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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Overkill for a desktop
by MacMan on Sat 19th Mar 2011 15:01 UTC
MacMan
Member since:
2006-11-19

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.

OSX's current file system HFS+ certainly does suck and is in severe need of replacement.

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.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Overkill for a desktop
by laffer1 on Sat 19th Mar 2011 16:24 in reply to "Overkill for a desktop"
laffer1 Member since:
2007-11-09

Another possibility is DragonFly BSD's HAMMER file system. It has some of the same features as ZFS but without the licensing issue. Apple has a lot of BSDL code in their tree.

I've got a port of the first ZFS release for FreeBSD in MidnightBSD and it's interesting but a lot of work to maintain. The only reason I bothered to import it was sharing data between Macs and MidnightBSD machines. (fat32 sucks)

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Overkill for a desktop
by WereCatf on Sat 19th Mar 2011 17:47 in reply to "RE: Overkill for a desktop"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Another possibility is DragonFly BSD's HAMMER file system. It has some of the same features as ZFS but without the licensing issue. Apple has a lot of BSDL code in their tree.


BTRFS is feature-wise more-or-less on par with ZFS and thus could also make a suitable candidate. The current Linux version of it is however written in GPL and couldn't be used by Apple, and I doubt Apple will want to write a whole new implementation of it from scratch. :/

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Overkill for a desktop
by Kebabbert on Sat 19th Mar 2011 20:26 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.)

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Overkill for a desktop
by Subcomputer on Sun 20th Mar 2011 05:33 in reply to "Overkill for a desktop"
Subcomputer Member since:
2011-01-21

XFS is interesting, but it has a problem in that it is meant for very high quality workstations and servers connected to battery backups. It really doesn't take flickering power levels well at all, which would be a real problem on notebooks. While this issue has been largely worked out in the Linux implementation, I somewhat doubt that is the implementation Apple would use.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Overkill for a desktop
by Kebabbert on Sun 20th Mar 2011 10:37 in reply to "RE: Overkill for a desktop"
Kebabbert Member since:
2007-07-27

XFS is interesting, but it has a problem in that it is meant for very high quality workstations and servers connected to battery backups. It really doesn't take flickering power levels well at all, which would be a real problem on notebooks.

Another problem XFS has, it that your data is not safe. Your data might get corrupted, without XFS noticing it. Just read the research papers on this, which I linked to.

Reply Parent Score: 2