I’m excited! My favorite operating system, FreeBSD, has gotten an upgrade! There are a lot of small changes but the big one (the one that I’m excited about) is getting ZFS version 28 into the kernel.

ZFS Version 28 adds some of the more important features of ZFS: Deduplication, triple parity RAIDZ3, and RAIDZ. This means that I can have full featured storage devices, running ZFS natively, via FreeBSD.

As a bonus I don’t have to learn Solaris.

You can run ZFS in Linux but you would either have to run via FUSE which is file system emulation in user-space, not in the kernel. Or download it and build it yourself. In my opinion, both of those options are idiotic. I’m not willing to jump through those kind of hoops just to run a filesystem in Linux. I’d rather have native, in kernel support for it. Until now, your choice was either run Solaris (or a fork of Solaris) or run an outdated version of ZFS via FreeBSD.

One project that should directly benefit of this: FreeNAS. FreeNAS is a customized installation of FreeBSD designed to operate as a NAS and iSCSI SAN. It has a pretty slick ajax/web interface as of version 8 but so far had missed out on key ZFS features.

One reason I want run up FreeBSD 9 and ZFS is to better learn ZFS troubleshooting and administration. FreeNAS aside, there are a lot of vendor supported storage devices that are coming into the market based on ZFS. I want to troubleshoot those devices on a lower level. Before this, I would have to install Solaris. This means that I would actually have to navigate to Oracle’s Website. No thank you.

In-line deduplication is on of my favorite impractical features of all time. It unfortunately, required gobs of memory (8 GB RAM for every 1 TB of storage, if memory serves) Hopefully, someone smart will figure out how to do it on flash, in a practical way, as rebuilding those tables after a power failure would suck. (see Mike’s post about Tegile – a company actually doing such in production today)

Obviously I don’t know a lot about ZFS yet which is why I’m glad I get to learn via FreeBSD.

If only I could convince ipHouse to give me a little more storage space on my personal VDC…hint hint!