When ZFS first appeared, it was well received and praised.
The time was ripe for a modernization of file systems to eliminate the tedious task of having to plan and create volume groups.
My first experience with ZFS was when I was hired to build a NAS for a small business.
Initially, I chose to go the tradtional way and make the raid as a raid5. This took ages (about a day) to complete.
I therefore quite surprised when I saw the difference between creation time of a traditional raid5 and a raidz. The raidz was ready seconds after I had created it.
Also, when my server drowned ZFS helped my to salvage my data very easily .
So, what are the cool things about ZFS:
- Creating raids take seconds insteads of hours (days)
- It has filesystem level data integrity
- Built-in snapshots that uses copy-on-write to preserve disk space. It’s like Apple’s Time machine – only on filesystem level
- The L2ARC feature is brilliant. I have not yet had a chance to try it out yet though.
I know btrfs is said to be the upcoming zfs killer, but from what I have read, it still lacks most of the features that are fundamental for zfs now – and has been for some time.
The advantage of btrfs is that it has the potential of being a clean room implementation of zfs, addressing some of the design flaws that zfs has.
I’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg, and for all my usage it has proved itself more than worthy. I am still trying to convince a business partner to engage in a more bold and lager scale zfs implementation, but this is still in the idea stage.
The next step for file systems will probably be more from the userspace perspective. Modern computers, like the ipad requires a different filesystem layout – or none at all. The next evolutionary step for file systems will be metadata-driven, and storage will be a large pool distributed over different mediums, like cloud based storage.
The applicability of ZFS is enormous – and in my opinion the only thing holding people back is the lack of trust in the technology.
Even though, its technology as I like it best. Complexity made simple – with rich opportunity to dive into the sea of technical details. So to answer my own question; no, I don’t think