Linked by Rahul on Mon 13th Oct 2008 21:19 UTC
Linux Linux Foundation is organizing a end user collaboration summit this week. A major topic will be a presentation on the new upcoming filesystems - Ext4 and Btrfs. Ted Tso, who is a Linux kernel filesystem developer on a sabbatical from IBM working for Linux Foundation for a year, has talked about the two-pronged approach for the Linux kernel, taking a incremental approach with Ext4 while simultaneously working on the next generation filesystem called btrfs. Read more for details.
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"Hmmmmm, so ZFS is not tested on a wide list of hardware than I gave it credit for?

No. I don't care to indulge your every whim.

While I still consider most of this thread to be a silly waste of everyone's time... I do think the question is a valid one. IIRC, you were claiming that ZFS would be suitable for a small ARM-based NAS appliance. Yet you seem quite evasive regarding Segedunum's question about what hardware ZFS has actually been shown to scale down to.

ZFS is still largely a very unproven filesystem, regardless of when it was put into production. btrfs will probably remain so for many years as well, but it depends on how fast it develops. Additionally, there are some very large question marks over ZFS's ability to be used as a filesystem from very small ARM NAS devices right up to the large systems ZFS is restricted to today. At the very least, btrfs is in the right testing environment for those sorts of things to be tried and tested.

First, he was saying that ZFS has an inherent design flaw that makes it incapable of operation on an ARM based device. Do you agree with that claim?

When I asked him to explain the technical reason for that claim he changed the subject. Then he goes on to claim that because OpenSolaris has not been ported to ARM, ZFS can't be tested on ARM therefore it is inherently inferior to BTRFS. But still fails to provide any valid technical reason for why he claimed ZFS will not work on ARM. A discussion of the ARM instruction set/pipeline that makes the checksums ZFS does infeasible or some thing else impossible would have sufficed? ARM is a 32Bit processor and can address 4GB of memory.

To refresh your memory here is how the thread went:
However, when compared with ZFS in Solaris, btrfs already has a head start even now in testing and development in that it is developed within a a kernel that runs on small ARM NAS boxes to very large arrays. Its code will also be scrutinised as such. ZFS isn't going to have that kind of free testing environment until people start doing the things with OpenSolaris and its source code that are currently done with Linux.

His point is since ZFS only exists in Solaris it won't get wide testing and scrutiny.

I responded with:

"Again not True. ZFS has testing on a much wider platforms than you give it credit for, the BSDs and Apple are testing them so are many many people out side of Sun . "

I would say that was an apt factual response, no?

Then Segedunum asked:
Feel free to furnish me with a list.

The list here refers to my response above.

He then erroneously claims this:
Currently, that is x86 only and preferably 64-bit if you value your data.
one of the comments has a person running it on OS X on powerPC.

The only reason ZFS won't work on ARM is because the OSes that support it to won't run on ARM. That's a strawman Segedunum uses to make a non point. You would need sacrifice some caching and performance but the vast majority of the features would still work. For the purposes an ARM chip would be used, performance is not a major concern. If some one really wanted to get ZFS on ARM they will make the changes needed. Saying that ZFS has less testing than BTRFS because it doesn't work on ARM based systems is dubious. The bottom line is ZFS isn't on any OS that runs on ARM right now. Therefore the test results of a hypothetical configuration are a non sequitur.

None of the FSes discussed here Tux3, btrfs, hammer fs have been proven to do anything substantial yet and are effectiveyl unusable for the vast majority of people. At their stage of development that is very understandable. I wouldn't use that as argument point to say ZFS is superior.

Its is unknown right now if BTRFS will ever be used on ARM based boxes, either.

Edited 2008-10-16 05:04 UTC

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