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ZFS, the Last Word in File Systems?

CmdrTaco posted about 10 years ago | from the no-point-discussing-I-guess dept.

Data Storage 564

guigouz writes "Sun is carrying a feature story about its new ZFS File System - ZFS, the dynamic new file system in Sun's Solaris 10 Operating System (Solaris OS), will make you forget everything you thought you knew about file systems. ZFS will be available on all Solaris 10 OS-supported platforms, and all existing applications will run with it. Moreover, ZFS complements Sun's storage management portfolio, including the Sun StorEdge QFS software, which is ideal for sharing business data."

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billion billion? (5, Funny)

michael path (94586) | about 10 years ago | (#10267136)

From the article:

Unlimited scalability
As the world's first 128-bit file system, ZFS offers 16 billion billion times the capacity of 32- or 64-bit systems.

Microsoft immediately countered by saying WinFS [] will now support "twelveteen million billion times" as much storage as Sun's ZFS, and is "a bazillion times" more secure.

When reached for comment, Sun CEO Scott McNealy [] replied "neener neener". Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer [] responded by putting gum in Sun President Jonathan Schwartz [] 's hair.

Re:billion billion? (4, Insightful)

Paulrothrock (685079) | about 10 years ago | (#10267163)

Billion billion is a perfectly valid number. Or would you rather they say 6.0 × 10^18? Most people can't imagine that. But people can (kind of) visualize a billion, and then multiply that by a billion, and see it's really, really big.

Re:billion billion? (4, Informative)

michael path (94586) | about 10 years ago | (#10267244)

How about quintillion [] ?

Re:billion billion? (4, Funny)

HerculesMO (693085) | about 10 years ago | (#10267368)

Given the fact there are an infinite amount of numbers, any murmur from your mouth or any written gibberish can be conveyed to a number.

For example, 'sassdfadef' is a number I think is a 2 with one thousand 3s after it. It's really moot :)

Re:billion billion? (5, Funny)

hackwrench (573697) | about 10 years ago | (#10267434)

In fact, this page is just one big number.

Re:billion billion? (1)

Sindri (207695) | about 10 years ago | (#10267395)

No, nobody can really visualize a billion (seriously, try!), but most people can pronounce it, that can't be said about 6.0 × 10^18.

Why don't they just describe the capacity in (5, Funny)

wiredog (43288) | about 10 years ago | (#10267227)


Re:billion billion? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10267284)

Actually what's the big deal of supporting such massive amounts of data?0

OK I am saying it now and it wont be back to curse me.

64 bits should be enough for everybody.

Now, here's the deal .. how are you going to ORGANIZE a 128 bit file system? Oh I see folders? Umm so if you're going to use folders .. umm why not have multiple drives or partitioning?

Ah yes I can hear people saying "what about large file data sets?" .. well what about it? Look if each data word size is so massive that the only way to address it is with 128 bits .. how the hell do you process such a huge amount of data in one pass anyway? Show me a CPU (not parallel system) .. that do operations on billions of trillions of gigabytes of data simultaneously.

Reminds me of the Gillete Mach 3 versus Schick Quattro lawsuit .. Gillete decided to have 3 blades ..and so Schick put 4 and claimed to be superior .. Now why not add 5 .. what about 6?

This 128 bit file system only serves marketing purposes. I want to see more clear advantages .. not that they made the breakthrough of ... "hmm we used 16 bits .. 32 bits .. 64 bits .. hmm why not 128 bits!" When they have a system capable of actually processing such data ..I'll be the first to cheer.

Re:billion billion? (4, Insightful)

escher (3402) | about 10 years ago | (#10267376)

You don't do much video editing, do you? ;)

Re:billion billion? (4, Funny)

backslashdot (95548) | about 10 years ago | (#10267323)

a file systems for trillions of billions bytes of data?

What's it for?

Installing Windows ?

Re:billion billion? (4, Funny)

TedCheshireAcad (311748) | about 10 years ago | (#10267349)

16 billion billion times!!

pinky in corner of mouth.

Re:billion billion? (4, Insightful)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | about 10 years ago | (#10267388)

As the world's first 128-bit file system, ZFS offers 16 billion billion times the capacity of 32- or 64-bit systems.

A 64-bit (unsigned) binary number can already store values up to 16 billion billion (actually, closer to 18, but who's counting). That's roughly 2.5 billion individually addressable locations for every man, woman, and child living on Earth.

Shouldn't that be enough to hold us for a few generations at least?

Re:billion billion? (1)

JeffSh (71237) | about 10 years ago | (#10267435)

what does storage capacity of an addressable file system have to do with number of persons living on earth? /me confused

Re:billion billion? (1)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | about 10 years ago | (#10267470)

My point is, you could put all of the world's data together on a single 64-bit filesystem and still have plenty of address space left over.

Even including all the world's porn.

Re:billion billion? (1)

bhima (46039) | about 10 years ago | (#10267483)

The same as it has to do with "libraries of congress" or my new favorite (earlier in this thread) "Sagans"

P.S. Carl Sagan was a nifty guy!

Open source (4, Informative)

Splinton (528692) | about 10 years ago | (#10267137)

And it looks like it's going to be opensourced along with most of Solaris 10!

Presumably a 32 bit machine will be able to handle a 128 bit file system, in the same way as Solaris 10 is currently destined for (at most) 64 bits.

Re:Open source (2, Funny)

i621148 (728860) | about 10 years ago | (#10267247)

so does that mean it could be available in Fedora Core III?

Re:Open source (4, Insightful)

tolan-b (230077) | about 10 years ago | (#10267288)

I suspect that whatever open source license Sun release Solaris under, they'll be careful to make sure it's incompatible with the GPL.

Re:Open source (1)

TheHonestTruth (759975) | about 10 years ago | (#10267326)

so does that mean it could be available in Fedora Core III?

Yes. Just don't to set up that machine to dual boot with Windows.


Re:Open source (5, Interesting)

balster neb (645686) | about 10 years ago | (#10267283)

Yes, it does look like it would be open-sourced as part of Solaris 10 (it was mentioned as one of the major new features).

Assuming the Solaris 10 will be true open source (not like Microsoft's "shared source"), as well as GPL compatibile, would I be able to use ZFS on my GNU/Linux desktop? Will ZFS be a viable alternative to ext3 and ReiserFS? Or is the overhead too big?

Re:Open source (5, Funny)

CrkHead (27176) | about 10 years ago | (#10267348)

It looks like Microsoft may have its new WinFS after all...

Re:Open source (1)

lamber45 (658956) | about 10 years ago | (#10267418)

According to the article, Sun says its tecnology is "patent pending"; to me, it sounds like they want to keep tight control of it. Of course, patents do expire eventually...

Ah, but... (1)

abb3w (696381) | about 10 years ago | (#10267490)

"Patent Pending".

Re:Open source (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10267506)

As a recently laid off Sun employed, I'd just like to say "FUCK JONATHAN SCHWARTZ".

not alphabetically (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10267141)

what about zzfs?

Re:not alphabetically (5, Funny)

laird (2705) | about 10 years ago | (#10267210)

Nah, the ultimate filesystem has to be xyzzyfs! Your data magically appears... :-)

The final file system, XXXfs (2, Funny) (142825) | about 10 years ago | (#10267491)

Though it before xyzzyfs, it is the last because it automatically generates and collects porn. Most geeks would never get past it.

Out of letters. (3, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | about 10 years ago | (#10267142)

Of course ZFS is the last word in file systems. I mean, what can come after zed?

Re:Out of letters. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10267169)

Easy: ß

Beta? (1)

tepples (727027) | about 10 years ago | (#10267422)

No, the German ß (s+z ligature) looks too much like a Greek lowercase letter beta, implying that the software is only of beta quality.

Re:Out of letters. (5, Funny)

Saint Stephen (19450) | about 10 years ago | (#10267199)

[fs, natch

Re:Out of letters. (4, Informative)

badriram (699489) | about 10 years ago | (#10267502)

I just wonder how many people on slashdot would even understand that....

To those who dont know.. [ comes after Z in ASCII and unicode-latin

Re:Out of letters. (2, Funny)

Goodbyte (539941) | about 10 years ago | (#10267222)

The next file-system will be developed swedish bikini waxers to make it possiblie to call it åfs.

Son of Jor-El (2, Funny)

Duke Machesne (453316) | about 10 years ago | (#10267281)

Kneel Before Zod!

The thing about that.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10267146)

It never *is* the last word in file systems.

Re:The thing about that.. (2, Funny)

robslimo (587196) | about 10 years ago | (#10267303)

I've been working on a file system (inspired by an old Signetics memory device) that's likely to *really* be the last word. It's still in alpha because I'm having trouble verifying its functionality, but it seems to work very well so far.

I call it WOFS.

Two things... (5, Insightful)

rincebrain (776480) | about 10 years ago | (#10267148)

1) Even Sun has succumbed to recursive acronyms, now.

2) Is it just me, or is the post surprisingly bereft of unique details? I mean, integration with all existing applications is rather assumed, given that it's a file system and all...

Re:Two things... (4, Funny)

InadequateCamel (515839) | about 10 years ago | (#10267504)

I especially liked:
"Neither architecture pays a byte-swapping tax due to Sun's patent-pending "adaptive endian-ness" technology"

Adaptive endian-ness? What a stupid thing to include in a press release...there has to be a better way to say that.

Just announced by Sun:
"ANMF, our new file system (Ambiguous Nomenclature FS) will be filled with file cataloguing technology stuff that allows faster-ish operations that result in application goodness".

rearchitected (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10267152)

is that even a word? i really hate marketing people

Re:rearchitected (3, Funny)

sheriff_p (138609) | about 10 years ago | (#10267242)

Sadly Google returns no hits for rearchistrated

Re:rearchitected (2, Funny)

miike (770833) | about 10 years ago | (#10267364)

Soon it will show one hit!

Re:rearchitected (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10267416)

Until now of course...

Re:rearchitected (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10267393)

is that even a word? i really hate marketing people

No it isn't, but then people have been using the word 'architected' when they mean 'designed' for years - yanks are always 'verbing' words.

Hmf. (5, Insightful)

BJH (11355) | about 10 years ago | (#10267155)

Logically, the next question is if ZFS' 128 bits is enough. According to Bonwick, it has to be. "Populating 128-bit file systems would exceed the quantum limits of earth-based storage. You couldn't fill a 128-bit storage pool without boiling the oceans."

So, what was the point of creating a 128-bit filesystem?

-1, Marketing Hype.


Re:Hmf. (5, Informative)

Kenja (541830) | about 10 years ago | (#10267168)

"So, what was the point of creating a 128-bit filesystem?

Getting rid of file/drive size limitations for the foreseeable future?

64 bits is awfully big already (4, Informative)

pslam (97660) | about 10 years ago | (#10267456)

Getting rid of file/drive size limitations for the foreseeable future?

It would take over 500 years to fill a 64 bit filesystem written at 1GB/sec (and of course 500 years to read it back again). 64 bits is already an impossibly large figure. There's absolutely nothing special or clever whatsoever about doubling the size of your pointers aside from using up more disk space for all the metadata.

64 bits is enough for today's filesystems in much the same way that 256 bit AES is enough for today's encryption - there are far bigger things that will require complete system changes than that so called "limit". I suspect a better filesystem will come along well before those 500 years are up... I agree with grandparent:

-1, Marketing Hype.

Re:Hmf. (2, Funny)

grub (11606) | about 10 years ago | (#10267170)

To store static routes for a lot of IPv6 addresses? :)

Re:Hmf. (1)

Gentoo Fan (643403) | about 10 years ago | (#10267223)

While it is pretty much marketing hype, it doesn't necessairly hurt to consider future expansion. I'm sure 20 years ago no one thought IPV4 would become confining. Of course, the foil hat crowd will have to worry about the government storing everyone's entire DNA string.

Re:Hmf. (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 10 years ago | (#10267266)

that's not what the "Populating 128-bit file systems would exceed the quantum limits of earth-based storage. You couldn't fill a 128-bit storage pool without boiling the oceans." would mean that you wouldn't be able to have a big enough storage device on earth to populate it(a big claim, though).

Re:Hmf. (1)

Gentoo Fan (643403) | about 10 years ago | (#10267322)

Perhaps. I agree with the notion that it's pretty much marketing hype, but who knows. Maybe someone will invent tech that stores untold terabytes on something the size of a penny... and solar powered... with a built-in MP3 player of course.

Re:Hmf. (4, Interesting)

elmegil (12001) | about 10 years ago | (#10267335)

"You'll never need more than 640K of memory". The point would be to be ready as storage densities increase. In the last 8 years we've gone from a terabyte filling a room to a terabyte on a desktop, and I'm sure there are more density breakthroughs coming.

It's your density, Luke.

Re:Hmf. (1)

Nos. (179609) | about 10 years ago | (#10267355)

md5 sums of all spam messages? Nah, its probably not big enough to handle that.

Re:Hmf. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10267447)

An actual feature with real value that snsures you'll never, ever worry about being limited by your filesystem. But since it's marketing hype, let's not listen.

Re:Hmf. (1)

sylvester (98418) | about 10 years ago | (#10267462)

Well, once you need a 65th bit, you might as well go to 128 bits. You could go to 72 or 80 or something, but how might as well make sure you're not going to have to fuck around.

Whether or not people will really need a 65th bit is a good question; they alluded to Moore's law, which I don't recall talking about storage.


Re:Hmf. (1)

DjReagan (143826) | about 10 years ago | (#10267511)

The point of making it 128bits? Well, it makes the pointers fit in nice word boundaries. No fiddling about trying to work out which 85 bits matter out of those 2 * 64bit words you're dealing with.

I can imagine doing anything else would be a fair hit on performance.

Unlimited scalability (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10267162)

Unlimited scalability
As the world's first 128-bit file system, ZFS offers 16 billion billion times the capacity of 32- or 64-bit systems.
But the last time I checked, 16 billion billion is still less than infinity.

Re:Unlimited scalability (4, Funny)

szo (7842) | about 10 years ago | (#10267454)

How did you check it? Count up to it and then add one and see if you could? Just asking.



Re:Unlimited scalability (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10267497)

inf - (16 billion billion) = inf

Or in other words, 16 billion billion is infinite times smaller than infinite. Thus compared to unlimited scalability in the infinite-FS it has zero scalability ([16 billion billion] = inf - inf = 0).


Cool but.... (3, Interesting)

otis wildflower (4889) | about 10 years ago | (#10267179)

... it took them long enough.

Perhaps they had to rewrite an LVM from scratch in order to opensource it?

Open Source (2)

blahbooboo2 (602610) | about 10 years ago | (#10267185)

This is truly great, so will this be part of it being open sourced the Sun OS?

What is their disk allocation scheme? (3, Informative)

grunt107 (739510) | about 10 years ago | (#10267196)

Having a global pool does lessen maintenance/support, but what method are they using to place data on the disks?

Frequently accessed data needs to be spread out on all the disks for the fastest access, so does that mean Sun has FS files/tables that track usage and repositions data based on that?

Re:What is their disk allocation scheme? (2, Interesting)

Bobo_The_Boinger (306158) | about 10 years ago | (#10267272)

I was concerned about the ability to selectively remove a disk. Say I have 3 disks and ZFS has spread my data all over those three disks. How do I say, "I need to remove disk 2, please move all that data to other disks now."? Just a minor concern really, but something to think about.

There already is a ZFS. (5, Informative)

TheLoneGundam (615596) | about 10 years ago | (#10267203)

IBM has ZFS on their z/OS Unix Systems Services (POSIX interfaces on z/OS) component. ZFS was developed to provide improvements over the HFS (Hierarchical File System) that they ship with the OS.

Re:There already is a ZFS. (1)

elmegil (12001) | about 10 years ago | (#10267479)

And there's a DFS, and an AFS, and a QFS ... I bet you could find a filesystem for every letter of the alphabet. Nobody said that there would never be more than 26 filesystems. Will it be confusing? Yes. Is there a good alternative? I think lots of people would be interested to hear one, but in the debate I've seen on what to call this one I didn't see any good alternatives.

There already is an HFS as well. (4, Funny)

tepples (727027) | about 10 years ago | (#10267519)

Then why didn't IBM call its improved HFS "HFS Plus"? No wait, that would collide with Apple's HFS and HFS Plus, used in Mac OS.

It would appear that there can be only twenty-six distinct file systems. Then Microsoft went and innovated NTFS with Four-Letter-Word File System Technology, which actually was just a copy of IBM's HPFS, the first to introduce File System Named After a Competitor [] Technology.

yes but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10267207)

what they dont tell you is it runs linux!!! (sorry, it just seemed funny i'm going to post anon lol)

Provided computer applications have been exhausted (1)

achesloc (697690) | about 10 years ago | (#10267214)

File Systems work particularly well in certain application environments. A good example being ReiserFS. The only way this could be the last word is if somehow it was the best for all the current known ways in which computing can be applied and that no more will be found. This would be like being a FileSystem yes man. At this point I get modded down.... Which is more or less just like one of the current candidates for President.

Re:Provided computer applications have been exhaus (1)

Jahf (21968) | about 10 years ago | (#10267285)

Well, there is another way for it to be the last word in Filesystems ... but with the Apocalypse delayed until 2032 we would have to have some damned lazy coders.

Re:Provided computer applications have been exhaus (1)

ebh (116526) | about 10 years ago | (#10267459)

Wasn't it supposed to be sometime in January, 2038?

will it be open source (2, Interesting)

joshtimmons (241649) | about 10 years ago | (#10267217)

We heard earlier that solaris 10 will be open source.

I wonder if that means that this filesystem can be included in other kernels.

UFS2/SU (3, Interesting)

FullMetalAlchemist (811118) | about 10 years ago | (#10267239)

I'm really happy with UFS2/SU, and have been more than happy with the original UFS in general since 1994 when I first started off with NetBSD.
But, with ZFS, maybe we finally have found a FS with replacing it with. I sure look forward to trying Solaris 10, though I'm sure that I will find that SunOS has a better feal to it, like always.

Maybe DragonflyBSD will be the one to do this, FreeBSD is generally more restrictive to radical changes; for good reasons, you don't get that stability without reason.

You just got to love the headline... (2, Funny)

Chainsaw (2302) | about 10 years ago | (#10267243)

"ZFS, the Last Word in File Systems?"

The last word in file systems is "systems". And stop asking file systems these questions, you fool.

If it's the last word (3, Funny)

kick_in_the_eye (539123) | about 10 years ago | (#10267248)

If it's the last word, why are we even talking about it?

Just better than the old stuff from Sun (5, Insightful)

Ewan (5533) | about 10 years ago | (#10267252)

Reading the article, all I see is Sun saying how bad their old stuff was, e.g.:

Consider this case: To create a pool, to create three file systems, and then to grow the pool--5 logical steps--5 simple ZFS commands are required, as opposed to 28 steps with a traditional file system and volume manager.

Moreover, these commands are all constant-time and complete in just a few seconds. Traditional file systems and volumes often take hours to configure. In the case above, ZFS reduces the time required to complete the tasks from 40 minutes to under 10 seconds.

Compared to AIX or HP-UX, 28 steps is shockingly bad, both have had much simpler logical volume management for several versions now (AIX for 5 years or more? certainly as long as I have used it). The existing Solaris 9 logical volume infrastructure is years behind the competition, this is bringing it up to date, but not putting it far ahead.


Re:Just better than the old stuff from Sun (1)

elmegil (12001) | about 10 years ago | (#10267455)

And how do you know they're not referring to VxVM?

What sort of crap is this? (4, Interesting)

LowneWulf (210110) | about 10 years ago | (#10267260)

COME ON! It may be a slow day, but how is this news? There's only one link, and it's to Sun's marketing info.

Can someone please provide a link to some technical details other than it being 128-bit? What does this file system actually do that is even remotely special? What's under the covers? And, more importantly, does it actually work as described?


That's a lot of storage (5, Funny)

Gentoo Fan (643403) | about 10 years ago | (#10267268)

But of course you'll still have to have your boot image within the first 1024 cylinders.

Oh wow! (2, Funny)

Wakko Warner (324) | about 10 years ago | (#10267270)

Does this mean the absolutely awful Disksuite/Solaris Volume Manager is finally, mercifully, dead, too?

I'll do a dance of utter joy if so. Disksuite is 10 pounds of shit in a 5 pound bag.

- A.P.

Re:Oh wow! (2, Informative)

elmegil (12001) | about 10 years ago | (#10267367)

Until Veritas makes their product free, there's going to have to be SOMETHING that operates in that space that is under Sun's control, don't you think? Not to mention VxVM has plenty of warts all its own.

Another quote to cherish (4, Insightful)

AsciiNaut (630729) | about 10 years ago | (#10267287)

I broke the habit of a lunchtime and RTFA. According to Jeff Bonwick, the chief architect of ZFS, "populating 128-bit file systems would exceed the quantum limits of earth-based storage. You couldn't fill a 128-bit storage pool without boiling the oceans."

Who else instantly thought of, "640 K ought to be enough for anybody", uttered by the chief architect of twenty years of chaos?

Different architecture, same functionality? (5, Interesting)

perseguidor (777194) | about 10 years ago | (#10267294)

With traditional volumes, storage is fragmented and stranded. With ZFS' common storage pool, there are no partitions to manage. The combined I/O bandwidth of all of the devices in a storage pool is always available to each file system.

Until now it does sound just like raid, but:

When one copy is damaged, ZFS detects it via the checksum and uses another copy to repair it.

No competing product can do this. Traditional mirrors can only handle total failure of a device. They don't have checksums, so they have no idea when a device returns bad data. So even though mirrors replicate data, they have no way to take advantage of it.

I guess I just don't get it; I know they are talking about logical corruption and not a physical failure, but this is kind of like raid with somethink like SMART, or isn't it?

And what kinds of corruption can there be? Journaling filesystems already work well for write errors and such, or so I thought.

I know the architecture seems innovative and different (at least for me), but is there really new functionality?

Sorry if I seem ignorant this time. I don't know if I was able to get my point across; the things this filesystem does, wouldn't they be better left on a different layer?

And this new billion billion ZFS will cost... (1, Funny)

neuro.slug (628600) | about 10 years ago | (#10267301)

puts pinky in mouth

-- n

fileless systems (1, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | about 10 years ago | (#10267304)

I don't know about the "last" word in file systems, but they won't be anything but klugey simulations of antiquated paper cabinets until their first word is "SELECT". Will someone finally replace the hierarchical inode database with relational tables, and a SQL API? Throw in a traditional file/directory API mapped to SQL statements, and the world will beat a path/filespec to your door.

Re:fileless systems (2, Funny)

gorbachev (512743) | about 10 years ago | (#10267407)

Something like:

SELECT * FROM storage WHERE path = '/home/gorbachev/.cshrc' :)

What I really want to see in a file system... (5, Insightful)

kcbrown (7426) | about 10 years ago | (#10267312)

...and that I haven't seen in any file system announced to date, is a way of bundling multiple filesystem operations into a single atomic transaction that can be rolled back. This would clearly require an addition of four system calls (one to begin a transaction, one to commit it, one to roll it back, and one to set the default action, commit or rollback, on exit).

Such a feature would rock, because it would be possible to make things like installers completely atomic: interrupt the installer process and the whole thing rolls back.

Re:What I really want to see in a file system... (2, Informative)

FullMetalAlchemist (811118) | about 10 years ago | (#10267453)

There are several FS like this, but you don't know of them because they require completely new FS API to work with.
With UFS2/SU we have snapshots [] which is a compromise; it does require any changes in the original UNIX API, and all current apps therefor work. On the other hand, it either requires a daemon or a competent user.

So, either you have UNIX or you have something else. Plan9 has many advantages, still, we use BSD, Solaris or whatever.

Apparently... (5, Funny)

qtone42 (741822) | about 10 years ago | (#10267320)

... ZFS will also make you forget everything you knew about English grammar.

"We've rethought everything and rearchitected it," says Jeff Bonwick

Rearchitected? WTF? Howsaboot "Redesigned?"

I'm still wrapping my brain around "adaptive endian-ness" as well.


Re:Apparently... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10267375)

Rearchitected? WTF? Howsaboot "Redesigned?"

Yep, we redesignified everything completeaciously.

/ Sun engineer

At the risk of appearing to be an idiot... (0, Flamebait)

ewanrg (446949) | about 10 years ago | (#10267331)

Why would I want to use ZFS instead of Reiser4? Is there something fundamental I'm missing, or is the hype not affecting me properly?

Obligatory Plug - Please check out my online novel []

Re:At the risk of appearing to be an idiot... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10267431)

Because every version of Reiser has the nasty tendancy to destroy your data at the drop of a hat?

There be Marketting here! (0, Flamebait)

grasshoppa (657393) | about 10 years ago | (#10267342)

Great. A link to the marketting release. Wonderful.

So, what we now know is this is the greatest thing since sliced bread. According to sun that is.

Sounds really nice (5, Informative)

mveloso (325617) | about 10 years ago | (#10267381)

Looks like Sun went out and redid their filesystem based on the performance characteristics of machines today, instead of machines of yesteryear.

Some highllights, for those that don't (or won't) RTA:

* Data integrity. Apparently it uses file checksums to error-correct files, so files will never be corrupted. About time someone did this.

* Snapshots, like netapp?

* Transactional nature/copy-on-write

* Auto-striping

* Really, Really Large volume support

All of this leads to speed and reliability. There's a lot of other stuff (varying blocks sizes, write queueing, stride stuff which I haven't heard about in years), but all of it leads to above.

Oh, and they simplified their admin too.

It's hard to make a filesystem look exciting. Most of the time it just works, until it fails. The data checksum stuff looks interesting, in that they built error correction into the FS (like CDs and RAID but better hopefully).

It might also do away with the idea of "space free on a volume," since the marketing implies that each FS grows/shrinks dynamically, pulling storage out of the pool as needed.

Any users want to chime in?

Patent-pending adaptive endianness? (3, Insightful)

yeremein (678037) | about 10 years ago | (#10267387)

ZFS is supported on both SPARC and x86 platforms. More important, ZFS is endian-neutral. You can easily move disks from a SPARC server to an x86 server. Neither architecture pays a byte-swapping tax due to Sun's patent-pending "adaptive endian-ness" technology, which is unique to ZFS.
Bleh. How expensive is it to byte-swap anyway? Compared with checking whether the number you're looking at is already the right endianness? Just store everything big-endian; x86 systems can swap it in a single instruction anyway. It's not like all data needs to be byte-swapped anyway, just metadata. I can't imagine the penalty would come even close to the amount of time spent doing their integrity checksums anyway.

Looks to me like nothing more than an excuse to put up a patent tollboth for anyone who wants to implement ZFS.

Curious points (3, Interesting)

tod_miller (792541) | about 10 years ago | (#10267392)

"Sun's patent-pending "adaptive endian-ness" technology"

ok, that aside. First 128bit file system, and get this: transactional object model

I think this means it is optimistic but they figure it has blazing fast performance, who am I to argue. Fed up with killing this indexing garbage on the work machine, bloody microsoft, disabled it and everything and every full moon it seems to come out and graze on my HDD platter.

From the MS article : This perfect storm is comprised of three forces joining together: hardware advancements, leaps in the amount of digitally born data, and the explosion of schemas and standards in information management.

Then I started to suspect they would rant about moores law and sure e-bloody-nough

Everyone knows Moore's law--the number of transistors on a chip doubles every 18 months. What a lot of people forget is that network bandwidth and storage technologies are growing at an even faster pace than Moore's law would suggest.

That is like saying, everyone knows the number 9 bus comes at half 3 on wednesdays, but noone expects 3 taxis sat there doing nothing at half past 3 on a tuesday.

Can we put this madness to rest? Ok back to the articles.

erm... lost track now....

huh? (1, Insightful)

helmespc (807573) | about 10 years ago | (#10267412)

Never need more than a 128 bit filesystem? My arse... and I'll never need more than 640k of system memory. Just because 128 bit filesystems allow an utter crapload of data doesn't negate the fact that 256 bit filesystems would allow a super utter crapload of data...

crash every 5 minutes? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10267417)

"In fact, Solaris Kernel engineers Bill Moore and Matt Ahrens have subjected ZFS to more than a million forced, violent crashes in the course of their testing."

Damn! These guys are even worse programmers than I am! :)

YUO F_AIL IT (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10267449)

Forgot (2, Funny)

TheFlyingGoat (161967) | about 10 years ago | (#10267473)

I was going to respond to the article, but I forgot everything I know about file systems.

Hmmm....Linux SAN killer? (1)

Chuck Bucket (142633) | about 10 years ago | (#10267512)

It sounds as if this will really take a bite out of using Linux as a SAN solution. I'm currently looking at different SAN options, and with Solaris 10 going open-source too, this really sounds like a HUGE deal for enterprise. Maybe Sun will make a comeback...

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