Sun engineers wondered if the 64-bit capabilities of current file systems will continue to suffice over the next 10 to 20 years. Their answer was no. If Moore's Law holds, in 10 to 15 years people will need a 65th bit. As a 128-bit system, ZFS is designed to support more storage, more file systems, more snapshots, more directory entries, and more files than can possibly be created in the foreseeable future....
... To efficiently use all of this capacity, file systems grow and shrink automatically as users add or remove data. Administrators can set quotas to limit space consumption and reservations to guarantee future availability of space. ZFS also provides compression to reduce disk space and I/O bandwidth requirements.
Logically, the next question is if ZFS' 128 bits is enough. According to Bonwick, it has to be. '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.'
Thursday, September 16, 2004
Sun Microsystems - Feature Story - ZFS File System