The ZFS file system It is one of the most advanced that currently exists, however, the OpenZFS project is more alive than ever. We currently have the OpenZFS 2.0 version that incorporates very important features such as persistent L2ARC, we also have sequential recovery to improve speed and take less time to regenerate information, in addition, we have Zstandard compression natively, as well as a large number of improvements in performance compared to previous versions. Now it has been announced that in 2022 we will have the OpenZFS 3.0 version with us, with more improvements to continue being the better file system.

The latest version that currently exists is OpenZFS 2.1, which includes improvements for dRAID (distributed RAID), currently the versions of TrueNAS SCALE 22.02 and TrueNAS 13.0 use this version of OpenZFS 2.1.1. Although this functionality is not yet available through the graphical user interface, it is through the command line over SSH, but more development and testing is necessary, so it is not recommended to enable this function until it is tested correctly. .

What’s new in the new version of ZFS

In the new OpenZFS 3.0 version to come, we have RAIDZ expansion, we also have OpenZFS for S3 object storage, as well as improved compatibility for Windows and macOS.

In this new version, the «DirectIO» functionality has been incorporated, which provides us with an unbuffered write path, for systems based on high-performance SSD storage, since we omit the adaptive read cache (ARC). Thanks to this feature, the writing speed is improved by up to three times, since it does not take advantage of the ARC. DirectIO behavior is controlled directly by the ZFS dataset, with the default, always and off options, inspired by the file system’s “sync” property. We are also having a new ZIL that is maintained with persistent memory latency, with the goal of optimizing the ZFS intent log for use with NVDIMM devices. The combination of the new ZIL with DirectIO means that we will have a higher writing performance.

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The ZFS feature for object storage is a new type of vdev that maps to S3-API storage for cloud storage. If you are going to use object-based cloud storage, this functionality will be very useful. ZFS sending and receiving has also been improved to have higher performance, when a dataset grows it is necessary to have the highest speed for data replication.

Finally, projects such as the “Block Reference Table (BRT)” are also being studied, with the aim of cloning files at the file level, instead of doing it at the dataset or ZVOL level as is currently the case. This development will allow NAS operating systems such as TrueNAS to clone disk images of virtual machines or very large video files, without depending on the dataset.

Without a doubt, one of the most relevant features is the possibility of RAIDZ expansion, until now if we wanted to go from one RAIDZ to another, we had to erase the entire configuration with its corresponding data loss, having to start from scratch.

We recommend you access the Ixsystems official website where we have more information about the future of OpenZFS with version 3.0, you can also access the OpenZFS YouTube channel where is all the technical information.