updated 11:25 am EDT, Mon May 1, 2006
ZFS for Mac OS X?
Apple is considering porting Sun's modern performance file system to Mac OS X. Developed for Sun's Solaris 10 operating system, the ZFS file system offers extremely fast performance, support for virtually unlimited capacity, advanced data integrity routines, and more. ZFS, based on a transactional object model, removes most of the traditional constraints on the order of issuing I/Os, which results in "huge performance gains," according to Sun. An email message sent by Sun's Eric Kustarz says that Apple's CoreOS team is interested in porting ZFS to Mac OS X. "Chris Emura, the Filesystem Development Manager within Apple's CoreOS organization is interested in porting ZFS to OS X," the message read. Apple currently uses the HFSX file system, a slightly modified version of the HFS Plus or Mac OS X Extended system.
Sun touts the ZFS as "endian-neutral," allowing users to use storage disks in different computers with different processors. Sun also says that ZFS is the first 128-bit file system for greater storage capacity, offering features that enable "self-healing" or the ability to repair itself. Using 64-bit checksums, the file system is able to detect and correct silent data corruption, according to the company.
"We've rethought everything and rearchitected it," says Jeff Bonwick, Sun distinguished engineer and chief architect of ZFS. "We've thrown away 20 years of old technology that was based on assumptions no longer true today."