back to article Ex-Apple engineer emits Zevo ZFS for Mac OS

An ex-Apple engineer's startup has produced Zevo: ZFS for Mac OS. The start-up, founded in 2010 and Colorado-based, is Ten's Complement and the founder is Don Brady. Zevo comes in the shipping Silver edition and Gold, Platinum and Developer editions which are due later this year. Zevo Silver, positioned as the test drive …


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  1. OpenIndiana

    A Title Is Required

    Why not just install one of the many OS's (FreeBSD, OpenIndiana, FreeNAS, Napp-it, Nexenta etc) with full ZFS functionality on a server box / NAS unit?

    It's also strange that no one has opened up on why ZFS was not incorporated to Mac OSX. DTrace which is present in OSX has the same license as ZFS.

    Time Machine is simply crap, it may look good with the make-up is on but underneath is another story.. if you've used ZFS you'll know there's no comparison between the two.

    1. Synonymous Howard

      Whilst I agree with the ZFS NAS sentiment...

      (and indeed I have 3 handbuilt FreeBSD NAS boxes running ZFS totalling more than 12Tb - fantastic gb/£)

      But I suspect that ZFS on OSX will be rather nice with the new Thunderbolt connected drives ( that are coming out ... certainly more bandwidth than NAS.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. Archivist

    Sucking eggs

    Hard to believe we're being told about 2's compliment...

    1. frank ly Silver badge

      Quite right ....

      It's not very complementary, is it?

      1. bazza Silver badge

        Oh do stop being so negative

        I'll fetch my coat

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Well I didn't know... :(

      *looks down at shoes*


  3. James Gale

    Who wants this functionality?

    Okay, I know there are some hard-core video folk using macs. But aside from that, how many Apple customers are really worried about their filesystem? Seems like a small market.

    I bet the Xserve EOL was a disappointment for these guys.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Know quite a few research centres running Mac Pros, especially in bioinformatics, neuroscience,..

      Sure the idea of using ZFS will appeal to them.

      1. bazza Silver badge

        From what I've seen of Macs being used by bio/med scientists, the features of ZFS will be utterly lost on most of them. I showed a bunch the miracle of network file sharing; it took a *lot* of explaining. Up to that point to move files between Macs (all connected to the same LAN) they were using a large number of USB drives, and were forever running out of space on them. Ironically, didn't Apple beat MS to network shared disk space? Seems to have been a waste of time. Then I tried to get them to understand the wisdom of backups. Fair enough, they know cells inside out and I don't, but even so.

        ZFS is way too complicated I suspect for the average Mac user to understand and desire. A Mac is perhaps the last machine on earth you'd pick as being a platform on which to store enough data to even begin to get ZFS interested. But I wish them luck.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Sorry bazza but mine's a very different reality. The bio people I know write their own software in C/C++, R etc, create their own distributed systems (heard of myGrid?), write Emacs extensions and have their own sysadms to keep everything running too.

          Still manage to known their cells inside and out, and yes they use Macs too.

    2. Tim Parker

      @James Gale

      "Who wants this functionality?"

      I may be atypical but i've been looking forward to a well integrated ZFS solution in OSX for a long time. The mains reasons for me at home are reliability, dedup and efficient snapshotting. Environment is OSX and Linux.

      For work (development, environment is OSX, Linux and Solaris) i'd say all the above plus, strange as it may sound, case sensitivity (alas probably limited to non-system volumes, unless maybe you can combine case insensitive search mode in ZFS on a case-sensitive ZFS volume). HFS+ is ok, but has some irritating features and is missing others that i'd like - Don Brady insights into HFS+ (as technical lead) are worth a look at as well.

  4. Jeff 11

    I seem to remember zfs was thought to be considered by Apple as a native OSX filesystem years ago, but the legal brouhaha surrounding it poisoned the idea. A shame - it's the Rolls Royce of local filesystems.

  5. h3

    None of the other OS's charge for their ZFS implementations.

    (Which I think is right as the largest part of the work was done by Sun).

    Far too many iOS/OSX people leeching off people.

    No mention whatsoever of the sources on the site (and it is CCDL)

    Any changes to the CCDL files need to be released.

    (They can charge for the GUI).

    Oracle should sue them. (Probably about the only situation I would say that was right).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Did you even see the website? Zevo Developer edition will be free for non-commercial use.

      They also state that "Ten's Complement is an active member of the storage industry's ZFS Working Group." so I'm sure they're aware of the licensing.

  6. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Mac OS X = Terminal

    I see LOTS of developers using MacOS X. That catch is that they're writing, executing, and debugging platform independent code to eventually be deployed elsewhere. Mac OS X is like a modern day terminal - it's a human interface to large systems running other Unix variants. It was never a good fit for data and processing clusters and Apple has declared that it shouldn't be. It's odd that somebody would bring ZFS to Mac OS now, especially when 10.7's user-experience features consume resources like it owned the whole box. It better run a lot faster than HFS+ because bandwidth is all MacOS X needs.

  7. Sean Timarco Baggaley


    "Zevo Silver costs $19.95 and can be bought off the Zevo website. Silver will be available in the next few weeks for $39.95 with the Platinum edition coming in the Spring."

    The "Silver" in bold should be "Gold", I think.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why ZFS?

    I've been told that HFS doesn't defrag properly with large files.

    No idea if its true or not.

    1. zealien

      ZFS defrag

      Not true (although not in the sense you might think). ZFS does not defrag at all right now although there are plans for it in future versions.

      However, it has a clever file allocation strategy and seems not to require the same level of defrag as, say, NTFS.

      For me, I have a ZFS server with 18TB and do not see any problem, file system is about 70% full.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But will it make my Mac run Crysis 2 with full effects at higher than 60 fps?

    Bueller .... anyone? .... anyone?

  10. Fat Jez

    No mention that booting is not yet supported, so only really useful on data storage volumes.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    i needz more raidz plus

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ZFS and MacOSX Cold War - and other Cold Wars

    MacOSX users are quote often large media consumers... movies, music, recording from TV, etc.

    There is no better consumer storage platform than ZFS. Perhaps Apple will buy the company outright and the ZFS vs MacOSX cold-war will end.

    Talk about Apple Cold-War's - perhaps after Adobe screwed Apple by not releasing FrameMaker for MacOSX and the retribution of Apple screwing Adobe by locking Flash out of the iOS ecosystem, that the Flash vs iOS cold-war may come to an end soon. Where is Adobe FrameMaker for MacOSX or iOS?

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