12THE Z FILE SYSTEM

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Most filesystems are, in computing terms, ancient. We discard 5-year-old hardware because it’s painfully slow, but we format the replacement’s hard drive with a 40-year-old filesystem. While we’ve improved those filesystems and made them more robust, they still use the same basic architecture. And every time a filesystem breaks, we curse and scramble to fix it while desperately wishing for something better.

ZFS is something better.

It’s not that ZFS uses revolutionary technology. All the individual pieces of ZFS are well understood. There’s no mystery to hashes or data trees or indexing. But ZFS combines all of these well-understood ...

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