Normally we like our news short and succinct.  But there are always exceptions, especially when it comes to information about  the Operating System we are going to use for the next few years.

John Siracusa isn’t at a loss for words about Snow Leopard.  In fact, he fills 23 oversized web pages full of information on the new Apple Operating System.  That might be more pages of information than even Apple includes with the OS.  That being said, the review is great (OK we’re not even done yet, but it isn’t easy to get through in one sitting).  Read what some consider the definitive review here.

Also this morning, Gizmodo points us to a post on why Apple dropped ZFS from Snow Leopard.  Former Sun employee and storage guru, Robin Harris, postulates that there were licensing issues that prevented Apple from going full bore with ZFS.  While he originally thought there were technology issues keeping ZFS out of Snow Leopard, he now believes that the issue involved the GPL vs CDDL licensing scheme that Sun wanted to use.

The issues revolve around the issue of patent indemnification claims and whether Apple would be vulnerable to claims such as the one NetApp is currently pursuing against Sun.

He believes that Oracle’s takeover of Sun should alleviate those issues in the long run and that ZFS on Snow Leopard is far from dead.  Apple still lists ZFS as one of the Open Source technologies it uses.

As a refresher, ZFS brings many exciting technologies to storage:

  • Manage storage, not disks. You can put all your disks in a pool and specify the redundancy level. ZFS takes care of the rest.
  • No more silent data corruption.Wonky things can happen to your data to and from a disk. ZFS checksums every file before it is written and stores the checksum on the parent. When the file is read, the checksum tells the filesystem if that is the block it wrote.
  • Easy snapshots. Ever wish you could roll back to a known good state? Snapshots make that easy and ZFS makes snapshots easy.
  • High performance software RAID built-in. Worried about protecting your data. ZFS provides strong RAID capabilities without adding hardware.
  • Transparent compression on the fly. Save capacity by compressing old and/or large files automagically.


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