Replacing ZFS on OS X… What now?

It’s clear that Apple and Sun just could not agree on licensing so the ZFS party has come to an end on OS X. A shame but also an exciting opportunity for something new. It’s pretty obvious that Apple will now build its own advanced filesystem instead of adopting ZFS or its Linux cousin BtrFS (itself an Oracle project, which comes with licensing that is also highly likely to be incompatible with Apple’s xnu kernel…) Why is it clear / obvious?

  • With the release of Snow Leopard the base of the os is stable, fast, and the resources that did all the work are now “free” to work on something new.
  • The mathematical problems that ZFS addressed when originally conceived have been the focus of the general community for some time now. Translated = there are more, and refined, options now.

So time will tell what will happen next unless they can sort it all out…
> Apple can currently just take the ZFS CDDL code and incorporate it   > (like they did with DTrace), but it may be that they wanted a "private   > license" from Sun (with appropriate technical support and   > indemnification), and the two entities couldn't come to mutually   > agreeable terms.  I cannot disclose details, but that is the essence of it.  Jeff