Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 7th Oct 2007 23:01 UTC
Mac OS X Developers have received from Apple a 'ZFS on Mac OS X Preview 1.1' package, which offers preliminary support for the ZFS file system, originally developed by Sun Microsystems for their Solaris OS. Currently, the Mac OS is based on the HFS+ file system, but leaked screenshots of earlier versions of Leopard showed options for formatting hard drives for ZFS. Reportedly, this preview allows full read and write capabilities with the latest developer build of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, Apple's upcoming version of its OS X operating system.
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Why you as a user should care about ZFS.

1) Checksumming -- ZFS will know about your bad drive before you, and hopefully you data, does. This alone is a good thing.

2) Snapshots. "instant" backups before you go running that large batch process on all of those files. Push a button so you can easily go back after you discover that missing parameter that corrupted the entire batch. When working with things like Video, large images or audio files, there is no such thing as a "quick backup". With Snapshots, backups are instant and you can recover your work if you (or, say, your cat -- they get in to everything) accidently destroys something.

3) Seemless space. Drives are enormous today out of the box, ZFS makes them even moreso. When your video folder fills up, no longer do you have to come up with contrived partitioning schemes to put some videos on drive A versus drive B. Just slap a new drive in to the machine, ZFS will fuse the two together and now you instantly get "more space", and it's all effectively continuous space rather than partitioned space. So, your "My Videos" folder can just grow seemlessly. Hello 1Tb video directory splattered across a that old 250G, a 400G and that new 750G drive you just got. This is all transparent to you, of course. All you do is add the drive. A quick format, no copying, no moving crap around, no links, just more drive -- just like a stick of new RAM.

I'm not going to mention ease of administration, striping, raiding, sub volumes, etc. Those are most likely transparent to the end user. A slick Apple GUI will hide all of that mundane stuff that makes ZFS Very Nice for the Drive Array folks out there, but not really related to the end user.

So, safety with checksums, instant "just in case" backups, and painless new storage are all fruits that ZFS bring to the table for the single user.

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