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Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server to pioneer ZFS ahead of desktop

post #1 of 55
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Apple's expanded support for ZFS will premiere in Snow Leopard Server before trickling down to the desktop version, according to sources familiar with the company's plans.

Read-only support for the sophisticated new 128-bit file system, created by Sun and shared under its open source license, originally appeared in Mac OS X Leopard. It lacked the ability to create new ZFS pools or write data to them however, severely limiting it usefulness.

Because the software is open source, users can manually install the latest version of the software from Apple's MacOS Forge site and use ZFS from the command line to create pools and write data, although that lacks the interface polish Mac users expect to see.

For example, users can't currently empty the trash graphically in the Finder when working with a ZFS drive. Unplugging a device connected to a ZFS pool will also cause a panic unless the disk is properly closed out from the command line first.

In Snow Leopard Server, sources familiar with the new software say Apple will not only include the latest build of ZFS for Mac OS X but will also expose ZFS features within the graphical Disk Utility, making it easier to set up ZFS storage pools and file systems without resorting to command line utilities. The Finder also needs to be made fully ZFS savvy, as does any other software that makes assumptions about the underlying file system.

The Finder and Disk Utility app used by the desktop and server versions of Mac OS X have always been identical. Even so, Apple may initially keep full ZFS support associated with its server product, because server users have a greater practical need for the features related to ZFS, and also have the support resources to handle working with the new system. A similar thing happened when Apple released its IP over Firewire implementation, which was first incorporated into Mac OS X Server before being added to the desktop version in a later free update.

Despite the giddy buzzword interest in ZFS that was fanned into an active swarm by pundits around the release of Leopard (and touched off rumors that ZFS would become the default file system in Leopard), many applications of the new file system will require sophisticated reworking of lots of associated software. As a consumer-centric company, it would be expensive in terms of customer support for Apple to dump its desktop users on top of an alpha quality, brand new file system just to check off a feature box in its marketing. Most consumers, and in particular the notebook users who make up most of Apple's sales, have little or no real need for ZFS, but would be burned by its complexity and additional demands.

While ZFS support has made major headway on the Mac since the initial release of Leopard, there's still a long way to go before non-technical users can make real use of its new features. That will likely result in Apple focusing its development efforts to make ZFS practical initially to its server audience. That is reflected in the company's Snow Leopard marketing, which only mentions ZFS features in relation to Snow Leopard Server in "business critical server deployments." More technically-savvy desktop users will likely be able to begin experimenting with the new file system on the Snow Leopard desktop however.

ZFS' server-oriented features

As an enterprise vendor with no real consumer-facing business, Sun developed ZFS to solve the needs of server users. Implementing its features on the desktop to benefit less technical consumers will require significant work on Apple's part. Once the company completes a solid foundation on Mac OS X Server, making the technology accessible to end users will be easier. Among the potential benefits will be more flexible use of multiple drives, data redundancy, error correction, and snapshots. Among the challenges to overcome are greater disk waste (due to redundancy and snapshots) and greater complexity in managing storage pools.

ZFS uses a storage pool system that allows it to use a combination of block devices (abstracted as virtual devices) to build a logical drive that can contain a file system. This results in a RAID-like system that can span different drives and provide a level of redundancy to survive drive failure. Unlike a typical RAID, ZFS allows different disks to be tied together in a pool, and new drives to be added to existing pools without reformatting the drive.

The file system also provides continuous integrity checking and automatic repair to aid in file corruption, and supports massively large volumes. Its support for snapshots, which capture old data and retain it as a past "version" for later use, and clones, which enable two separate file systems to share overlapping blocks of identical data, has led some to speculate that Apple would use ZFS in conjunction with its Time Machine backup system.

However, Apple implemented features in the Mac's native HFS+ to accommodate parallel instances of backups for Time Machine. Further, the system is based on copying newly changed files (as reported by a system auditing process) to a new disk, not retaining old data on the same disk as it is updated.

For users with a single drive in their system (as is the case with most desktop Mac users), shadow copy snapshots would solve the wrong problem. Users want to be protected from the crisis that might befall their hard drive, not a system that would only eat up their hard drive faster and then go down with the ship in the case of drive failure.

For now, that mostly leaves ZFS as a technical curiosity for most Mac users outside of those who manage very large disk arrays in a server environment. Even so, progress on the server side will eventually result in trickle down engineering for Apple's consumer users, too, just as the company's work in Directory Services has resulted in Parental Controls for desktop users. A variety of sharing services that started out as server products have also made their way to the Mac OS X desktop, including Apache web services and remote management screen sharing.
post #2 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

As a consumer-centric company, it would be expensive in terms of customer support for Apple to dump its desktop users on top of an alpha quality, brand new file system just to check off a feature box in its marketing.

Are you inferring that this "consumer-centric" company would give an alpha-quality file system to business users?

I think Apple would lose a lot more money in lawsuits vs enterprises that lost data.

I don't think Apple could ever release an "alpha-quality" file system. If it's in Server, then it's definitely not alpha and ready for the consumer OS X version...but it's just a matter of how Apple wants to differentiate OS X and OS X Server.


I personally think it's a mistake that it's not offered to consumers. Sure, most are using MacBooks or iMacs...however, there's quite a few people that have Mac Pros with all bays filled.

I wouldn't mind having my 4 drives act as a single volume or two.
post #3 of 55
I think you greatly underestimate the usefulness of snapshots. Snapshots only use disk space for the block-level differences between snapshots and the current state so they take relatively little space. OpenSolaris has already implemented a Time Machine type interface that lets users go back in time in 15 minute increments and find files that they have deleted or are in a previous state. More importantly, snapshots make Time Machine backups simpler, allowing point-in-time backups instead of the problematic file-at-a-time method it now uses.
post #4 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by ctwise View Post

I think you greatly underestimate the usefulness of snapshots. Snapshots only use disk space for the block-level differences between snapshots and the current state so they take relatively little space. OpenSolaris has already implemented a Time Machine type interface that lets users go back in time in 15 minute increments and find files that they have deleted or are in a previous state. More importantly, snapshots make Time Machine backups simpler, allowing point-in-time backups instead of the problematic file-at-a-time method it now uses.

+1

I thought the commentary on snapshots was the weakest of the post. Snapshots, or more appropriately efficient snapshots, are very important. In fact as much as I like Time Machine it is rather pedestrian in how it manages delta changes.

I'm going to guess that we're going to see the ZFS distinction for Snow Leopard remain at Server=yes Desktop=no but that by the time 10.7 hits ZFS will indeed be much more important to the future of OS X than what we realize today.

Another thing that is important is Copy on Write. What this does in a nutshell is allow read access to a file from multiple sources without having to copy the file. The file is only copied when it has to be modified. Sounds rather plain but I imagine that there are plenty of resources in OS X that could be made more efficient by a Copy on Write model.

ZFS isn't just about multiple drives. The checksum features, snapshots and COW will benefit even the most basic user even if they may be unaware of the bestowing features.

If Apple is serious about ZFS they will most likely integrate ZFS into OS X and perhaps we will see more fine grain control in Time Machine, better snapshot capabilities for MobileMe and a more responsive OS in general.
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post #5 of 55
why doesn't Apple just license NTFS? Wonder if MS would even? Seems like NTFS has all this and more
post #6 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by kim kap sol View Post

Are you inferring that this "consumer-centric" company would give an alpha-quality file system to business users?

I think Apple would lose a lot more money in lawsuits vs enterprises that lost data.

I don't think Apple could ever release an "alpha-quality" file system. If it's in Server, then it's definitely not alpha and ready for the consumer OS X version...but it's just a matter of how Apple wants to differentiate OS X and OS X Server.


I personally think it's a mistake that it's not offered to consumers. Sure, most are using MacBooks or iMacs...however, there's quite a few people that have Mac Pros with all bays filled.

I wouldn't mind having my 4 drives act as a single volume or two.

Alpha quality? Really? It's standard in OpenSolaris 2008.11.

Do you honestly think Apple's state of ZFS is alpha? Try again.
post #7 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbwi View Post

why doesn't Apple just license NTFS? Wonder if MS would even? Seems like NTFS has all this and more

ZFS obliterates anything from Microsoft or Apple concerning filesystems.

http://www.sun.com/software/solaris/zfs.jsp

Being POSIX compliant makes it even simpler for Apple to incorporate it into it's fully POSIX compliant operating sytem.

How XSan evolves with regards to ZFS will be interesting.
post #8 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbwi View Post

why doesn't Apple just license NTFS? Wonder if MS would even? Seems like NTFS has all this and more

Simple.

ZFS is bigger better faster meaner.

In Solaris here's how you create storage across 32 disks

# zpool create -f tank (32 disks)
# zfs create tank/fs


Here's how you do it with NTFS


diskpart> create volume stripe disk= (32 disks)
DiskPart successfully created the volume
diskpart> assign letter=s
DiskPart successfully assigned the driver letter or mount point.
diskpart> exit
c:/> format s: /fs:ntfs
The type of the file system is RAW
The new file system is NTFS
WARNING, ALL DATA ON NON-REMOVABLE DISK DRIVES S:
WILL BE LOST!
Proceed with Format (Y/N)? Y
Verifying 840012M
Volume label (32 characters, ENTER for none)? <rtn>
Creating file system structures
Format complete
860172284 KB total disk space
860080288 KB are available


ZFS took 17.5 seconds

Windows Server 2003 and NTFS took 4.5 hours.
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post #9 of 55
with all due respect, i think while apple may indeed introduce ZFS in the server OS first, they'd be crazy not to bring it into the desktop OS as a formatting option as soon as possible because while consumers on their laptops may not "need" ZFS, their pro creative customers certainly do.

ZFS is really the ultimate file system. 128 bit native. unlimited file size. copy on write with full checksumming. self-healing abilities, snapshots and best of all, datapools that create safe, fast dynamic storage with virtually any combination of drives.

can you imagine what that kind of data integrity would mean for artists, designers, video editors, photographers, musicians and the like? it would be invaluable.

HFS+ is a good file system, but ZFS is far better.

the average consumer with a macbook may not know ZFS from PDQ, but when data corruption is elimiinated and the OS is fast, safe and stable...that's something any user will notice.
post #10 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Simple.

ZFS is bigger better faster meaner.

In Solaris here's how you create storage across 32 disks

# zpool create -f tank (32 disks)
# zfs create tank/fs


Here's how you do it with NTFS


diskpart> create volume stripe disk= (32 disks)
DiskPart successfully created the volume
diskpart> assign letter=s
DiskPart successfully assigned the driver letter or mount point.
diskpart> exit
c:/> format s: /fs:ntfs
The type of the file system is RAW
The new file system is NTFS
WARNING, ALL DATA ON NON-REMOVABLE DISK DRIVES S:
WILL BE LOST!
Proceed with Format (Y/N)? Y
Verifying 840012M
Volume label (32 characters, ENTER for none)? <rtn>
Creating file system structures
Format complete
860172284 KB total disk space
860080288 KB are available


ZFS took 17.5 seconds

Windows Server 2003 and NTFS took 4.5 hours.

Nice post.
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post #11 of 55
I think the article goes too far in trying to explain why Apple isn't adopting ZFS for consumers. The bottom line is that the installed base of applications that have to seamlessly work on it is far smaller on server and there's a much, much greater percentage of them for which Apple has access to the source themselves.

Shoehorning the semantics of an advanced file system like ZFS into existing APIs may introduce some changes in assumptions that are easy to work around with a limited vendor selection and a lot of open source. Doing the same thing for the thousands of small developers for the consumer version is a bigger task.

Other than that, there's really no reason why consumers wouldn't want it. Snapshots for Time Machine, better performance, data integrity, etc., are all things consumers like too.
post #12 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Nice post.

Let me give credit where credit is due

http://blogs.sun.com/Peerapong/entry...fs_performance

Yes he may be a tad biased due ot his employer but his results mirror
what I've read elsewhere about the ease of setting up pools.
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post #13 of 55
Quote:
ZFS uses a storage pool system that allows it to use a combination of block devices (abstracted as virtual devices) to build a logical drive that can contain a file system. This results in a RAID-like system that can span different drives and provide a level of redundancy to survive drive failure.

Not entirely true. Pooling drives alone is equivalent to concatonating drives with HFS. They all appear as a single file system, but there is no redundancy. For that, you need to turn on RAID-Z, which is functionally similar to RAID-5.

I can't imagine anyone with multiple drives not using RAID-Z to achieve redundancy, but it can be turned off if desired.

Quote:
The file system also provides continuous integrity checking and automatic repair to aid in file corruption

This feature alone is why I want ZFS now! As has been pointed out, artists and others with lots of important content (actually anyone with valuable content) can benefit from this immediately, if not sooner. The larger drives become, the greater the statistical chance for data corruption (often 'silent', which means you'll never know it even happened.) I have 2TB of music and movies in storage, and every time I have to migrate that to larger drives I run the risk of corrupting one or more of the files, just through the simple and seemingly-innocent act of copying from one disk to another.

The problem with discussions on ZFS is there are so many new features in this file system that people tend to focus on one part and use that as a blanket justification for supporting it or not. And while it makes sense for Apple to introduce it on machines that are run by more technical-savvy people (namely servers), there are still components of ZFS that will benefit the common user even if they don't understand the technology. Unfortunately, file systems are so foundational to a computer platform that we can't casually implement bits and pieces without considering the whole package. Unless Apple wants to continue to develop HFS to be more ZFS-like (which is ultimately a lost effort), they have to make the leap carefully and with consideration to how it effects every corner of usability and software compatibility.
post #14 of 55
Quote:
While ZFS support has made major headway on the Mac since the initial release of Leopard, there's still a long way to go before non-technical users can make real use of its new features. That will likely result in Apple focusing its development efforts to make ZFS practical initially to its server audience. That is reflected in the company's Snow Leopard marketing, which only mentions ZFS features in relation to Snow Leopard Server in "business critical server deployments." More technically-savvy desktop users will likely be able to begin experimenting with the new file system on the Snow Leopard desktop however.


It would be nice for Apple to include ZFS as an option for consumer desktops too. I like to play with a file system or beta software *at my own risk* and I'm sure that I'm not alone. By adding ZFS as an option to format a Mac drive and install Mac OS X, Apple would create an incentive for developpers to update the code of their applications to take advantage of the new features made possible by ZFS.

Assuming that Apple wants ZFS to be the default file system for Mac OS X at some point in the future, it would make sense for Apple to allow customers and developpers to discover the possibilities of ZFS before it is implemented as the default file system for all Macs.


post #15 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Simple.
Here's how you do it with NTFS


diskpart> create volume stripe disk= (32 disks)
DiskPart successfully created the volume
diskpart> assign letter=s
DiskPart successfully assigned the driver letter or mount point.
diskpart> exit
c:/> format s: /fs:ntfs
The type of the file system is RAW
The new file system is NTFS
WARNING, ALL DATA ON NON-REMOVABLE DISK DRIVES S:
WILL BE LOST!
Proceed with Format (Y/N)? Y
Verifying 840012M
Volume label (32 characters, ENTER for none)? <rtn>
Creating file system structures
Format complete
860172284 KB total disk space
860080288 KB are available


ZFS took 17.5 seconds

Windows Server 2003 and NTFS took 4.5 hours.

It seems the formatting type used is "full" rather than the "quick." Full formatting will always take longer than quick format with NTFS. Quick format of a single hard drive takes roughly 5-10 seconds. If I remember correctly, full format checks each sector for read/write errors. This is why the operation take so long. Quick format assumes that everything is "okay" and just mark the disk as NTFS.

Would the formatting work with the quick parameter with the stripe disk? If so, how long does that take?

Full format: format s: /fs:ntfs
Quick format: format s: /fs:ntfs /q
post #16 of 55
Self Healing with ZFS.

See the AMAZING VIDEO!!!

http://www.opensolaris.org/os/commun...demos/selfheal

This demo shows how ZFS's self healing features can repair silent data corruption which occurs in mirrored volumes. This is in contrast to traditional volume managers which won't notice that the corruption ever occurred. In this demo, we splat random data over one side of a mirror.
post #17 of 55
I forgot to mention the other major use of snapshots - system updates. Another page taken from OpenSolaris - system updates make use of the snapshot feature. You can easily roll back to before a system update. Since Apple doesn't use a system-wide package manager like OpenSolaris and Linux it has a more limited applicability but would still be very useful for the Software Update mechanism.
post #18 of 55
When I read this article I was thinking "AppleTV, Apple Home Server, Apple iTunes Server". ZFS seems to fit in with a home server product and the AppleTV like potatoes and gravy. The question is when will it happen.
post #19 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinN206 View Post

It seems the formatting type used is "full" rather than the "quick." Full formatting will always take longer than quick format with NTFS. Quick format of a single hard drive takes roughly 5-10 seconds. If I remember correctly, full format checks each sector for read/write errors. This is why the operation take so long. Quick format assumes that everything is "okay" and just mark the disk as NTFS.

Would the formatting work with the quick parameter with the stripe disk? If so, how long does that take?

Full format: format s: /fs:ntfs
Quick format: format s: /fs:ntfs /q

http://opensolaris.org/os/community/...s/zfsadmin.pdf

The administration guide for ZFS should answer your questions.
post #20 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by etandrib View Post

When I read this article I was thinking "AppleTV, Apple Home Server, Apple iTunes Server". ZFS seems to fit in with a home server product and the AppleTV like potatoes and gravy. The question is when will it happen.

I'm waiting for this also. I think it may come sooner than we are expecting. This just makes so much sense to do for a product like a media server.

A question for the more technical folk out there, how does ZFS differ from what the people at Drobo are doing? Is it the same technology?
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post #21 of 55
Okay, sure, ZFS might be more useful in servers, but I certainly don't need OS X Server to run a simple file server in my home.
post #22 of 55
Speaking as a former sysadmin of 13 years:

ZFS is a nerd toy.

It has its applications in a datacenter, but for a small business server, a household server, or a household computer, it is superfluous and completely unnecessary.

I agree with Apple potentially fleshing ZFS out with OSX Server first, perhaps only adding read/write capabilities into OSX Client so clients can read/write to ZFS drives.
post #23 of 55
The copy-on-write snapshots are only a nerd toy while they're tied to the command-line. Tie them into Time Machine and you've opened up document versions directly to users. Imagine this scenario: you're using your laptop away from home and open up Time Machine, you see file history every 15 minutes back to the time you last had a remote Time Machine backup. When you connect to your home network Time Machine automatically syncs one or more of those snapshots to the backup device. If you open Time Machine while at home you'll see your history going back much further. Not a geek toy, a game changer.
post #24 of 55
Today's "nerd toys" are tomorrows' reality.
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post #25 of 55
I think people are missing/did not think about 2 things when contemplating ZFS on Notebooks/Desktops:

1. ZFS has compression ability, and unline HFS+ in SL, ZFS can compress all files, not only read-only files. Think about your personal text documents/software project source codes consuming much less space, not only system files.

2. Snapshots in ZFS, like in NTFS, are consistent - that means when you "hit the button" to create a snapshot, it takes some time, but if any modification happens during creating of snapshot, it is correctly marked as not part of the snapshot being created. Then, you can send (AFAIK with "zfs send") just the blocks that changed between snapshots to the backup drive over network or USB. That means if you create a backup at 14:00, the backup will have your files as they appeared at 14:00 sharp. All of them. Time machine, on the other hand, is AFAIK inconsistent - if it has a set of files that changed during last hour and are being copied to the backup drive, and in the middle of the copying, some file that has not yet been copied is modified, the modified version, not the one intended to be backed up, gets backed up. Which is a problem if you need to have a consistent backup of a group of files. Also, Time machine currently copies whole files instead of changed blocks (which is a big hurdle for bigger files) as someone already mentioned.
Yes, Apple did make some changes to HFS+ for Time Machine, but these were related to easier storage of the backup, not with consistency of the backup.

So I think these features would do great on desktop
post #26 of 55
Quick, possibly stupid question. Is data parity or striping also part of ZFS? I just read a lot about redundancy, which is still cool and all, just wondering...

I actually learned quite a bit from this article and your comments, looks pretty awesome to me, some features can be implemented on the consumer side too.
post #27 of 55
I wonder why anyone would be naive enough to fall for Apple's server hype again. If you've never dealt with OS X Server before, my advice would be, don't bother. Apple does not get the server market, they will leave you hanging with serious ongoing issues for years to come. They always introduce new features and neglect basic stability or improvements to previous features. I would not be surprised AT ALL if Apple decided, in the next few years or so, to drop ZFS altogether and try to fiddle with something else.
I've been installing Mac OS Servers for over 12 years and I cannot recommend them to anyone anymore. Although Windows 2003 has less features than OS X Server, with Windows you'll be able to at least sleep at night.
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post #28 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

I wonder why anyone would be naive enough to fall for Apple's server hype again. If you've never dealt with OS X Server before, my advice would be, don't bother. Apple does not get the server market, they will leave you hanging with serious ongoing issues for years to come. They always introduce new features and neglect basic stability or improvements to previous features. I would not be surprised AT ALL if Apple decided, in the next few years or so, to drop ZFS altogether and try to fiddle with something else.
I've been installing Mac OS Servers for over 12 years and I cannot recommend them to anyone anymore. Although Windows 2003 has less features than OS X Server, with Windows you'll be able to at least sleep at night.

The US Military's website is powered by OS X Server. Seems to work alright for them.

Speaking as a former sysadmin of 13 years, Windows Server 2003 does not ensure a sound night's sleep under any circumstances. No matter how well it is configured.
post #29 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Alpha quality? Really? It's standard in OpenSolaris 2008.11.

Do you honestly think Apple's state of ZFS is alpha? Try again.

Reading is hard. But it's ok, you'll get the hang of it one day.
post #30 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by etandrib View Post

When I read this article I was thinking "AppleTV, Apple Home Server, Apple iTunes Server". ZFS seems to fit in with a home server product and the AppleTV like potatoes and gravy. The question is when will it happen.

Probably when a pretty stable version of ZFS hits for embedded devices. Not saying that it can't be done now as http://dattobackup.com/zseries-models.php makes ZFS based NAS now and FreeNAS will be supporting ZFS with ver .70 and on.


Quote:
Originally Posted by razorpit View Post

I'm waiting for this also. I think it may come sooner than we are expecting. This just makes so much sense to do for a product like a media server.

A question for the more technical folk out there, how does ZFS differ from what the people at Drobo are doing? Is it the same technology?

Drobo is a lot like ZFS with the pooled storage including redundancy or Isilon clustered storage. Of course the devil is in the details and Drobo's system is proprietary and from what I can tell undocumented.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vandil View Post

Speaking as a former sysadmin of 13 years:

ZFS is a nerd toy.

It has its applications in a datacenter, but for a small business server, a household server, or a household computer, it is superfluous and completely unnecessary.

I agree with Apple potentially fleshing ZFS out with OSX Server first, perhaps only adding read/write capabilities into OSX Client so clients can read/write to ZFS drives.

Interesting Vandil why do you feel this way? I think it depends on how you define Small Biz as well. There's huge movement towards backing up Direct 2 Disk and everyone from the Enterprise to SMB are taking advantage of low cost disk storage. I see ZFS as being as valuable to computing users in general as any other filesystem running today. If you're a smaller business and you lose a significant amount of data you've got probably a %60 chance of going out of business.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

I wonder why anyone would be naive enough to fall for Apple's server hype again. If you've never dealt with OS X Server before, my advice would be, don't bother. Apple does not get the server market, they will leave you hanging with serious ongoing issues for years to come. They always introduce new features and neglect basic stability or improvements to previous features. I would not be surprised AT ALL if Apple decided, in the next few years or so, to drop ZFS altogether and try to fiddle with something else.
I've been installing Mac OS Servers for over 12 years and I cannot recommend them to anyone anymore. Although Windows 2003 has less features than OS X Server, with Windows you'll be able to at least sleep at night.

The only problem though is that OS X server has been workable for what 2 versions now? Apple has a lot to learn about supporting businesses but I'm not so sullen about the future prospects of OS X server.

If Apple were to drop ZFS it would be for something better which I cannot imagine right now.
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post #31 of 55
I think the end user has the most to benefit from using ZFS! faster I/O performance and greater efficiency is good enough. ZFS on laptop is also quite amazing

http://blogs.sun.com/erickustarz/entry/zfs_on_a_laptop

I think the greater question is how many apps will 'break' in consumer versions. I would presume an update from Apple would solve that. Any thoughts?
post #32 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by vandil View Post

The US Military's website is powered by OS X Server. Seems to work alright for them.

Speaking as a former sysadmin of 13 years, Windows Server 2003 does not ensure a sound night's sleep under any circumstances. No matter how well it is configured.

The military moved to WebStar on Mac OS 9 due to the security flaws found in WebDAV on Win NT and later 2000.
OS X uses Apache and Apple Mail server, the U.S. Military uses neither of the two.

If you think Windows 2003 does not ensure a sound night's sleep, you should try OS X Server.
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post #33 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

The only problem though is that OS X server has been workable for what 2 versions now? Apple has a lot to learn about supporting businesses but I'm not so sullen about the future prospects of OS X server.

If Apple were to drop ZFS it would be for something better which I cannot imagine right now.

The OS X Server software was never a robust software, only hype.
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post #34 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

The OS X Server software was never a robust software, only hype.

It's never been a core part of their strategy. I always get a kick out of the whole "Apple chasing the Enterprise" stuff that constantly floats to the surface.

Though at any rate I think ZFS has a future on Macs. Apple's leveraged Sun's DTrace and I think ZFS will be the next Sun technology that sees some attention from Apple.
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post #35 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

It's never been a core part of their strategy. I always get a kick out of the whole "Apple chasing the Enterprise" stuff that constantly floats to the surface.

Though at any rate I think ZFS has a future on Macs. Apple's leveraged Sun's DTrace and I think ZFS will be the next Sun technology that sees some attention from Apple.

I think Apple is looking forward to where their business might take them post iPhone. A lot of large law firms, medical firms, hospitals, and other visual reliant communication jobs are taking a new look at Apple. Apple has potential to work from the ground up on developing a server client that satisfies what these companies need. ZFS is a starting point. I bet there will be some really easy file sharing implementations of ZFS with the copy write transaction model - if the iPhone then could take advantage of, or anyone in the network - big bonus compared to Windows.
post #36 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

The OS X Server software was never a robust software, only hype.

Odd you say that. I've been running OS X Server 10.*3* since the day it came out, and 10.2 before that... never had a problem. Granted, it's for a smallish business, but web, imap, blah blah blah, it was dirt simple to set up, and it's never given me so much as a hiccup.

In fact, it's been so solid, I never saw the need to upgrade to 10.4 or 10.5 versions.

(And you're just plain wrong on one point - OS X Server has used the cyrus mail server since 10.3. Apple Mail Server was only 10.0-10.2.)
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post #37 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by MShock View Post

I think Apple is looking forward to where their business might take them post iPhone. A lot of large law firms, medical firms, hospitals, and other visual reliant communication jobs are taking a new look at Apple. Apple has potential to work from the ground up on developing a server client that satisfies what these companies need. ZFS is a starting point. I bet there will be some really easy file sharing implementations of ZFS with the copy write transaction model - if the iPhone then could take advantage of, or anyone in the network - big bonus compared to Windows.

We really haven't even tapped some of the unique featurs of ZFS that few speak about.

For instance :

L2ARC

Quote:
The "ARC" is the ZFS main memory cache (in DRAM), which can be accessed with sub microsecond latency. An ARC read miss would normally read from disk, at millisecond latency (especially random reads). The L2ARC sits in-between, extending the main memory cache using fast storage devices - such as flash memory based SSDs (solid state disks).

What is L2ARC?


The L2ARC is best pictured as a cache layer in-between main memory and disk, using flash memory based SSDs or other fast devices as storage. It holds non-dirty ZFS data, and is currently intended to improve the performance of random read workloads.


ZIL-ZFS Intent Log


Quote:
So, you may well ask, what is this ZFS Intent Log? ZFS is always consistent on disk due to its transaction model. Unix system calls can be considered as transactions which are aggregated into a transaction group for performance and committed together periodically. Either everything commits or nothing does. That is, if a power goes out, then the transactions in the pool are never partial. This commitment happens fairly infrequently - typically a few seconds between each transaction group commit.

Some applications, such as databases, need assurance that say the data they wrote or mkdir they just executed is on stable storage, and so they request synchronous semantics such as O_DSYNC (when opening a file), or execute fsync(fd) after a series of changes to a file descriptor. Obviously waiting seconds for the transaction group to commit before returning from the system call is not a high performance solution. Thus the ZFS Intent Log (ZIL) was born.

Pondering the potential for a more beefy database like core to OS X with something like ZIL logging on SSD. Make my wonder how many tasks in OS X call for synchronous writes.
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post #38 of 55
wow! really good point. Something like that would be ridiculously competitive in government operations (for example individual state ops were I work). A good database core is what prevents us from moving away from microsoft - but if there was a solution to port or read our databases with opensource / Apple and get these types of features at lower cost than microsoft - DONE!

I wonder the implications now for FileMaker? I also wonder how this will handle large libraries like an iTunes library - maybe more like database? photo, music, and movies are being stored more like a database with so many to a hard drive....
post #39 of 55
Doesn't Leopard implement a new filesystem API?

In theory, shouldn't it be relatively easy to drop in a new filesystem underneath that API? Granted, there would have to be tons of QA done and a multitude of bugfixes done to that API, as well as more work done to Apple's ZFS port. Still, it doesn't seem so outrageous for Apple to do away with HFS+ completely as the default filesystem and more to ZFS.

Is there something I'm missing?
post #40 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by JavaCowboy View Post

Doesn't Leopard implement a new filesystem API?

In theory, shouldn't it be relatively easy to drop in a new filesystem underneath that API? Granted, there would have to be tons of QA done and a multitude of bugfixes done to that API, as well as more work done to Apple's ZFS port. Still, it doesn't seem so outrageous for Apple to do away with HFS+ completely as the default filesystem and more to ZFS.

Is there something I'm missing?

I remember reading something like this as well. Though I never assumed that a filesystem replacement or augmentation would be trivial.

I could totally see Apple moving to ZFS as the default system by 10.7. By then they could integrate everything with polish and 10.7 will be the first feature release after "featureless" Snow Leopard. Sounds like as good a time as any.
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