Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 19th Mar 2011 00:06 UTC
Mac OS X "A commercial ZFS solution is (still) coming to Mac OS X, thanks to former Apple filesystem and OS engineer Don Brady (who previously worked on the abandoned internal Apple project to port ZFS). Brady and his company, Ten's Complement, just launched a limited private beta in hopes to have the software polished and ready for a summer launch this year. Ars spoke with Brady, who has a long history engineering filesystems for Mac OS and Mac OS X, to find out a little about his previous work with ZFS at Apple, and what Mac users can expect to gain from Ten's Complement's port of ZFS."
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RE: Overkill for a desktop
by Kebabbert on Sat 19th Mar 2011 20:26 UTC in reply to "Overkill for a desktop"
Kebabbert
Member since:
2007-07-27

ZFS is a phenomenal server file system with some amazing capabilities.

Problem is these capabilities come with significant cost: increased complexity, increased memory usage, processor usage...

Many of the features of ZFS are not needed on *most* desktops, and certainly not needed on laptops -- features like multi-volume management and so forth.

I think a file system like XFS (originally from SGI, designed for "graphics workstations") would be a perfect fit for OSX. Similarly with BFS from BeOS which has pretty neat features. I think both of these are available under a compatible license (BSD I think), so someone certainly could port these.

The ONLY reason to use ZFS is because it gives Data Integrity - your data is safe. No other filesystem does that: XFS, NTFS, ReiserFS, JFS, etc - they all fail. Also, hardware raid fails. Read the research papers about it here, and you see they fail, and also hw raid fail:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZFS#Data_Integrity

But this heavy focus on data safety comes with a cost: ZFS uses lots of cpu to checksums and it is slower. That is the reason the other unsafe filesystems are faster: they dont do as much checksums as ZFS does.

Read the link above, and you will see the research on this data safety.

What do you prefer on your desktop? Fast filesystem that might corrupt your data, or safe and slow filesystem?

(But if speed is an issue, just add more and more disks, and see that ZFS scales excellent because it is targeted for large servers. 45 SATA disks gives you 2-3GB/sec read and write. Seven disks gives you 400MB/sec.)

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