back to article What links Apple, Sun's ZFS and a tiny startup? Al Gore

GreenBytes, the flash array startup which uses ZFS, bought Mac ZFS developer Ten's Complement last week and is now going to make its ZEVO Community Edition ZFS software freely available from 15 September. CEO Bob Petrocelli said so in a blog yesterday. The product should be enhanced between now and then. GreenBytes has stripped …

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Al gore..

He's like a one man conspiricy theory, responsible for everything from the Internet to Global warming.....

Sadly, according to Wikipedia, he's baptist, so we cant find the easy link to the Vatican, but i'm sure its there.

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Black Helicopters

Re: Al gore..

The Baptism thing is part of his cover story...

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Paris Hilton

Not exactly enterprise

I don't find it hard to keep duplicate files at a minimum on my laptop and mp3 player. And while I realize this is probably block level dedupe, I'm still left to wonder how valuable it would be outside of a SAN type environment.

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Re: Not exactly enterprise

Exactly. It is difficult to imagine how dedupe would make anything more than a trivial difference to a personal computer's persistent storage use. Personal computer file system use is dominated by pictures, audio, movies. All three of these are already compressed. Dedupe makes little to no sense. Indeed it would probably just slow everything down and wear out the flash faster.

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Re: Not exactly enterprise

Theoretically, block-level dedupe could be useful for individual users for backing up things like Outlook PST files - large files for which small areas change, perhaps on a daily basis. And before anyone jumps down my throat with "PST files are eeevil! Do the backups on the server!", I'm not necessarily talking about an enterprise environment.

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ZFS dedup, the "official" Sun one anyway, is intensely memory heavy. According to http://blogs.oracle.com/roch/entry/dedup_performance_considerations1 you need over 2GB of RAM per TB of disk for ZFS dedup to work. Some empirical testing on ZFS on FreeBSD ( see http://wiki.freebsd.org/ZFSTuningGuide#Deduplication ) shows it closer to 5GB of RAM per TB of disk (less if you shove some of it onto L2ARC with an associated performance hit).

I don't see ZFS dedup as being particularly applicable to laptops/mobile iDevices.

ZFS compression is more interesting, but you don't need ZFS to gain advantages by compressing certain types of documents

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Anonymous Coward

iDevices are in the range of 8-64GB of space. At 2GB per TB, that means they'd need 30-128MB of ram for dedup. I'm quite confident they can find a way to give up 30-128MB when the latest iPad has 1GB of memory, and the new iPhone should have even more.

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Right but why would a phone need dedup in the first place. Like other posts, the usage for dedup in non enterprise environments is useless. It's not like I have 10 copies of the same movie on my phone, or even my desktop.

The filesystem integrity portion (while possibly still better than hfs) suffers a loss of most key features by not having more than one disk. The only real key advantage I can think of for zfs would be snapshots and rollbacks. Integrate that with timemachine and you might have something.

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FAIL

Its all about Oracle

Oracle owns the IP on ZFS.

Open source doesn't mean patent free.

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FAIL

Re: Its all about the license

The CDDL includes a patent grant, so it doesn't matter.

I really should stop feeding the trolls.

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Re: Its all about Oracle

Any hesitation on Apple's part is probably down to, "do we want to develop zfs on our own."

I certainly wouldn't rely on Oracle letting me use anything without paying up and Apple are famous for wanting total control.

ZFS is nice but few apple products have more than one disk so I'm not sure what the driver would be, unless they just feel hfs is getting long in the tooth.

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Re: Its all about Oracle

Not entirely. ZFS and its copy-on-write mechanism is strikingly similar to WAFL on NetApp, which predates ZFS by decades. NetApp owns quite a few patents in this space, hence the Sun/NetApp patent spat a few years ago.

I don't know if the Oracle/NetApp settlement means ZFS users get the patents under the CDDL license or not.

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