recommended FS) would simply take too long, even if Apple had announced support a year ago.
  • by kestasjk (933987) * on Monday December 18, 2006 @11:53AM (#17286686) Homepage
    It sounds good, but I think migrating for it just a tad extreme given that it will be implemented for Linux pretty quickly. We're talking about neat new features here, it'll re-enforce or make easier backups and redundancy, but it's not a to-die-for solution that will solve all your problems. There's no way I'd drop a fully configured server installation which does what I need for a new filesystem.

    By the way it's nice to see dtrace, open source Java, and now ZFS coming out of Sun recently. I almost feel sorry for how little they get out of a lot of their innovations, they remind me of Bell Labs just before they died.
  • Secure Delete? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by HTH NE1 (675604) on Monday December 18, 2006 @12:23PM (#17287232)
    Wouldn't that pose a problem for mmap?

    I think it would pose a problem for secure deletes. Try to obliterate a file by overwriting it with garbage, you end up writing somewhere else instead? Would the next overwrite attempt get the original location or would you have to write enough garbage to cycle over all the free space of the volume? Considering how large these volumes can get, that's a lot of boiled oceans [wikipedia.org] for a multi-pass secure delete.
  • by anaesthetica (596507) on Monday December 18, 2006 @02:00PM (#17288918) Homepage Journal
    Indeed, we may see Mac OS X Server supporting default ZFS before Mac OS X proper. It would make sense to deploy it first in a limited market with technical expert users as your target market.
  • Re:What a moron (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 18, 2006 @02:00PM (#17288932)
    Well, I mean it's not like other OSs are able to read from and write to NTFS, is it?

    And why is that? Maybe because Microsoft never released any specs, and keeps changing stuff in their implementations without notice, uses hidden API-calls themselves in Windows and do their best NOT to make NTFS widely accepted as a filesystem? In their blind crusade against dual-booters, they alienate everyone who might see value in their technology (NTFS is actually quite good in many ways).

    However, NTFS is not a filesystem for any other OS than Microsoft OSes, so can hardly be called a filesystem _at all_.

    There are ways around it, but I wouldnt count my business data on reverse-engineered solutions for something as critical as a filesystem. Most implementations cant even handle encryption and compression etc either, because those are even more secret add-ons to NTFS. Not even Knoppix are able to handle NTFS in any sane manner, and sadly NTFS is needed for XP / Vista. Maybe the features covered are about 40%, and youll be lucky if the data wont dissappear one day, or Microsoft changes something and it all falls apart.

    Paranoid companies such as Microsoft that works against everyone else should NOT be supported back, because theyre not supporting the community. They deserve to die as the dinosaurs they are. They patented stuff in FAT32 too, which only show how hostile parasites theyve become. Theyve used this patents against Flash / Camera-card companies, which has to pre-format FAT32 to be able to support Windows-users. When they can use a patent of the horrible hack that is FAT32 and long filenames, to extort money from companies supporting their own OS, Windows, how can we be able to support NTFS, even if Microsoft would let us?

    Writing this from my new shiny Macbook Pro 17".
  • by Sparohok (318277) on Monday December 18, 2006 @04:07PM (#17290836)
    But RAID 5 and 6 are both capable of verifying the primary data source against the parity data and transparently correcting errors that occur on less than the critical number of disks.

    With RAID-5, as with RAID-1, the critical number of disks is one. RAID-5 cannot transparently correct errors that occur on even a single stripe, unless you know a priori which stripe is affected.

    With RAID-6 you can automatically correct errors that occur on a single stripe, but it still does not automatically detect such errors on read the way ZFS and RAID-Z do.

    Or, you know, a checksum.

    That's a great idea. Too bad those ZFS guys didn't think of it. Oh, wait. :)
  • by Sparohok (318277) on Monday December 18, 2006 @05:31PM (#17292112)
    Have you read the link I posted? It is getting old to keep repeating Jeff Bonwick's arguments when you can just read what I already pointed you to.

    The underlying hardware will not necessarily notice errors. Hard drives are only designed to error protect the magnetic domains on the disk. There are all sorts of other places in the increasingly long datapath to disk where data can be lost, and, in fact, routinely does get lost.

    The choice to verify every read is purely an implementation decision

    RAID-6 does not verify every read because it is a stupid way to achieve data integrity. It wastes two thirds of your aggregate IO read bandwidth when you can just use checksums virtually for free. CPU cycles for checksumming is dirt cheap whereas IO bandwidth is extremely expensive.

    I was just arguing the novelity you seem to think ZFS has -- using checksums to verify data integrity is not exactly cutting-edge computer science.

    Yet strangely there aren't any other widely available storage solutions that provide transparent data integrity from the filesystem down.

    I just don't think this particular feature is unique or superior to other available solutions for the same problem.

    Then name another one. I think we've already shown that vanilla RAID does not qualify.
  • Re:Secure Delete? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by HTH NE1 (675604) on Monday December 18, 2006 @05:41PM (#17292278)
    One, transparent encryption is still under development [opensolaris.org] for ZFS, and two, encryption is only good for data that needs to be confidential in the relatively short term. Anything for which you really need total deniability in perpetuity, encryption is insufficient to protect you.
  • by modapi (804656) on Monday December 18, 2006 @07:40PM (#17294160)
    Don't any of you guys use Macs?

    Here are five good reasons for Apple to go to ZFS:
    -No more Disk Warrior. The entire data store is self-validating. No bit rot.
    -No RAID controllers needed: ZFS gives you fast RAID for free. Just add drives. Why would anyone care? See #5.
    -No more volumes and, therefore, no more volume management. ZFS eliminates the whole volume concept. Add a disk to your system and it joins your storage pool. More capacity. Not more management. What home user would want that?
    -Continuous Data Protection out of the box. Time Machine could give you a view of your data every time you update a file.
    -ITV, or whatever it is going to be called. Multi-GB files that each cost $10-20, that can't be backed up - thanks DRM! - and therefore need a cheap and highly reliable RAID. ITV, two firewire drives, ZFS and you are in business.
    -Not to mention the existential pleasure of having great technology that Vista doesn't have. In fact, since consumer technology is driving the enterprise, expect ZFS on Mac to raise the bar for every OS and file system.

    I suspect that Time Machine is simply the first of several beautifully designed storage utilities that we'll see on Leopard. How about automatic synchronization when you plug in an external drive? Snapshots automatically exported to .Mac? ZFS enables all kinds of coolness and I, for one, can't wait to get it on my laptop.

    Read more at ZFS On Leopard: How Cool Is That? [storagemojo.com] Means, Motive & Opportunity: Apple Kills the Media Center PC [storagemojo.com] and the latest ZFS On Mac: Now All-But-Official [storagemojo.com].

    And you heard about the native iSCSI support in Leopard, right?

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