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Apple to use Sun's ZFS in Leopard

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Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz may have let the cat out of the bag on Apple's plans for Mac OS 10.5 Leopard's file system. While showing off the Zettabyte File System in Sun's 'Thumper' hybrid storage/server platform at a company event in Washington today, Schwartz let it drop that Apple too has big plans for the open source file system.

"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," Schwartz said.

ZFS is a high-performance 128-bit file system originally created by Sun for its Solaris operating system. It's distributed as an open source package via the Sun sponsored OpenSolaris effort.

Integrating ZFS into Leopard could give Apple the benefit of having the same next-gen file system stretching from its base computers and notebooks all the way up to servers and storage boxes. ZFS' claim to fame comes from the way it protects large amounts of data spread across myriad low-cost storage systems.

ZFS' ability to handle tons and tons of data could be a plus for Apple's storage-heavy users in the arts.

Whether "the" file system means 'default' or 'premiere' is still in the air. Apple almost certainly won't be talking until WWDC on June 11. Mac fans will have to digest Schwartz's scant, loose-lipped comments for at least five more days. ®

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