Where is the ZFS?

Supermacguy

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Original poster
Jan 3, 2008
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I guess anyone's hopes of ZFS are totally dashed, as there seems to be no mention of this at all. Or does anyone have any bits of info about the file system they can share? Does moving to PCIe storage have any impact on whether ZFS could be used on it, or that it even matters to flash based storage?
 

maflynn

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Apple stated a long time ago that ZFS was not going to happen I think like 2 or 3 versions of OSX ago.
 

justperry

macrumors G4
Aug 10, 2007
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Home is everywhere and nowhere.
I tried it a few times, last time about a year ago, when I ejected a USB ZFS drive and after this unplugged it the System crashed (Known bug), if that is still the case I doubt Apply would go to ZFS.
 

wrldwzrd89

macrumors G5
Jun 6, 2003
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Solon, OH
ZFS's license is incompatible with the license used for Darwin, the underpinnings of OS X. That fact alone means ZFS won't be coming to OS X. However, this does not mean Apple isn't thinking about the file system. They probably just chose to keep silent.
 

grahamperrin

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Jun 8, 2007
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Licensing and other questions

ZFS's license is incompatible with the license used for Darwin …
Please, how would the CDDL prevent Apple from including software to work with disks that use ZFS?

OT for a moment, let's consider GPLv2. With Linux® it should be fine to build and redistribute binary ZFS kernel modules.

Glancing at Apple Public Source License 2.0 I can't see anything that would prevent, for example, distribution (by Apple) of KEXTs for ZFS.

APSL 2.0 does allow linking with other files that may be entirely proprietary.


(If I'm missing something that's relevant to absolute prevention, sorry; I'm not great at interpreting licenses.)

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I tried it …
MacZFS or ZEVO?

If ZEVO, which edition was it? (Was it the free version from GreenBytes?)
 
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wrldwzrd89

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Jun 6, 2003
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Please, how would the CDDL prevent Apple from including software to work with disks that use ZFS?

OT for a moment, let's consider GPLv2. With Linux® it should be fine to build and redistribute binary ZFS kernel modules.

Glancing at Apple Public Source License 2.0 I can't see anything that would prevent, for example, distribution (by Apple) of KEXTs for ZFS.

APSL 2.0 does allow linking with other files that may be entirely proprietary.


(If I'm missing something that's relevant to absolute prevention, sorry; I'm not great at interpreting licenses.)

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MacZFS or ZEVO?

If ZEVO, which edition was it? (Was it the free version from GreenBytes?)
The situation has changed with the advent of stuff like OpenIndiana. Heck, FreeBSD itself uses ZFS now, as of 10.0-beta1!
 

grahamperrin

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Jun 8, 2007
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Licensing

Thanks, there remains the question with regard to your previous post:

> Please, how would the CDDL prevent Apple from
> including software to work with disks that use ZFS?
 

wrldwzrd89

macrumors G5
Jun 6, 2003
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Thanks, there remains the question with regard to your previous post:

> Please, how would the CDDL prevent Apple from
> including software to work with disks that use ZFS?
I do not know for sure as I haven't studied the licenses enough to know. That being said, the CDDL and the BSD license ought to be compatible with one another, so there shouldn't be a problem now. There definitely was a license clash before, though.
 

Nicholas Savage

macrumors newbie
Oct 19, 2013
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Southern Wisconsin
Zevo

I have 14 odd TB of data sitting on the now seemingly abandonedZevo community edition http://getgreenbytes.com/solutions/zevo/ on one of my servers. I am loathe to find a new storage solution. . . .it really does work well. Someone just needs to update it for 10.9 :p.

I have this weird feeling that my upgrade to a 10.9 flavored server is going to coincide with a pair of small centos boxes beside it with gluster running on them :p.
 
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TwoBytes

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Jun 2, 2008
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apply says 'no way' and then does it a few years later. Steve was famous for that. Who knows, we may see ZFS in the future.
 

Nicholas Savage

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Oct 19, 2013
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Southern Wisconsin
Eh.

apply says 'no way' and then does it a few years later. Steve was famous for that. Who knows, we may see ZFS in the future.
No. ZFS doesn't really fit into this increasingly mobile-centric bent that Apple is on. (in the consumer-centric frame, at least.) Just look at the decreased emphasis on Server and the pro markets. 3rd party developers and open source have been filling that gap. In back room rack scenarios a mac server gets a 10g or fiber channel card and just ends up running it's storage off the same SAN that all the other servers are running off of. In single server setups (in my experience with my clients) the storage needs are minimal enough that one doesn't need ZFS, or in the case of video work an IOP equipped raid card is needed. (when you want 1000mb/s of throughput for cheap, ZFS isn't ideal :p)


Apple isn't going to provide us with ZFS. I just wish someone would carry on Don's work over at greenbytes. That zfs-mac solution actually worked.
 

maflynn

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apply says 'no way' and then does it a few years later. Steve was famous for that. Who knows, we may see ZFS in the future.
I don't see that happening, HFS+ is getting long in the tooth yet they do not seem in any rush to embrace modern file system features and attributes. That said for my needs, I'm content with HFS+
 

nutmac

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Mar 30, 2004
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What advantages over HFS+ does ZFS possess that would excite the ordinary user?
Most folks would cite 3 benefits: data integrity, data deduplication, and storage pool.

Data integrity: I have had a number of hard disks whose data became corrupted completely unbeknownst to me. And HFS+ retrieves corrupted file as if nothing has gone wrong.

ZFS detects and errors on such files, so you can restore from backup as needed (and automated backup can be made to ignore such files).

Data deduplication: Instead of duplicating identical block and thus wasting space, ZFS can reference blocks of data. One downside to data reduplication is memory requirement, which requires well over a dozen GB of RAM per TB of data (or that much space in flash storage).

Storage pools: Core Storage's Fusion drive more or less replicates storage pools, except that it's not user configurable and is far more limited. ZFS's storage pool is RAID-Z that uses copy-on-write for greater data integrity.
 

3282868

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Jan 8, 2009
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I do not know for sure as I haven't studied the licenses enough to know. That being said, the CDDL and the BSD license ought to be compatible with one another, so there shouldn't be a problem now. There definitely was a license clash before, though.
Yup. Around 10.5 (one of Bertrand Serlet's OS X's), there were hints at ZFS in beta development. It brought the topic of HFS+ and ZFS to the forefront for many. ZFS has many benefits as some have listed, namely:

It is highly scalable, contains intrinsic data integrity and protection features, and supports hybrid pools of storage created from different types of storage media.
Official story:

In June 2007, Sun's then CEO Jonathan Schwartz said Apple had decided ZFS would become the filesystem in Mac OS X 10. It proved to be an inflated claim. After an initial denial, Apple said ZFS would be present only as an option in the Leopard version of Mac OS X, alongside its existing HFS+ file system.

However, earlier this year ZFS was not included in the Snow Leopard update of Mac OS X. At the time Apple stayed silent about the status of ZFS in its operating system development plans.

Now ZFS appears to have been given the heave-ho. Licensing and technology status issues may have been part of the Apple decision. As part of the background, NetApp is suing Sun for patent infringement by ZFS, with Sun counter-suing, and Oracle is buying Sun. The Oracle acquisition has raised doubt over the future status of ZFS, and it's possible that it may just disappear, becoming a foot note in IT history.
(Source: Apple dumps Sun's ZFS)

In 2010, Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems, and the rest...
 

snarfquest

macrumors regular
Jun 7, 2013
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Oracle has done more harm to Sun then I ever thought possible.

I'm a long time SunOS/Solaris UNIX admin. I've supported Sun gear since the early days. I've completely "had it" with Oracle and I'm moving all my systems to Redhat or Ubuntu depending on need.

I still have about 40 Sun systems left in my datacenter. I refuse to call them Oracle systems! They were all purchased before Oracle bought Sun and none of them have the Oracle label on them. By the end of 2014 I plan to have ZERO Sun systems in our datacenter. Oracle has done a great job at killing Sun. I'm very sad and honestly angry about it but whatever, technology marches on!

ZFS was fantastic. Too bad Oracle now controls it and that will be the death of it. I don't blame Apple for running like the wind away from Oracle. While the ZFS file system is fantastic I wouldn't enter into a bargain with Oracle over it. Apple would be well suited to write their own AFS/HFS upgrade or with luck something much better will come along in the near future. I'm also a fan of Netapp and their WAFL design. There is certainly more then 1 game in town when it comes to filesystems.
 

grahamperrin

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Jun 8, 2007
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ZFS, mobility, iOS™, Raspberry Pi® and ZEVO

ZFS, mobility, iOS™ and Raspberry Pi®

… ZFS doesn't really fit into this increasingly mobile-centric …
I don't know whether sources were credible, but there were two articles in 2012:


Beyond Apple, certainly there's an active project for ZFS on Raspberry Pi.

ZEVO for OS X

… abandoned … (ZEVO) really does work well. Someone just needs to update it for 10.9 …
GreenBytes keeps very quiet about work in progress. ZEVO is not abandoned.

Earlier this month: "… Working on it. Stay tuned." and more recently, https://twitter.com/grahamperrin/status/391074976947658752 so we might see a minor change to the ZEVO home page when Apple releases OS X 10.9.
 
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maflynn

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ZFS died about the same time as x-serve. And that is likely the reason.
That's really the major reason, for most consumers the work effort and cost to implement a new FS outweigh any possible benefit for most regular users. I'm not saying its not useful, but I think Apple's move away from enterprise and full embrace of the consumer segment doomed any possible usage of it.
 

ChristianVirtual

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May 10, 2010
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Im fine with ZFS on my virtual FreeBSD with Xeon, ECC memory and passthrough HBA, plus a number of disks. Acting as my primary NAS. Access from my macs via AFP.
As mentioned earlier the storage pools are quite nice to manage the overall allocation of disk space plus fail-safe operation.

I don't to see the advantage on a single disk iMac or few disks in a (soon outdated) legacy silver MP. So need for Apple to invest here too much.
 

Nicholas Savage

macrumors newbie
Oct 19, 2013
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3
Southern Wisconsin
What advantages over HFS+ does ZFS possess that would excite the ordinary user?
From a light consumer prospective?

In general? Reliability and data protection. ZFS is pretty feature rich in the department of protecting from the uncommon but problematic data loss issues you can get, especially on consumer grade hardware. Better than HFS/NTFS at least.

The nice shiny spot for end users would be usage on home/soho oriented embedded NAS stuff. The ability for soft raid drives to be portable between hardware, resistant to a lot of raid rebuild issues, grow pools/partitions, integrated snapshot functionality, etc. All nice stuff.
 

Nicholas Savage

macrumors newbie
Oct 19, 2013
17
3
Southern Wisconsin
ZFS, mobility, iOS™ and Raspberry Pi®



I don't know whether sources were credible, but there were two articles in 2012:


Beyond Apple, certainly there's an active project for ZFS on Raspberry Pi.

ZEVO for OS X



GreenBytes keeps very quiet about work in progress. ZEVO is not abandoned.

Earlier this month: "… Working on it. Stay tuned." and more recently, https://twitter.com/grahamperrin/status/391074976947658752 so we might see a minor change to the ZEVO home page when Apple releases OS X 10.9.
Hey graham; I lurk over in the ZEVO forums from time to time. Still have ~20TB of pool space backing a 10.7 Server w/ZEVO.

Kinda see the iOS speculation as what it is. . .speculation. As for raspi stuff; that is a whole different universe. I would rather enjoy dumping some flavor of zfs on linux on the current/future little arm boards I have/will continue to have floating around my house. Kinda looking forward to ditching normal file servers in flavor of lots of low power zfs-backed gluster nodes one day. Totally an edge usage case though for now, eh?

As for GreenByte's hushyness. . . .I can't speak for the rest of the user base but keeping quiet about progress doesn't exactly inspire confidence (in me) when the community release can't be used with release versions of the Mac OS. As a guy who would willingly fork over ~100$ per osx deployment a year for a functional ZFS feature set, I can only find it frustrating. In the next year I'll probably be switching myself and a few clients to something different during future upgrade cycles. Centos + ZFS + gluster, most likely.
 

grahamperrin

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Jun 8, 2007
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ZEVO ZFS for Mavericks

… I lurk over in the ZEVO forums from time to time. Still have ~20TB of pool space backing a 10.7 Server w/ZEVO. …

As for GreenByte's hushyness. . . .I can't speak for the rest of the user base but keeping quiet about progress doesn't exactly inspire confidence (in me) when the community release can't be used with release versions of the Mac OS. …
Yeah, for me too there was a dip in confidence a couple of weeks ago –

… quietly frustrated since June 2013, when seed testing began. I can't say whether my frustrations as a seed tester were any more or less than your frustrations as developer, but believe me: the frustration has been deep, and enduring. …
Whilst I still wish to use Mavericks: for a variety of reasons, I'm over that dip in confidence. With no particular timeframe in mind, I'm confident and on the up.

Nick, keep lurking. I'm as certain as I can be that eventually, the frustrations will end.
 

scaredpoet

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Apr 6, 2007
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I'm a long time SunOS/Solaris UNIX admin. I've supported Sun gear since the early days. I've completely "had it" with Oracle and I'm moving all my systems to Redhat or Ubuntu depending on need.
Basically doing the same thing at my datacenter, migrating off Sun gear and moving to HP servers and EMC storage. But while Oracle has really hastened Sun's demise, I'll point out that Sun wasn't doing so well for itself prior to the acquisition. Where I work, we spent a ton of cash on Sun StorEdge 6320 clusters, and they turned out to the be most unreliable dogs we've ever had to deal with. Not a month would go by without a controller card, power supply, or fibre channel switch failing on those heaps of junk, and I've never seen such a high failure rate on disks before or since. The Sun V440 servers we used with these clusters weren't much better, either.

Service and sales reps for Sun were seriously bottom of the barrel as well for a few years pre-acquisition. Sun was going downhill fast, and Oracle simply happened to see an opportunity and snatch them up to cannibalize.

Even so, we persevered with them until we called in one day to renew our service contract and our Oracle rep informed us that all that previous Sun hardware we bought had been abruptly EOL'd and they wouldn't even bother coming out to fix anything.... but that they'd be more than happy to sell us some shiny new Oracle Pillar Axiom 600s... by the way, how much money do we have?

Days later, we put out an RFP for new storage hardware, and Oracle was NOT invited to bid, nor have they been since.

Getting to the TL;DR part: If you look at how Oracle is so schizophrenic about licensing and legacy Sun software, it's no wonder Apple abandoned ZFS. You don't know from one day to the next if Oracle is going to decide that the open source Sun software you're using is suddenly switching licenses, or being abandoned altogether. It isn't about whether the current ZFS license is compatible, but rather whether Oracle will decide to play nice with Apple one day, then suddenly turn around and demand millions in licensing fees for its use of ZFS.