Monday, March 17, 2008

File System geekery

Here is a rather good Ars Technica article on the evolution of computer File Systems. I know, I know: it sounds deeply tedious but I actually found it quite interesting. Obviously, I know more about the history of Apple File Systems than any other, but knowing the limitations of almost every FS under the sun is a fun experience.

I particularly liked this quote, relating to the ZFS. [Emphasis mine.]
The Zettabyte File System, announced in 2004, is a 128-bit file system that supports files of ridiculous file sizes (16 exabytes) and an absolutely ludicrous limit of 256 zettabytes (2 to the power of 78 bytes) for the total accessible size of the file system. Project leader Jeff Bonwick said that "Populating 128-bit file systems would exceed the quantum limits of earth-based storage. You couldn't fill a 128-bit storage pool without boiling the oceans." It would literally take a computer made of pure energy, emitting enough energy to bring the entire world's oceans to a boiling point, to fill up the limits of a 128-bit file system. It seems unlikely that anyone is going to build a 256-bit file system any time soon.

All I would say to that is: never underestimate the ability of Adobe to make its applications grow to stupid fucking sizes. They'll boil those oceans yet...

P.S. Talking of geeky weirdness, you can now, should you so desire, follow your humble Devil's antics on Twitter...

3 comments:

Angry Steve said...

I was meaning to play with ZFS on my Sun E280R, but I just haven't got round to it... In the meantime, UFS, or VxFS will have to do.

Tito said...

Ah, Twatter. What a great way to whittle away the boring hours of state education.

Roger Thornhill said...

There were moves to bring ZFS to OSX in the Leopard release. It did not quite make it. Boot issues, possibly.

I like ZFS. Alot. The first file system I have thought I acually want to use since Files-11.