Dr. Dobb's is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Channels ▼

Community Voices

Dr. Dobb's Bloggers

Apple builds in ZFS

June 21, 2008

Last fall, Apple released a developer preview of Sun's 128-bit Zettabyte File System (ZFS) for Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard). There had earlier been a flurry of interest around ZFS and Apple because Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz glibly alluded to Apple making ZFS the file system of Mac OS X. That wasn't exactly true. But ZFS support was present in this early release, although it was read-only. This year at WWDC, Apple pushed ZFS support in OS X a big step forward.
Apple has officially announced that Mac OS X Server 10.6 (the internals-focused "Snow Leopard" release) will provide read and write support for ZFS. Just the server OS? That's all they're saying, and even if the core functionality of ZFS is built into Snow Leopard client, that doesn't mean that it would actually be used any time soon. ZFS may be the future, but it's not clear how fast we'll get there or what its appropiate applicability might be. Chances are you won't want to see it in your iPhone.
But you'll want it if you do high-performance computing. You'll want it for reliability and for ease of use. You'll want it because it's so cool. ZFS is designed to have a 30-plus-year shelf life. It supports 16 exabytes of storage and 200 trillion files. Various calculations suggest that you aren't going to use up that capacity until you've boiled the oceans for power and covered the earth's surface with server farms to a height beyond the orbit of the moon. So it should meet your immediate needs, right?
ZFS is cool. The only way it could be any cooler would be if it were married to Michelle Obama.

Related Reading

More Insights

Currently we allow the following HTML tags in comments:

Single tags

These tags can be used alone and don't need an ending tag.

<br> Defines a single line break

<hr> Defines a horizontal line

Matching tags

These require an ending tag - e.g. <i>italic text</i>

<a> Defines an anchor

<b> Defines bold text

<big> Defines big text

<blockquote> Defines a long quotation

<caption> Defines a table caption

<cite> Defines a citation

<code> Defines computer code text

<em> Defines emphasized text

<fieldset> Defines a border around elements in a form

<h1> This is heading 1

<h2> This is heading 2

<h3> This is heading 3

<h4> This is heading 4

<h5> This is heading 5

<h6> This is heading 6

<i> Defines italic text

<p> Defines a paragraph

<pre> Defines preformatted text

<q> Defines a short quotation

<samp> Defines sample computer code text

<small> Defines small text

<span> Defines a section in a document

<s> Defines strikethrough text

<strike> Defines strikethrough text

<strong> Defines strong text

<sub> Defines subscripted text

<sup> Defines superscripted text

<u> Defines underlined text

Dr. Dobb's encourages readers to engage in spirited, healthy debate, including taking us to task. However, Dr. Dobb's moderates all comments posted to our site, and reserves the right to modify or remove any content that it determines to be derogatory, offensive, inflammatory, vulgar, irrelevant/off-topic, racist or obvious marketing or spam. Dr. Dobb's further reserves the right to disable the profile of any commenter participating in said activities.

Disqus Tips To upload an avatar photo, first complete your Disqus profile. | View the list of supported HTML tags you can use to style comments. | Please read our commenting policy.