ZFS

For the problem of High Capacity disks in RAID there is now a better solution: ZFS

What is ZFS?

ZFS or Zettabyte File System is a new kind of filesystem. ZFS differs greatly from other filesystems, because the next generation filesystem also has the same kind of funcions that LVM and RAID can provide. We therefore call  it a hybrid filesystem. Traditional file systems are FAT32, NTFS, Ext3 / 4 (the latter is even more unreliable than NTFS)

Almost all existing file systems work on a storage device such as a hard disk. They are not made to communicate with multiple hard disks. A separate RAID layer is needed then for multiple drives and then placed on a filesystem. The file system is not aware of the fact that its data is placed on multiple disks is those two worlds are strictly separated.

ZFS works quite differently, it speaks directly to multiple disks and integrates the functionality of RAID, LVM and file system in one package. This has many advantages, especially in terms of reliability, but also performance.

Read more about the many benefits of ZFS (dutch):

http://gathering.tweakers.net/forum/list_messages/1452380. Cipher has very clear (for noobs) set done the benefits of ZFS

or

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZFS

There are really only 2 competitors: Btrfs (Linux) and refs (Microsoft). These are in a different stage of development as ZFS. ZFS is the most stable, (And Mr. Reiser is in prison …)

ZFS has been developed 10 years ago in the laboratory of IBM. Apple was once very interested and at the time (in Snow Leopard if I’m not mistaken) it was even hidden in the OS. Sun came to power and for political reasons, Apple removed ZFS. Apple continued to HFS +. (so sorry,  Apple). Everbody hopes now that with Oracle as the new owner of ZFS Apple will reconsider its former choice.

Where can you find ZFS?

In (Open) Solaris Oracle course. There are several paid and opensource versions: Nexenta, Napp-it, Openindiana, EON-zfs storage, etc.

But also in FreeBSD: mfsBSD, Freenas, NAS4FREE. ZFSguru.

Integration with Linux is not yet stable. And Microsoft has its own file systems.

Do you like to do things yourself (eventually appear unix commands of Linux, BSD and Apple together) then you can use FreeBSD ZFSGuru a server build. It has a complete FreeBSD build as a base. With ZFSGuru to control the ZFS filesystem.
IF you are a noob like me, you might like FreeNAS 8 (now owned by Ix systems) or NAS4FREE.
All this is open source and therefore free to download.

I myself tested FreeNAS 8 under Virtualbox and it runs very well and stable as fileserver. It has NFS, Samba, Apple shares, (s) FTP, iSCSI…, it’s all in there. FreeNAS is also based on a minimal version of BSD.

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