Archive for the ‘ZFS’ category

An SSD Array Formatted for ZFS

March 10, 2009

I’m smitten with SSD and Gizmodo just fed me a loving spoonful of SSD PR0N. The moving parts of a traditional drive just bug me to no end: I’ve had so many drive failures over the years that solid state storage (or whatever is poised to eclipse it even) intrigue me.

One thing that ROYALLY blows my mind though is ZFS. As Leopard was coming out there was a hint that ZFS was going to be a staple in the release candidate. For whatever reason that didn’t happen. It appeared all so briefly in one of the Leopard seeds in the Disk Utility app. So, being the good little Apple dev I am… I put that baby to the test. I strung several external drives (of differing makes and capacities) together and formatted them ZFS. Damned if it didn’t work as advertised. But, what really screwed with my noodle was when I added a fresh drive to the mix… adding it to the ZFS volume was super easy and slick as hell. Why isn’t that available RFN? I dunno. But, I liked it and hope it comes back. SOON!

Now, imagine if all the above was all done on SSD drives. Holy crap! At that point you have a highly scalable VERY small footprint array of some formidable scale and wicked fast speed. Not sure what the power consumption looks like. I have to think it’s much improved per Gb pushed/pulled. I’m all for cloud computing and things like Amazon’s S3. But, if I had a read/write intensive, mission critical app and could address it with a local SSD array… WOW!

ZFS’ Looking Ahead

October 29, 2007

So, OK, the rabbit’s out of the hat: Leopard’s launched. More specifically, Leopard Server has launched. There’s not been a lot of blogging about Server, which is where I spend a good deal of my waking hours. I’m going to write a very little bit about ZFS in a minute. But, do yourself a favor afterwards and go to AFP548. They’ve done a more than fair article on Leopard Server and I’m sure will follow on with their typically awesome in-depth plumbing.

So, on to ZFS. I read Jonathan Schwartz’ latest about the Network Appliance filing suit against Sun over ZFS. It’s really too bad this couldn’t somehow be resolved at the C-Level. Network Appliance has probably just threatened the wrong action and not taken the high road when they could have. Granted, it’s not too late to drop the matter. But, the idea of someone suing over an free technology just boggles my head. I can’t grok this at all. That’s akin to Microsoft suing Apache (please, Redmond, don’t get any new bright ideas) or Oracle blasting MySQL. I sincerely hope this doesn’t become some kind of trend. Defense of IP I can wrap my head around. It would be a wonderful thing if the Network Applicance CEO would be as transparent about their grievance as Dr. Schwartz has been about their position.

What does all this mean for those of us already enjoying ZFS? That’s the great thing. Sun indemnifies all it’s downstream users from the legal repercussions. Even if this went Network Appliance’s way I’m left thinking (not necessarily knowing) I could continue to use the ZFS distro as I have it right now.

Time will tell.

ZFS = HELL YES!

October 4, 2007

Oh, mama!

I really like what Apple’s put at our fingertips with the ZFS 1.1 seed. Right now it’s all tucked into Terminal and diskutil. But, holy smokes! When this makes it to DiskUtility.app I can see lots of people doing lots of very cool things with highly expandable storage pools. It’s so stupifyingly simple.

I was talking with Kevin Mooney at TulsaConnect (one of my data hosting facilities) and he was talking about how they have some very clever methods of growing and allocating storage across their facility. Absolutely blew my mind.

Storage is a beast I’ve always thought of as, “Need more? Go get a drive. Format it. Mount it. Fill it. Rinse. Repeat.” That is, until the XServe RAIDS. Then I added a little smarts (not much, just some). But, now…! I’m thinking some of what Kevin was talking about is at hand (ie, consumer level). MY hand no less! Cool.

Leopard’s ZFS 1.1 Seed

October 4, 2007

Wondering when and where ZFS was going to pop up next on the Leopard scene? Wonder no more. 1.1 of the ZFS seed has appeared at the ADC (Select or Premier membership AND 9A559 seed op Leopard required).

The first thing I’m going to do is try to pool a USB drive and a Firewire drive. No reason to think this wouldn’t work according to the readme… Somehow, I think it might just not be kosher. ;) Anyone want to save me the time and tell me what to expect?

More about ZFS can be had at:

Scoble’s Chat with ZFS’ inventors (Lots of fun)
http://www.opensolaris.org/os/community/zfs
http://www.solarisinternals.com/wiki/index.php/ZFS_Best_Practices_Guide
http://opensolaris.org/os/community/zfs/docs/zfsadmin_0817.pdf

New WWDC Previews Flowing…

June 25, 2007

Some of the WWDC Preview images are now beginning to flow out of the ADC program. Without getting in to specifics some interesting NEW things are starting to appear. Select Members might be interested in logging on if interested. As of 9:05 p.m. Central there is no new image of Leopard though.

ZFS. Leopard’s Default File System

June 6, 2007

Well, well, well. Jobsian scooping? Can’t be a good thing.

We’ve all been expecting ZFS to make an appearance in Leopard. Some of us have been hopeful ZFS would be the defacto file system in Leopard. Looks like it may be coming to pass. (link requires the RealPlayer which I refuse to download/install) Nothing yet available on Google Video or YouTube…

I’m now hopeful the FTFF movement is satisfied soon AND I would REALLY love it if the BitTorrent rumors were validated next week.

Wonder how many other “secrets” of Leopard will be made known prior to WWDC07?

Leopard’s Crucial Role? Fooey!

February 15, 2007

Piper Jaffray keeps saying Vista’s going to put the crunch on Apple to step up and deliver in the OS space.

To that I say, “DUH! Do ya think?” Seriously folks… They must have spent their whole Christmas break thinking up that one.

Vista’s a fine move forward for Windows and brings some serious stuff to the PC and the inevitable patches and upgrades are going to further build on top of what Microsoft has released (and, yes, I spent my Christmas break thinking THAT one up). Things that don’t yet work like, oh, iTunes and EVDO drivers… WILL, eventually. Apple’s hoped for announcement of the release date is going to probably be accompanied by a demo of where things stand in their development cycle. I can’t see an announcement of that sort (if any is to come at all) without a show and tell. But, to think it’s the be all end all, pivot point of the success of the platform. No way Jose. Not buying that bit.

So, what DON’T we know?

  • We don’t know what the secrets are yet
  • We don’t know the ship date
  • We don’t know if FTFF has been addressed
  • We don’t know if ZFS is going to be fully supported
  • We don’t know if iChat will have VoIP
  • We don’t know terms of who will qualify for no-charge upgrades
  • We don’t know if Alex (the Voice Over voice) is going to work on Server
  • We don’t know if Mail.app will have multi-part mime mail.
  • We don’t know if torrent support will reside in the OS
  • We don’t know what shape “Illuminous” will take. If any.
  • yada, yada, yada

There’s a LOT we don’t know. What we DO know is when Leopard does eventually arrive (boxed or torrented) that it’s just the starting point. Cupertino’s going to have to build on top of, what I’m seeing so far, to be a sweet upgrade. It’s by no means a Vista killer. It’s just one more step in a long march in the road called OS Bloat.

More ZFS

January 20, 2007

The Zetabyte File System (ZFS) is coming to Leopard. It’s confirmed through a variety of channels. I’ve not opened the latest build of Leopard yet to see for myself. However, I think most people will want to get themselves familiar with the bennies of this very nifty (open source) approach to file systems. The more I learn about it the more I think it’s going to be quite nice on the XServes.


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