Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 23rd Oct 2009 21:13 UTC, submitted by poundsmack
Mac OS X John Siracusa, the Mac OS X guru who writes those insanely detailed and well-written Mac OS X reviews for Ars Technica, once told a story about the evolution of the HFS+ file system in Mac OS X - he said it was a struggle between the Mac guys who wanted the features found in BeOS' BFS, and the NEXT guys who didn't really like these features. In the end, the Mac guys won, and over the course of six years, Mac OS X reached feature parity - and a little more - with the BeOS (at the FS level).
Thread beginning with comment 390735
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Not surprising
by diegocg on Fri 23rd Oct 2009 21:53 UTC
diegocg
Member since:
2005-07-08

While ZFS is great, its advantages are targetted mainly to servers, from the user POV it's just POSIX + snapshots/volume management. It doesn't brings new things to the desktop (with time machine apple doesnt even need snapshots). Apple is the kind of company that could want to go beyond of POSIX and bring new ideas to the desktop...

Reply Score: 0

RE: Not surprising
by Erunno on Fri 23rd Oct 2009 22:04 in reply to "Not surprising"
Erunno Member since:
2007-06-22

It doesn't brings new things to the desktop (with time machine apple doesnt even need snapshots).


Wouldn't Time Machine profit greatly speed-wise from ZFS if only the changed blocks between two snapshots would have to be sent to the backup disks instead of whole files (which is especially painful with large ones)? I do not own a Time Capsule but I read that larger backups can be quite painful over the air. Plus, the sometimes long calculation of the changes would also disappear.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Not surprising
by diegocg on Fri 23rd Oct 2009 22:19 in reply to "RE: Not surprising"
diegocg Member since:
2005-07-08

Wouldn't Time Machine profit greatly speed-wise from ZFS

Sure, but just that - speedups (which could probably be hacked around in many ways). I think Apple would want to go beyond of all that - like presenting to applications something else that a path and a stream of bytes.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Not surprising
by tobyv on Fri 23rd Oct 2009 22:19 in reply to "Not surprising"
tobyv Member since:
2008-08-25

Apple is the kind of company that could want to go beyond of POSIX and bring new ideas to the desktop


Apple is also the kind of company where the NIH mindset is very strong.

I can't see Apple engineers willingly embracing Sun/Oracle technology.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Not surprising
by haus on Fri 23rd Oct 2009 22:27 in reply to "RE: Not surprising"
haus Member since:
2009-08-18

"Apple is also the kind of company where the NIH mindset is very strong."

That's simply not true anymore. Their focus in the past was to develop everything in house to maintain control. Now their motivation is to ship the best product they can and differentiate themselves wherever possible. Often times that means including open source, other times its meant licensing 3rd party technologies and yet other times it means creating those technologies themselves.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Not surprising
by Zifre on Fri 23rd Oct 2009 22:35 in reply to "RE: Not surprising"
Zifre Member since:
2009-10-04

Apple is also the kind of company where the NIH mindset is very strong.


Then why would they use the Mach kernel, the BSD userland, CUPS, etc.?

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Not surprising
by azrael29a on Fri 23rd Oct 2009 22:56 in reply to "Not surprising"
azrael29a Member since:
2008-02-26

While ZFS is great, its advantages are targetted mainly to servers, from the user POV it's just POSIX + snapshots/volume management. It doesn't brings new things to the desktop

How about "no more filesystem checking"?
There is no fsck for ZFS. End to end checksumming does it all.

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[2]: Not surprising
by phoenix on Sun 25th Oct 2009 21:23 in reply to "RE: Not surprising"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

"While ZFS is great, its advantages are targetted mainly to servers, from the user POV it's just POSIX + snapshots/volume management. It doesn't brings new things to the desktop

How about "no more filesystem checking"?
There is no fsck for ZFS. End to end checksumming does it all.
"

There is no separate, offline fsck. But there still is the online, background "fsck" known as scrubbing. And it's recommended that you do that at least once a month.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Not surprising
by Tuxie on Fri 23rd Oct 2009 23:11 in reply to "Not surprising"
Tuxie Member since:
2009-04-22

It would bring low level checksumming with error correction (protection against bit-flips) and super-flexible support for multiple disks.

They could use it to implement a much better time machine with short snapshot intervals, requiring a fraction of the IO-usage and storage space of the current hardlink implementation.

They could also use its support for SSD caches, which means that you could add a small and expensive-per-GB but superfast SSD disk to your storage pool and have your most frequently used files automatically and transparently hosted on the SSD while the less common files are on your large and cheap 3,5" SATA disks.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Not surprising
by segedunum on Sun 25th Oct 2009 11:21 in reply to "RE: Not surprising"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

While I'm sure that we're all excited by the technical advantages of ZFS, the fact is that Apple thinks those reasons are not enough to use it - and they now have experience of using it.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Not surprising
by Burana on Sat 24th Oct 2009 07:51 in reply to "Not surprising"
Burana Member since:
2009-01-26

While ZFS is great, its advantages are targetted mainly to servers, from the user POV it's just POSIX + snapshots/volume management. It doesn't brings new things to the desktop (with time machine apple doesnt even need snapshots). Apple is the kind of company that could want to go beyond of POSIX and bring new ideas to the desktop...


I'm running OpenSolaris as my primary desktop.

Doing riskless OS upgrades with snapshots is the best invention since sliced bread.

There are many more features that are nice on the desktop (cloning, compression etc.)

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Not surprising
by Karrick on Mon 26th Oct 2009 02:19 in reply to "RE: Not surprising"
Karrick Member since:
2006-01-12

I'm running OpenSolaris as my primary desktop.


What hardware are you using? !!!

I've been trying to find a standard machine to do this with for a long time. A computer where I do not have to spend extra hours loading a driver from a CDROM burned from a different computer just to get the wired network interface working. That is utter nonsense. Do you have a recommendation? I love OpenSolaris, except for that pain.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Not surprising
by Laurence on Sun 25th Oct 2009 17:09 in reply to "Not surprising"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

While ZFS is great, its advantages are targetted mainly to servers, from the user POV it's just POSIX + snapshots/volume management. It doesn't brings new things to the desktop (with time machine apple doesnt even need snapshots). Apple is the kind of company that could want to go beyond of POSIX and bring new ideas to the desktop...

Actually, ZFS would be ideal for media professionals who use OS X.

Think about musicians or sound engineers who deal with files that are hundreds of megabytes in size. Rather than having dozens of copies of the same file taking up gigabytes of diskspace, ZFS would just store the differences.

Plus support for software RAIDing would make recording of ultra high quality audio a breeze where currently latency is often an issue.

ZFS also has native support for compression (which is ideal when your a media professional and frequently handling data that can't be lossy compressed)

ZFS also doesn't require defraging nor scandisk/fsck'ing - which is in line of Apple whole philosophy (as in "it just works")

And lets not forget the improvements to Time Capsule (as already mentioned).


ZFS could have been an awesome addition to OS X and a valued asset for media professionals who regularly work with high resolution samples.

Reply Parent Score: 3