updated 11:35 am EDT, Mon October 26, 2009
Sour negotiations may be to blame
Support for ZFS was ultimately dropped from Snow Leopard as a result of licensing issues, claims Jeff Bonwick, a project team leader at Sun. The technology was initially expected to be a highlight of Snow Leopard, for instance providing image-based backups, and eliminating the need for drive partitions. Hints that ZFS had been removed came in June however, and the technology is nowhere to be found in shipping copies of the OS.
Rather than there being any implementation problems, Bonwick suggests that Apple wanted a special license agreement with Sun, which would have granted it technical support and indemnification. The two companies could not reach a decision on terms however, and so ZFS was completely pulled from Snow Leopard. Apple may have been able to devise its own approach, but did not consider it worth it, Bonwick suggests.