Posted on June 12, 2007

So it was just announced that ZFS won’t be the default filesystem in Leopard. Talk about a bummer… but not shocking really. I feel bad for Jonathan, not because he was wrong, but because its really easy for misunderstandings to come from a single comment. Lets review:

“In fact, this week you’ll see that Apple is announcing at their Worldwide Developers Conference that ZFS has become the file system in Mac OS 10,” Schwartz said.

ZFS being the “default” filesystem wasn’t said, but implied. Its possible that it will be the default or preferred for OS X Server, who knows. While Jonathan and I don’t hang out for Sunday brunch, I would tend to think this is one of those situations where a single comment becomes a big story and people start inferring things that maybe they shouldn’t. Maybe ZFS becoming the default FS was discussed and then retracted? Who knows. But I’ve seen this stuff happen a couple times now first hand and its sooooo easy to happen.

The first hand knowledge that I have has gone back and forth. First ZFS was in, then it was out, then it was in but read-only at least initially, then it was said that that was a mistake and it will be Read/Write but no provided as the default FS. Its hard to say really when these issues tend to be more marketing driven than technical.

I did want to respond to one line in the story though:

“Skeptics have said that ZFS as the default file system in Leopard made no sense. Among the problems in using ZFS is that it wasn’t designed for consumer use, and it uses up a lot of processing power.”

Thats a load of crap. ZFS is designed for a wide range of applications including consumer. Thats the beauty of ZFS, it flies everywhere from 256MB Thumb Drive to EMC DMX without skipping a beat. And it certainly does NOT use up a lot of processing power. I use ZFS on everything, from the X4100 and T1000 nodes at Joyent, to X4500 Thumpers, to NetApp Filers via iSCSI, to my home storage arrays, to my 30GB Video iPod… CPU has never been an issue, ever.

Whatever happens with OS X, so long as ZFS is present I’m happy, because it means that all my USB drives, backup disks, and iPod data are accessible on OS X and not just my Solaris systems. And, with the added iSCSI Support in Leopard I can finally use those data stores from my MacBook Pro as well.