Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

ZFS Confirmed In Mac OS X Server Snow Leopard

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the if-you-need-to-have-an-OS-name-tattoo dept.

OS X 178

number655321 writes "Apple has confirmed the inclusion of ZFS in the forthcoming OS X Server Snow Leopard. From Apple's site: 'For business-critical server deployments, Snow Leopard Server adds read and write support for the high-performance, 128-bit ZFS file system, which includes advanced features such as storage pooling, data redundancy, automatic error correction, dynamic volume expansion, and snapshots.' CTO of Storage Technologies at Sun Microsystems, Jeff Bonwick, is hosting a discussion on his blog. What does this mean for the 'client' version of OS X Snow Leopard?"

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

What does this mean for 'client'? (4, Insightful)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 6 years ago | (#23754819)

Nothing, in particular. It means that ZFS isn't going to be officially supported and/or promoted on client. But, since Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server are essentially the same OS with some different/additional pieces on the top of Server, and like other filesystems that were exposed via the GUI tools and supported on Mac OS X Server, but not on Mac OS X, in the past -- such as Mac OS Extended (Journaled, Case-Sensitve) -- it will likely be available via the command line tools, and usable by people savvy enough to work with other boot devices to format the volume in the desired fashion, etc.

Re:What does this mean for 'client'? (-1, Troll)

FunkyELF (609131) | more than 6 years ago | (#23755107)

I think this means they weren't able to remove enough bloat for ZFS to run smoothly on a machine with less than 4GB of RAM and left it for the server only. Sure they have laptops with 4GB of RAM but if your filesystem is using it, you have no RAM to do anything else.

Re:What does this mean for 'client'? (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 6 years ago | (#23756539)

Hang on a sec. What's the point of running ZFS if it's that badly bloated, server or no server?

Re:What does this mean for 'client'? (2, Insightful)

Goaway (82658) | more than 6 years ago | (#23756707)

You should perhaps consider taking the internet less literally.

Re:What does this mean for 'client'? (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 6 years ago | (#23756751)

I'm not. But since no one's refuted his claim yet, and I know jack shit about filesystems, I'd thought I'd stir the pot a little to get some more info on the subject.

Re:What does this mean for 'client'? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23757189)

The fact that no one has refuted it can be seen as proof enough that the claim is so preposterous as to render such preposterousness self-evident and therefore unworthy of refutation. Additionally, your ability to receive intellectual "hand-outs" is stymied by said lack of refutation. Ergo, your desire for more information will go unfulfilled. However, being the bleeding-heart that I am: http://www.solarisinternals.com/wiki/index.php/ZFS_Best_Practices_Guide#Memory_and_Swap_Space [solarisinternals.com] and, for future reference, http://www.google.com/ [google.com]

Re:What does this mean for 'client'? (4, Informative)

spun (1352) | more than 6 years ago | (#23757301)

From what I understand, ZFS is fast not memory efficient. Minimum recommended system memory is 1GB, more is definitely better.

I'm no expert on ZFS, I just did a google search on 'zfs benchmark' and then on 'zfs memory usage' and pulled information from the first few results. Maybe someone who actually knows something can chime in?

Re:What does this mean for 'client'? (2, Informative)

the_B0fh (208483) | more than 6 years ago | (#23758179)

The moon is made of green cheese. Until someone refutes that, you can continue to think so.

Seriously though, zfs for osx is already available to be checked out and played with. Additionally, they hired one of the key zfs people and have her working on zfs for osx now.

I highly doubt it will suck, since, iirc, she was one of the people who worked on the test sets that SUNW^H^H^H^HJAVA runs nightly.

Re:What does this mean for 'client'? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23757339)

Funny, I have it managing over a TB of disk space on a server with only 2GB of ram and plenty of applications and I don't have any performance issues whatsoever. You might want to try killing the talkoutofmyass daemon I do think it's using to many resources.

Re:What does this mean for 'client'? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23759275)

You might want to try killing the talkoutofmyass daemon I do think it's using to many resources.

Funny, I have more than 1 TB of talk coming out of my ass with no resource problems whatsoever. You might want to try killing your anecdotal daemon as I do think it's clouding your judgment.

Re:What does this mean for 'client'? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23758665)

Speculation is that its not bootable yet, which is why it isn't in the client OS.

Re:What does this mean for 'client'? (2)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#23755349)

10.5 client includes readonly zfs support. The mac ZFS development is available here [macosforge.org]

Re:What does this mean for 'client'? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23755871)

Either you are violating your NDA or presenting a conjecture as fact.

Finaly (2, Interesting)

bobwrit (1232148) | more than 6 years ago | (#23754845)

We can finaly fill up more than 8 TB on this FS. Anyone up to try?(with what?)

Re:Finaly (2, Informative)

Jellybob (597204) | more than 6 years ago | (#23754907)

Our mail stores at work can fill 8TB quite happily (although they're on big network attached storage boxes, not ZFS).

Re:Finaly (4, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | more than 6 years ago | (#23754963)

8TB is rapidly becoming "not that much stuff" these days. You can already buy 1TB HDDs, so we're just three doublings away from hitting the limit with a single drive (not to mention RAID arrays).

Re:Finaly (0, Redundant)

Jor-Al (1298017) | more than 6 years ago | (#23755005)

I've had a 4 TB Raid 5 NFS for over 2 years now with another 3 TB one as backup. 8 TB is really not that much at all.

Re:Finaly (1)

jabuzz (182671) | more than 6 years ago | (#23755309)

At work our largest filesystem is a 20TB GPFS filesystem with HSM with at least another 50TB of migrated data on tape.

Frankly until ZFS gets cluster and HSM capabilities it is rather uninteresting.

Re:Finaly (1)

Skinkie (815924) | more than 6 years ago | (#23755947)

Cluster capabilities it already has. But the point here is that is that for example iSCSI in this configuration is not yet supported that is a bummer. Next to this, there is only one point to terminate a controller in an active/standby setup. More cool features should be added to get ZFS to be really usable in a cluster scenario, especially with respect aggregation units and failover.

Re:Finaly (2, Interesting)

jabuzz (182671) | more than 6 years ago | (#23756823)

News to me, double checking the Sun pages tells me that two or more servers cannot mount the same pool at the same time. It is allegedly coming with Luster 1.8, but it ain't here now.

Re:Finaly (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23756243)

Let me guess, you are a Lin-sux L-user? Typical reaction to features that OS X has that your craptacular OS could never match in a thousand years... "oh noone wants it anyway!"

Complain all you want, you're still a loser.

Once again it's Apple FTW!!!

Re:Finaly (1)

Optic7 (688717) | more than 6 years ago | (#23756401)

Dang... does GPFS by any chance stand for "Ginormous Phrigging File System"?

Re:Finaly (1)

jabuzz (182671) | more than 6 years ago | (#23756799)

Nope it's IBM's General Parallel Filesystem, and 20TB of spinning disk, with ~50TB of migrated data is small beer. I am aware of systems with in excess of 500TB of migrated data.

With clustered Samba nearly production ready, shared disk filesystems such as GPFS, CXFS, GFS etc. will become much more important. Imagine being able to yank the power cord on one of your Samba servers and watch as the clients just keep trucking and the load is transparently taken by the other servers in the cluster.

File systems that have HSM get extra brownie points.

Re:Finaly (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23757187)

File systems that have HSM get extra brownie points.
Why would a file system have High School Musical? Do you want it pre-pirated? :-).

Re:Finaly (1)

allenw (33234) | more than 6 years ago | (#23756649)

I find it interesting in the 'last decade' sort of problems: root drives, RDBMS, etc. But unless it is linked with something like Lustre, I'm not sure if it is ready to take on the problems of this decade and Big Storage a la Google File System or Hadoop Distributed File System. Even a 70TB FS of the size you mentioned are starting to look tiny in comparison.

[For the record, I've used both ZFS and HDFS. Our largest HDFS--and we have multiple--has around 3-4PB, counting the space required by the 1:3 replication factor we use.]

Re:Finaly (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#23757123)

I remember reading about the level of storage or RAM aboard the Enterprise a few years ago, tried to find some similar info: http://www.memory-alpha.org/en/wiki/Petabyte [memory-alpha.org] this page claims that the human brain can store about a petabyte of information, that's pretty cool. I wonder how much a layered SSD the size of a brain would currently hold..

Re:Finaly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23758409)

The ZFS ability to tell which side of a mirror is returning valid data when one copy is damaged is interesting to me. How does GPFS detect errors in mirrored files and tell which copy is correct ?

Re:Finaly (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 6 years ago | (#23755305)

No matter how much disk space you have: you WILL find a way to fill it.

Re:Finaly (1)

jabuzz (182671) | more than 6 years ago | (#23756837)

Thats why there is HSM, the tape library at work is 1.5PB with room to scale with current tech to about 2.5PB. However that is a small tape library these days.

Re:Finaly (3, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 6 years ago | (#23755707)


We can finaly fill up more than 8 TB on this FS. Anyone up to try?(with what?)

Rookie. My swap space is 8 TB.

Re:Finaly (4, Funny)

Daswolfen (1277224) | more than 6 years ago | (#23755907)

n00b... ... my pr0n folder is 8 TB.

Re:Finaly (3, Funny)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 6 years ago | (#23756789)

You're the noob! With 8TB of frigging swap, GP's porn stash can obviously only be counted in Libraries of Congress!

Re:Finaly (2, Funny)

sammy baby (14909) | more than 6 years ago | (#23757631)

Lamer. 8 TB isn't enough to hold my collection of midget furry porn, let alone the whole shebang.

Re:Finaly (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 6 years ago | (#23755987)

No, I need something big enough for my porn collection.

"All features on this page are subject to change" (4, Informative)

TibbonZero (571809) | more than 6 years ago | (#23754859)

It should be noted at the bottom of the page.
I was under the impression that they had initially hoped to include such in Leopard.

However, it isn't just Apple, Microsoft has been working on various structured file systems (WinFS through OFS and Storage+) for nearly 20 years with no shipped products

Re:"All features on this page are subject to chang (4, Funny)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 6 years ago | (#23755885)

WinFS is almost ready... Its going to be here any day now. I heard its the base storage layer for Duke Nukem Forever!

Re:"All features on this page are subject to chang (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23759047)

I was under the impression that they had initially hoped to include such in Leopard.
Nope, not full support. Leopard has read-only command line ZFS support. There were rampant rumors about it (including a Slashdot item), some suggesting that the 2007 WWDC keynote would reveal not only R/W support for ZFS, but that the default disk format was going to change to ZFS in Leopard. However, Apple's position was always to have read-only support in Leopard (allowing for some functionality when 10.5 is considered a legacy OS, and ZFS is common), knowing that read-write support would be coming in a future version. There has also been a beta ZFS read-write driver for Leopard since just after last year's WWDC when ZFS support was announced.

How will I benefit? (3, Interesting)

The Ancients (626689) | more than 6 years ago | (#23754865)

Ok, I'm reasonably technical, but not savvy with the intimate workings of a file system. What will this mean for the average user with an iMac or MacbookPro, when ZFS finally appears as the default FS of OS X? Will it be faster, more error-resistant, or...?

Re:How will I benefit? (2, Informative)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 6 years ago | (#23755083)

It probably won't be faster (and may even be slower), but it definitely will be more reliable.

ZFS uses super-paranoidal checksumming which can detect drive problems in advance.

Re:How will I benefit? (2, Informative)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 6 years ago | (#23755629)

ZFS uses super-paranoidal checksumming which can detect drive problems in advance.
No, checksumming cannot detect drive problems in advance; for that you need SMART. Once your drive has been corrupted ZFS will kick in and prevent you from accessing any corrupt data.

Re:How will I benefit? (3, Insightful)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 6 years ago | (#23755729)

SMART sucks. That's just a fact - very often it kicks in when your drive has failed.

Also, there are lot of real cases where malfunctioning drive can silently write incorrect data. ZFS will help you in this case.

Re:How will I benefit? (1)

ArbitraryConstant (763964) | more than 6 years ago | (#23756977)

ZFS uses super-paranoidal checksumming which can detect drive problems in advance.
It won't detect them in advance. But, used appropriately, you won't care when they happen.

I'm not sure that's relevant to single-drive Macs though. It needs a mirror with a clean copy of the data to correct from.

Re:How will I benefit? (1)

cblack (4342) | more than 6 years ago | (#23755155)

Probably for an end-user workstation with a single hard drive, the main benefit will be resistance to errors. ZFS also has optional transparent compression so that could be useful as well I suppose.

Re:How will I benefit? (1)

CottonThePirate (769463) | more than 6 years ago | (#23755633)

Compression! It is the one feature that I'm jealous of on windows machines. I constantly run Linux on older machines and which for a default file system that offered compression. I know hard drives are cheap, but not free. The same thing comes up on slightly older Mac hard drives all the time. 10GB was a standard laptop drive on older powerbooks and ibooks, these machines still run leopard fine, but it takes half their hard drive!

Re:How will I benefit? (1)

Malekin (1079147) | more than 6 years ago | (#23755963)

The oldest laptop Apple supports running Leopard is the November 2002 TiBook, and that shipped with a 60GB drive.

Re:How will I benefit? (1)

CottonThePirate (769463) | more than 6 years ago | (#23756909)

Perhaps the oldest, but it only requires a G4 866 or better, which includes a lot of late model iBooks with 30G drives. I'm just saying I always run out of space on laptops (even with a newer 80G macbook). Lots of stuff can't be compressed, but I'd like those few extra gigs when it can be. I have a 1TB external drive at home, but defeats the point of a laptop to lug it around.

Re:How will I benefit? (4, Interesting)

countSudoku() (1047544) | more than 6 years ago | (#23755193)

You'll also be able to create a pool of drives that acts as a single drive, like you can with the RAID setup now, but far faster to setup. Growing your pools is a breeze and if they can tie TimeMachine into the zfs snapshots, my god, what can't we do?! Seriously, this will be a nice advanced file system for Mac OSX. We've been using it on Solaris for a year now for zone root/usr file systems, and zfs is AWESOME!!! Except that even Sun is not recommending we use it for zone root file systems until they hit update 6 of Solaris 10. Whoops! That's in November, so we're just sitting tight until they support Solaris root/OS zfs file systems. Then we upgrade. Then ? Then we profit!

Ob. Apple Joke referencing earlier /. artice:
Of course, the delay for the consumer OSX support of zfs will have to wait until they code in skipping backups of your iTunes library! ;)

Re:How will I benefit? (0)

phliar (87116) | more than 6 years ago | (#23755727)

Of course if you're not running a production server, you can install OpenSolaris on a PC and get ZFS root today. If your hardware is supported, OpenSolaris is much nicer than S10.

Re:How will I benefit? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23756339)

Sun is not recommending we use it for zone root file systems until they hit update 6 of Solaris 10


For that to work, you need a boot loader that supports zfs. This will come first in Solaris 10 x86 because they already have grub there. It's easier. For SPARC machines, it'll require new OpenBoot firmware that understands zfs.

Re:How will I benefit? (5, Informative)

The Blue Meanie (223473) | more than 6 years ago | (#23756979)

For that to work, you need a boot loader that supports zfs. This will come first in Solaris 10 x86 because they already have grub there. It's easier.

Actually, GP was talking about ZONE root filesystems, which have absolutely nothing to do with the bootloader, since the zone runs on top of the underlying global zone. You CAN put a zone root on ZFS at the moment, but Sun neither recommends nor supports that setup.

For SPARC machines, it'll require new OpenBoot firmware that understands zfs.

And this is simply untrue, period, even for non-zone ZFS root filesystems. OpenBoot loads the next stage of boot code by reading raw data from blocks 1-8 of the chosen slice of the boot disk, and THAT is the code that needs to be able understand the filesystem that will be mounted as root (UFS, ZFS, or whatever). OpenBoot only needs to understand the disk label/partitioning and to be able to read the disk blocks. It already does that, so non-zone ZFS root will NOT require any modifications or upgrades to OpenBoot, just updates to the bootloader code that is written to the disk in blocks 1-8.

Re:How will I benefit? (4, Interesting)

Lally Singh (3427) | more than 6 years ago | (#23755213)

Wow, it's such a major leap it's hard to describe.

Imagine having an external HDD on your mac. Whenever you plug it in, it automatically starts mirroring the internal drive.

Take atomic snapshots of your entire filesystem, send it over scp to back up your drive as a single file. Or, send over the difference between two snapshots as an incremental backup.

Have more than one drive, want mirroring? 2 steps on the command line.

Have a directory you really care about? Make it a sub-filesystem (this doesn't involve partitioning, etc, just a command that's almost identical in syntax and performance to mkdir) and tell ZFS to store 2 or 3 copies of it.

Have a directory you'd like auto-compressed? Tell zfs to compress it. New data to it is automatically, and transparently compressed. Completely transparent to the user and to applications.

And I'm just getting started. Trust me on this, google it.

Re:How will I benefit? (4, Informative)

Lally Singh (3427) | more than 6 years ago | (#23755289)

Re:How will I benefit? (1)

cwingrav (8705) | more than 6 years ago | (#23755501)

Figures you'd be posting replies to this story Lally.

Re:How will I benefit? (1)

Lally Singh (3427) | more than 6 years ago | (#23755673)

Someone's gotta keep these heathens in check.

Re:How will I benefit? (0)

jabuzz (182671) | more than 6 years ago | (#23756531)

However missing,

  1. ZFS no cluster support, though perhaps coming later
  2. No DMAPI support so no HSM, and not on the roadmap

I am not sure what it is with all these ZFS fan boys, but it is missing some critical enterprise features as far as I can tell. Wake me up when it acquires them.

Re:How will I benefit? (4, Insightful)

profplump (309017) | more than 6 years ago | (#23755653)

What is it with you people and filesystem-level snapshots?

I'd much rather have volume or block level snapshots, like with LVM and other similar systems. Those systems provide RO and RW snapshots, dynamic partitioning, drive spanning, etc., and can be easily layered with other block-level components to provide compression, encryption, remote storage, etc. as well. All that without tying you to a single file system (though that may be a moot point on OS X, as it will only boot from HFS/HFS+ AFAIK).

If you really wanted to you could even write a script that takes no arguments other than a path name and automatically created a series of volumes of an appropriate size for the folder you selected, setup software raid to mirror them into a single device, mount the device with a compression filter, format it (with any file system) mount it normally, move the data over, drop the old data, rebind the mount point to the old path name, and update fstab. The only thing you miss here that ZFS may be able to do (I didn't check) is avoid closing the files that are moved.

I'm not saying the features ZFS has are useless -- I think they are great -- they just aren't all that new and exciting. They might be new OS X, or repackaged in a way that's easy to consume, but they are things that anyone with big disks has been doing for years.

Re:How will I benefit? (4, Informative)

MSG (12810) | more than 6 years ago | (#23756095)

I'd much rather have volume or block level snapshots ... All that without tying you to a single file system

It is not possible to make consistent block-level snapshots without filesystem support. If your filesystem doesn't support snapshotting, it must be remounted read-only in order to take a consistent snapshot. This is true for all filesystems. When they are mounted read-write, there may be changes that are only partially written to disk, and creating a snapshot will save the filesystem in an inconsistent state. If you want to mount that filesystem, you'll need to repair it first.

Re:How will I benefit? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23756863)

... They might be new OS X, or repackaged in a way that's easy to consume, but they are things that anyone with big disks has been doing for years.
But it's not the SIZE of the disk that matters, but how you USE it! ;)

Re:How will I benefit? (4, Interesting)

ArbitraryConstant (763964) | more than 6 years ago | (#23757203)

I'd much rather have volume or block level snapshots, like with LVM and other similar systems. Those systems provide RO and RW snapshots, dynamic partitioning, drive spanning, etc., and can be easily layered with other block-level components to provide compression, encryption, remote storage, etc. as well. All that without tying you to a single file system (though that may be a moot point on OS X, as it will only boot from HFS/HFS+ AFAIK).
ZFS shits all over LVM:

-Say I want to take hourly snapshots, and retain them for a month. When the parent data for a ZFS snapshot changes, ZFS merely has to leave the old data alone. OTOH, LVM must copy the block to every snapshot before it can change it in the parent. My hourly snapshots will quickly cause my disk to thrash to a halt with LVM and using much more space, while ZFS incurs a negligible penalty.

-LVMs allow dynamic partitioning, but they can't share capacity on the fly. If I delete a file on an LVM-hosted filesystem, that space becomes available to the filesystem but not all the others. Unless I shrink the filesystem, generally requiring that I take it offline for a while.

-Another layer could potentially handle checksums on LVMs, but in practice Linux can't do this properly by itself.

-ZFS can use other layers, there's just a substantial benefit to letting it run the show.

The only reason this won't turn out to be a huge disadvantage for Linux is that BTRFS [kernel.org] will provide most of the same features. Layering can be a very helpful design tool, but there are times it becomes a hinderence. It's important to be flexible when there's benefits to integrating stuff into a single layer.

Regarding checksums (1)

warrax_666 (144623) | more than 6 years ago | (#23759937)

One of the major points of the ZFS checksums is that the checksum for block X is stored in the block that points to X. In addition to ensuring that X is written properly is also ensures that writes actually go to the correct blocks.

Re:How will I benefit? (5, Interesting)

MBCook (132727) | more than 6 years ago | (#23755217)

For one thing it would make the implementation of Time Machine much simpler. No more directory tree full of hard links and such. If they put it on other boxes (like Time Capsule) they could unify the format (it uses a different storage method). Then you could pull the Time Capsule drive, stick it in your Mac, and be all set.

For servers, it has all the standard ZFS benefits (easy storage adding, redundancy, performance, etc).

For home users, it would let you simply plug a new drive in your Mac, press a button, and have it just add space to your main drive. You wouldn't need to specifically setup a RAID. No resizing. No "external drive" if you don't want it that way. Just buy a drive, plug it in, and it's all handled for you.

Re:How will I benefit? (3, Insightful)

Lars512 (957723) | more than 6 years ago | (#23756087)

For home users, it would let you simply plug a new drive in your Mac, press a button, and have it just add space to your main drive. You wouldn't need to specifically setup a RAID. No resizing. No "external drive" if you don't want it that way. Just buy a drive, plug it in, and it's all handled for you.

I'm not sure you'd want it to work this way for external drives. Will they be available at crucial parts of boot time when some important files are striped across them? Even if they are, you're basically unable to ever remove the external drive again. If there's a problem with the drive, all your data is lost. Probably the way these drives work now is better. Maybe mirroring onto an external drive would work ok, but it would then be an undesirable write bottleneck.

Re:How will I benefit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23756275)

Step 1: "For home users, it would let you simply plug a new drive in your Mac, press a button, and have it just add space to your main drive. You wouldn't need to specifically setup a RAID. No resizing. No "external drive" if you don't want it that way. Just buy a drive, plug it in, and it's all handled for you."

Step 2: sometime later, unmount that drive, and have some (to you) random assortment of your files, possibly including files needed to boot your system, disappear or get damaged.

Step 3: ????

Step 4: profit????

Dropping the humor: I do not think this use case really makes sense for desktop systems used as such.

Re:How will I benefit? (1)

Daffy Duck (17350) | more than 6 years ago | (#23759461)

Be careful with "just buy a drive and plug it in". Unless something has changed recently, ZFS can't remove a device from a pool. So once you plug that drive in, you can never unplug it without a complete dump/restore - which means buying a whole other set of drives to do the backup to.

Re:How will I benefit? (3, Insightful)

fishdan (569872) | more than 6 years ago | (#23755241)

Indeed. (1)

MsGeek (162936) | more than 6 years ago | (#23755571)

Imagine a future version of the Time Machine which has multiple drives. One drive bites the big one. No worries! You just go to Fried or Office Despot or wherever and get a replacement. You plug the little sucker in and BAM! The drive gets "re-silvered" and your data is safe. If two of the drives go TU, same thing. Anyone know how many drives can fail at once in a RAID-Z2 before you are 100% SOL?

Re:Indeed. (2, Informative)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 6 years ago | (#23755669)

Anyone know how many drives can fail at once in a RAID-Z2 before you are 100% SOL?
RAID-Z2 can survive two drive failures; three failures will kill the pool.

RAID-6 vs. RAID-Z2 (1)

stefanlasiewski (63134) | more than 6 years ago | (#23756197)

It's interesting to note that the ZFS monitors don't seem to recover until the gentleman unplugs the failed drive. Is this a bug with ZFS, and has it been fixed?

RAID-6 [wikipedia.org] & RAID-DP [wikipedia.org] can also survive a dual-drive sledgehammer failure. The Linux MD Driver supports RAID-6 [die.net] .

How does Sun's RAID-Z2 distinguish itself from these existing implementations?

Re:How will I benefit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23755249)

It will be more resistant to errors, sort of implements the features of Time Machine at the filesystem level (and should make Time Machine much faster), and makes it easy to pool storage together in the event Apple wishes to combine flash and platter disks on the same machines.

More efficient backups. (3, Interesting)

pavon (30274) | more than 6 years ago | (#23755565)

One feature of ZFS is copy-on-write file snapshots, which allow you to "copy" a file, but the common portions of the file will be shared between the two copies, decreasing disk space.

This is great for backing up large files containing frequent but small changes. For example encrypted disk-images, parallels windows disk images, database files, the Entourage email box, or home videos you are in the process of editing etc.

Right now Time Machine creates an entire copy of the file each time it changes, making it unsuitable for backing up these types of files, and so you are encourage to exclude those files from backup. ZFS could fix that.

It could also make adding disk space more seamless, if desired. Slap on an external Firewire drive or even airport, click the "Add to storage pool button", and suddenly it just acts like part of your system drive. You don't have to worry about what is stored where.

Re:How will I benefit? (1)

lazyforker (957705) | more than 6 years ago | (#23755613)

Unless you have multiple volumes in your device/environment you probably won't benefit much. For a brief description of the features and benefits of ZFS take a look at Jeff Bonwick's blog:
http://blogs.sun.com/bonwick/en_US/category/ZFS [sun.com]
especially the "Friday May 04, 2007 Rampant Layering Violation?" post. In the first paragraph you get a summary of the features, and after the mathemagical diversion you get a brief summary of the "layers" comprising ZFS and some of the rationale behind the design.
Or, of course, take a look at the Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zfs#Features [wikipedia.org]
I think the main benefits for clients would be the ginormous volume sizes, snapshot/clones, and variable block sizes. But I think the filesystem is aimed at servers with multiple volumes attached.

Re:How will I benefit? (1)

tknd (979052) | more than 6 years ago | (#23757829)

For end user usability, one of the nicest features about ZFS is that things like fstab go away. On a freebsd box with ZFS, I setup a raidz pool across 4 disks. One of my controllers was giving me issues so I tried flipping around the disks in the various serial ata ports I had across 3 different serial ata controllers. ZFS comes back and detects the array correctly regardless of how the OS assigns the device names. Normally you would cause serious headache if you swapped around the drives.

I dunno if I trust it yet. (3, Interesting)

boxless (35756) | more than 6 years ago | (#23754869)

I've lurked a bit in the opensolaris forums, and there's a whole bunch of scary things with this FS. Like the RAM requirements for starters.

Re:I dunno if I trust it yet. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23754997)

I would be grateful if you can follow up with more info on this? what sort of RAM requirements etc. (and any other issues)?

Re:I dunno if I trust it yet. (4, Informative)

ApproachingLinux (756909) | more than 6 years ago | (#23755215)

a good place to start is probably the ZFS Best Practices [solarisinternals.com] page. the google text cache of that page is here [64.233.167.104] . beyond that, try to google "zfs ram requirements".

Re:I dunno if I trust it yet. (4, Informative)

cblack (4342) | more than 6 years ago | (#23755137)

RAM settings can be tuned down (see ARC cache sizing). If you've just lurked on a list and not run it or read the tuning docs, you don't know and your vage sense of it being "scary" should hold little weight. I will say that the defaults for ZFS on Solaris are geared towards large-memory machines where you can afford to give a gig to the filesystem layer for caching and such. I don't know the absolute minimum RAM requirements, but I doubt they are inflexible and "scary".
I've been running zfs on solaris oracle servers for a bit and it is REALLY NICE in my opinion. They have also continually improved the auto-tuning aspects so you don't even have to worry about some of the settings that were often tuned even two releases ago (10u2 vs 10u4).

Re:I dunno if I trust it yet. (1)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 6 years ago | (#23755469)

Agreed, however it does seem (currently) to be directed at Servers, which tend to have 4GB's of RAM or more and dont really start and stop processes randomly like a Personal/Home computer.

As far as RAM requirements, ive seen various opinions ranging from 1GB to 2GB's as being a "sufficient" amount, but 4GB+ being ideal... and a Minimum of 768MB... if thats true, and if that is also including general ram use for other things, thats not so bad...

The only major limitation (according to Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZFS#Limitations [wikipedia.org] ) is the Quota management:

ZFS doesn't support per-user or per-group quotas. Instead, it is possible to create user-owned filesystems, each with its own size limit. Intrinsically, there is no practical quota solution for the file systems shared among several users (such as team projects, for example), where the data cannot be separated per user, although it could be implemented on top of the ZFS stack.
Although personally I do not use any Quota management for anything, I could see that being a signifigant problem in many scenarios.

The rest of the limitations are par for the course in my opinion, most are similar to other file systems, and some are being worked on...

Relative Metric. (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 6 years ago | (#23759579)

There are some edge cases in ZFS, but compared with HFS+ - well, "Invalid leaf node".

possible use (4, Funny)

MonoSynth (323007) | more than 6 years ago | (#23754979)

The ability to hibernate your Mac with 16TB of RAM [apple.com] :)

Re:possible use (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23755123)

And of course, 16TB should be enough for anyone...

Re:possible use (1)

nawcom (941663) | more than 6 years ago | (#23755665)

Sounds like I'm gonna have to call Crucial and demand some 8TB so-dimms when they finally release it.

Re:possible use (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23756011)

You say this as a joke, but it is not really that far-fetched. Modern big computers easily have hundreds of GB of RAM.

Add to that the fact that Apple is working on some mysterious tech to take advantage of multi-processing and factor in Xgrid for some neat transparent grid presenting itself as a single Mac.

Suddenly the old limit of 32 GB becomes a bottle-neck -- even 16 TB is not that much for a grid of 50-100 machines.

Of course you'd never hibernate such a grid...

Re:possible use (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 6 years ago | (#23757309)

Is it me, or does 16 TB of Ram not seem so large?

Re:possible use (1)

joe_bruin (266648) | more than 6 years ago | (#23758319)

The ability to hibernate your Mac with 16TB of RAM [apple.com] :)
No one can afford 16TB of FB-DIMMs, there's not that much money in circulation.

Re:possible use (1)

greg1104 (461138) | more than 6 years ago | (#23758803)

Systems with a terabyte of RAM are not unusual in the government installations here in the DC metro area. Putting 16TB of RAM in a server will cost millions dollars right now, but it's by no means out of the question. See this SGI press release [sgi.com] for a sample with 28TB of RAM.

does it run Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23755547)

No but seriously, whats the deal with this being available for common distros? I understand its a sun developed thing, available for Solaris, but will it be available on Debian(Ubuntu) soon? Also if I add a new external HDD to my 'z-pool' and then lose it, do I lose data from my internal hdd as well as the external?

Re:does it run Linux? (1)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 6 years ago | (#23755701)

No but seriously, whats the deal with this being available for common distros?
It's not going to happen.

Also if I add a new external HDD to my 'z-pool' and then lose it, do I lose data from my internal hdd as well as the external?
If you use RAID-0 (striping) mode you'll lose data.

No, license issues (2, Informative)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 6 years ago | (#23759603)

will it be available on Debian(Ubuntu) soon?

Not until OpenSolaris and Linux are both GPLv3.

ZFS is patented and patent protection is only conferred through use of CDDL'ed code, which isn't compatible with GPLv2. A cleanroom implementation of ZFS, besides being redundant, has no license to use ZFS's patented technology. Whether Sun would sue a linux dev over this is a separate issue.

BSD implemented a Solaris compatibility layer to use the CDDL code directly, but their license isn't incompatible.

Jeff and Linus have visited lately - I think Jeff was just helping him hook up a new gas grill, but maybe something work-related was discussed. :)

Standardizing file systems (3, Interesting)

failedlogic (627314) | more than 6 years ago | (#23755897)

I don't know a whole heck of a lot of the technical details on ZFS. What I have read and understood, it sounds like what ZFS offers is something that every OS should include in its file system. Since, as I understand the BSDs and many Linux distros are starting to include (albeit limited/beta/alpha) ZFS support, and the long-rumored OS X inclusion being confirmed, could this be a universal file system for Operating systems? I would definitely like to see ZFS as a bootable Windows file system.

Say I have a portable USB hard drive or a dead motherboard in one system and want to retrieve the data off a hard drive. One computer has Windows and the other is Nix or OSX. Generally, the file system one could use that *should* work between Windows, Mac and 'Nix was Fat32. There are some issues with FAT32, the least of which is lack of support for large hard drives. The only other ways I can think of transferring the data are via Network or using a OS hook to read the data.

I just switched from Apple to Windows. I've been using an app to read my HFS+ file system on Windows to get data off the hard drive. It works well, but its not build-in. Nor is read/write NTFS access in other OSes. In any case, getting the data has been a bit of a pain. A standard file system I can just plug in a drive no problem would be awesome.

Re:Standardizing file systems (3, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#23757159)

  1. The GPL prevents ZFS integration (without a complete and total reimplementation of all the code... which won't happen since everybody prefers to write their own filesystem)
  2. MS DOS/FAT is the universal file system for operating systems.

Re:Standardizing file systems (1)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 6 years ago | (#23758893)

Um, MS DOS/FAT may be universally read/write supported, but I don't think you can boot much other than Windows on it.

ZFS is great, but... (0, Redundant)

K-Man (4117) | more than 6 years ago | (#23756651)


Where is Mrs. Z?

Behind the times. (0, Troll)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#23758305)

If Apple really wants to start calling OS X a "modern" operating system, they are going to have to start supporting pluggable filesystems. SOON! Limiting to one or two (and, other than ZFS, not a particularly good-performing or attractive one or two), is extremely limiting. In fact, it is asinine.

Re:Behind the times. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23758507)

Err.. what makes you think it doesn't?

Apple has had information [apple.com] on developing them for years. Or did you think MacFUSE [google.com] talked to the kernel using smoke signals?

THIS: (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#23758711)

To "anonymous coward", a quote from your own link:

" ...it supports the FUSE specification well enough that many popular FUSE file systems can be easily compiled and made to work on Mac OS X..."

Excuse me, but that is NOT even remotely a "native pluggable filesystem"! That is an add-on from a third party (parties) that "can be compiled and made to work with OS X".

There is a pretty BIG difference, dude.

Re:THIS: (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23759487)

I was referring to MacFUSE itself, not what it does -- it is a native pluggable filesystem. Without such support in OS X, MacFUSE wouldn't be possible. (Being an add-on itself is its goal: many interesting research-level filesystems are written to the FUSE interface, which runs code in userland, rather than to several OSes' individual kernel interfaces.)

But if you don't like that example, try Apple's own ZFS kext [macosforge.org] .

It seems apparent that you aren't a kernel programmer, but could you at least find one with even a passing familiarity with OS X before claiming it doesn't have a feature it obviously does have?

I don't have to be... (-1, Troll)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#23759739)

a kernel programmer, mr. anonymous. I am certainly a kernel USER. And I know the difference between adding support for one additional filesystem in a server product, and an add-on that can be user-compiled and "made to work with" and operating system, and NATIVE support for pluggable filesystems in the product I use (Mac OS X 10.5.3).

YOU might be a kernel programmer, but I highly doubt it. Especially if you don't know the difference between a native feature and a third-party add-on.

solid state makes this moot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23758359)

Does it even matter ? With solid state storage poised to take off we don't need half of the fancy stuff to overcome hard disk limitations.

Re:solid state makes this moot (1)

the_B0fh (208483) | more than 6 years ago | (#23758817)

are you one of those people who find some technical terms and latch on to them without understanding what it means?
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?