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Wednesday, June 06, 2007, 11:00 am PT (02:00 pm ET)

Apple to adopt ZFS as default file system for Leopard

It may have been a premeditated outburst or a sudden slip-of-the-lip, but either way Sun Microsystems chief executive Jonathan Schwartz is claiming that Apple next week will announce a plan to replace the default Mac OS X file system with the Sun-developed ZFS.

Schwartz made the plans public while speaking to analysts and members of the media at a company event in nation's capital on Wednesday. The event was primarily aimed at hyping a more flexible array of blade servers.

"In fact, this week you'll see that Apple is announcing at their Worldwide Developer Conference that ZFS has become the file system in Mac OS 10," he said while speaking of his firm's file system (Real Player video link).

Originally conceived by Sun as a foundation for its Solaris operating system, ZFS features high capacity, a novel on-disk structure, lightweight instances, and the integration of the concepts for volume management.

Unlike a traditional file system, which resides on a single device and thus requires a volume manager to use more than one device, ZFS is built on top of virtual storage pools called zpools. A pool is constructed from virtual devices, each of which is either a raw device, a mirror of one or more devices, or a RAID-Z group of two or more devices.

ZFS would replace Apple's current default file system, Journaled HFS+, beginning with October's release of Leopard, according to Schwartz' comments.