Apple has recognized the problems users are having with massive storage, managing hundreds of thousands of files, and backing it all up. The answer is Sun Microsystemis ZFS file system, according to Carl Howe of Blackfriars Communications on Wednesday.
"The simplest way to describe ZFS is that it is a complete rethink of how computers store information ..." Mr. How wrote. "It believes that users being aware of disks is so last century. ZFS deems all your disks a ipooli of storage. It manages those disks for you; you only deal with files. Want to add more storage? Just add another disk to the pool, and ZFS knows what to do. Want to replace a disk? Tell ZFS to remove it from the pool, and it clears it off for you. You donit know where or how many copies the system is storing -- you just know that they are always there for you."
The result of all this, according to Mr. Howe, is that Apple will be able to solve the problems associated with terabyte drives in the home, assist with snapshotting the OS and bringing it back to a previous state, and manage offsite backups in an elegant way.
Back in 2000, Mr. Howe warned computer vendors in a Forrester report that, "they needed to make fundamental changes in how they sold and implemented storage to avoid their customers being overwhelmed by the tsunami of storage and its management headaches this decade."
"Appleis strategy of incorporating ZFS into Mac OS X demonstrates theyive identified storage as a problem and will try to solve it in an elegant way. The big question is how long it will be before the rest of the personal computer industry wakes up," Mr. Howe concluded.
TMO notes that there have been several stories published in the past about whether Apple would, in fact, include ZFS with Mac OS X at some point.
[UPDATE: This story was edited for clarity.]