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ZEVO Solution for ZFS on OS X Acquired by GreenBytes

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Apr 12, 2001
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Back in January, we reported on ZEVO, an effort by former Apple file system engineer Don Brady to finally bring the Sun-backed ZFS file system to OS X. Brady's company, Ten's Complement, had begun releasing a set of software packages to support the robust file system on OS X, but planned launches for the some of the more advanced packages had begun to slip in recent months.

As noted by TUAW, Brady has now announced that ZEVO has been acquired by GreenBytes a storage appliance hardware company that already uses ZFS in its products. Brady will also be joining GreenBytes as a development engineer.
As to the future of the project, GreenBytes' spokesman Michael Robinson responded to TUAW's inquiry: "ZEVO's ZFS on OS X is safe. Ten's Complement has joined GreenBytes to continue their work and now they have more development support." Robinson says that GreenBytes will have more to share regarding ZEVO's future "down the line."
A blog post from GreenBytes expresses a similar sentiment, although it remains unclear exactly what the company's plans for ZFS on OS X will be, with some ZFS fans having expressed concern that GreenBytes will be refocusing the product for its own internal needs.
GreenBytes has been an enthusiastic supporter of ZFS (including ZFS on OS X) for many years and is absolutely committed to the continued development and support of Don's work on ZEVO (ZFS on OS X) into the foreseeable future.
With the transfer of ZEVO to GreenBytes, Ten's Complement has ceased sales of the Silver Edition software package that had been available, and it remains unclear how and when ZEVO will be redeployed for OS X by GreenBytes.

Article Link: ZEVO Solution for ZFS on OS X Acquired by GreenBytes
 

ChrisA

macrumors G4
Jan 5, 2006
11,790
571
Redondo Beach, California
I think if you want ZFS you are going to have to get Solaris.

The problem with ZFS on Mac OS X is (1) How to present a full featured ZFS system to a typical Mac user in a way that he can understand the concepts and options. (2) What does a Mac user with one internal disk drive have to gain?
 
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nuckinfutz

macrumors 603
Jul 3, 2002
5,502
314
Middle Earth
I think if you want ZFS you are going to have to get Solaris.

The problem with ZFS on Mac OS X is (1) How to present a full featured ZFS system to a typical Mac user in a way that he can understand the concepts and options. (2) What does a Mac user with one internal disk drive have to gain?

Bingo.

ZFS is overkill for a company (Apple) that is decidedly consumer and mobile.
 
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slu

macrumors 68000
Sep 15, 2004
1,636
107
Buffalo
I heard a lot about ZFS over the years. What I never hear is what ZFS does that will benefit me, as a Mac user. Until I hear that, I won't care.
 
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madrag

macrumors 6502
Nov 2, 2007
360
72
I heard a lot about ZFS over the years. What I never hear is what ZFS does that will benefit me, as a Mac user. Until I hear that, I won't care.

I feel the same (although I still care about it), I would like to know more about it, maybe someone can shed some light.
 
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ryedarrow

macrumors member
Jun 30, 2012
51
0
Bingo.

ZFS is overkill for a company (Apple) and is decidedly consumer and mobile.

Agreed. The best benefits of ZFS are for RAID users and data protection. Considering the last (cough) update of the Mac Pro is laughable, I don't see this type of change happening any time soon.
 
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nuckinfutz

macrumors 603
Jul 3, 2002
5,502
314
Middle Earth
I heard a lot about ZFS over the years. What I never hear is what ZFS does that will benefit me, as a Mac user. Until I hear that, I won't care.

RAID like features built into the fs
Fights corruption by using checksums
Snapshots
dedupe
Pooled Storage
ZFS Cache (L2ARC)
Copy on Write (CoW)
Dynamic striping

Most of these features are pretty much Enterprise level. Apple could deliver a lighter weight more consumer friendly version more tuned to consumer needs.
 
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KnightWRX

macrumors Pentium
Jan 28, 2009
15,046
4
Quebec, Canada
(2) What does a Mac user with one internal disk drive have to gain?

On single disk ?

- Snapshotting
- Copy on write
- Data integrity
- Encryption (built-in rather than filevault type after thought)
- Quotas

ZFS is much more than just a HFS+ replacement, it's a volume and storage pool management suite, not just a filesystem.
 
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SirOmega

macrumors 6502a
Apr 17, 2006
704
2
Las Vegas
Well this is incredibly disappointing.

I had planned on buying one of the new Mac minis that I expect to launch with 10.8 this week. That combined with a USB 3.0 UASP external enclosure for multiple disks and ZEVO would finally allow me to come up with a lower-power way to replace my aging Windows Home Server now that MS has killed that platform.

Still looking for solutions to build that in-home server that are easy, low power and expandable.
 
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KnightWRX

macrumors Pentium
Jan 28, 2009
15,046
4
Quebec, Canada
Well this is incredibly disappointing.

I had planned on buying one of the new Mac minis that I expect to launch with 10.8 this week. That combined with a USB 3.0 UASP external enclosure for multiple disks and ZEVO would finally allow me to come up with a lower-power way to replace my aging Windows Home Server now that MS has killed that platform.

Still looking for solutions to build that in-home server that are easy, low power and expandable.

Linux LVM 2.0 or FreeBSD's ZFS implementation.

There you go.
 
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ghostlines

macrumors regular
Feb 3, 2010
141
3
Amsterdam
Bingo.

ZFS is overkill for a company (Apple) and is decidedly consumer and mobile.

The filesystem should be a priority even for these sectors. It's what we store our precious data on for Pete's sake. We need a modern day filesystem. Snapshots and copy-on-write sound very cool to me:)
 
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dolphin842

macrumors 65816
Jul 14, 2004
1,168
28
Still looking for solutions to build that in-home server that are easy, low power and expandable.

I run a FreeNAS box (uses ZFS as the filesystem). It offers AFP network shares (and can even advertise specific datasets as compatible with Time Machine).

That said, I was hoping ZEVO would get some traction so I could start protecting my everyday data.
 
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ryedarrow

macrumors member
Jun 30, 2012
51
0
Well this is incredibly disappointing.

I had planned on buying one of the new Mac minis that I expect to launch with 10.8 this week. That combined with a USB 3.0 UASP external enclosure for multiple disks and ZEVO would finally allow me to come up with a lower-power way to replace my aging Windows Home Server now that MS has killed that platform.

Still looking for solutions to build that in-home server that are easy, low power and expandable.

I don't understand your disappointment. Were you expecting these changes to be a surprise announcement? Can you not still buy a Mac Mini when they update?
 
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nuckinfutz

macrumors 603
Jul 3, 2002
5,502
314
Middle Earth
The filesystem should be a priority even for these sectors. It's what we store our precious data on for Pete's sake. We need a modern day filesystem. Snapshots and copy-on-write sound very cool to me:)

Oh I'm sure it is. I just don't think ZFS is that fs that we need. We do need anti corruption, pooled storage, snapshots(Time Machine +) and other features.
 
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Lindono

macrumors member
May 1, 2012
50
0
ZFS has no future on OS X now that Apple has gone down the Core Storage path. Any feature they could ever want can now be baked into Core Storage or HFS+ (assuming they don't replace that old dog). I would like to see them revise their HFS Compression implementation though. If you ask me, using xattrs for something that's supposed to be a file system feature is a no-no.
 
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3282868

macrumors 603
Jan 8, 2009
5,281
0
I recall ZFS implementation hinted at in old Leopard beta releases in 2006. Apple, as far as developers were concerned, seemed full steam ahead with ZFS.

Theeeen SunSystems went the way of the dodo, and mobile devices/iOS became Apple's main priority in 2007+.

ZFS would be fantastic, as many have stated, for single and multi-arrays. As well, it handles large [single] volumes much better, which would benefit "Time Machine" and large data backup(s).

HFS+ is long in the tooth.
 
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Lindono

macrumors member
May 1, 2012
50
0
I recall ZFS implementation hinted at in old Leopard beta releases in 2006. Apple, as far as developers were concerned, seemed full steam ahead with ZFS.

Theeeen SunSystems went the way of the dodo, and mobile devices/iOS became Apple's main priority in 2007+.

ZFS would be fantastic, as many have stated, for single and multi-arrays. As well, it handles large [single] volumes much better, which would benefit "Time Machine" and large data backup(s).

HFS+ is long in the tooth.

Look up Core Storage. It does this. The only issue is there is only minimal support for actually manipulating it, and mountain lion doesn't add much. Perhaps in OS X 10.9...

Edit: incase anyone's wondering, it's currently used solely for FileVault 2's full disk encryption. That's about the extent of its capabilities for now. It's a full logical disk management system though, it's just in the early stages.
 
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KnightWRX

macrumors Pentium
Jan 28, 2009
15,046
4
Quebec, Canada
I recall ZFS implementation hinted at in old Leopard beta releases in 2006. Apple, as far as developers were concerned, seemed full steam ahead with ZFS.

Theeeen SunSystems went the way of the dodo, and mobile devices/iOS became Apple's main priority in 2007+.

I think the issue was more than Sun ran into some legal issues with ZFS. NetApp held a patent over their block-level technology (WAFL) :

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/09/05/netapp_sues_sun_over_zfs/

It is speculated that that was the cause of dropping the project and it makes darn sense :

http://www.zdnet.com/apple-drops-zfs-project-3039838931/
 
Comment

nuckinfutz

macrumors 603
Jul 3, 2002
5,502
314
Middle Earth
Look up Core Storage. It does this. The only issue is there is only minimal support for actually manipulating it, and mountain lion doesn't add much. Perhaps in OS X 10.9...

Edit: incase anyone's wondering, it's currently used solely for FileVault 2's full disk encryption. That's about the extent of its capabilities for now. It's a full logical disk management system though, it's just in the early stages.

I'd like to see where Core Storage goes. Didn't see a whole lot of change in the WWDC '12 materials about Core Storage. I'm sure engineers are at hard work on adding a significant amount of features for a future release.
 
Comment

3282868

macrumors 603
Jan 8, 2009
5,281
0
I think the issue was more than Sun ran into some legal issues with ZFS. NetApp held a patent over their block-level technology (WAFL) :

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/09/05/netapp_sues_sun_over_zfs/

It is speculated that that was the cause of dropping the project and it makes darn sense :

http://www.zdnet.com/apple-drops-zfs-project-3039838931/

Exactly. Unfortunately.

----------

Look up Core Storage. It does this. The only issue is there is only minimal support for actually manipulating it, and mountain lion doesn't add much. Perhaps in OS X 10.9...

Edit: incase anyone's wondering, it's currently used solely for FileVault 2's full disk encryption. That's about the extent of its capabilities for now. It's a full logical disk management system though, it's just in the early stages.

I'll check it out, thanks! :)
 
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Lindono

macrumors member
May 1, 2012
50
0
I'd like to see where Core Storage goes. Didn't see a whole lot of change in the WWDC '12 materials about Core Storage. I'm sure engineers are at hard work on adding a significant amount of features for a future release.

Their only hint was something along the lines of "keep your eyes on this", in typical Apple fashion. Something's coming, but I'll be darned if I know what that something is.
 
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SirOmega

macrumors 6502a
Apr 17, 2006
704
2
Las Vegas
I run a FreeNAS box (uses ZFS as the filesystem). It offers AFP network shares (and can even advertise specific datasets as compatible with Time Machine).

That said, I was hoping ZEVO would get some traction so I could start protecting my everyday data.

I really don't want to run a linux or BSD box. The whole goal of using a Mac was to make getting software easy. I wanted to have iTunes running in the background to share music and movies in the home, along with a variety of DLNA software (my Samsung and Vizio TVs are incredibly picky about the host DLNA software).

Oddly enough, I'm looking at running Windows 8 now instead of OSX because of things like storage spaces (while not completely like ZFS, it does offer data redundancy). I'd like to go with ReFS, which is a lot like ZFS, in the new Windows 8 Server OS but its $425 for the license, not to mention any hardware.
 
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KnightWRX

macrumors Pentium
Jan 28, 2009
15,046
4
Quebec, Canada
I really don't want to run a linux or BSD box. The whole goal of using a Mac was to make getting software easy. I wanted to have iTunes running in the background to share music and movies in the home, along with a variety of DLNA software (my Samsung and Vizio TVs are incredibly picky about the host DLNA software).

My QNAP runs a busybox installation (Linux for embedded devices), works with iTunes and most picky DLNA server (Twonky Media). Linux boxes are easier to run this stuff on than Mac unfortunately.

Heck, why not just get a QNAP ? Low power, cheap, expandable (Optware for software, hot swap disk bays).
 
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