The Oracle ZFS Storage (ZS) Appliance represents the evolution of the Zettabyte File System developed by Sun in the 2000’s as a storage system that is primarily a Network Attached Storage. The ZS has a unique scale out architecture and an extensive set of very advanced features. It also supports block access through the use of the Comstar plug-in along with specific protocol support software.
It the evolution of ZFS, there was a departure from an open source version and the Oracle version that Oracle has continued to add unique capabilities and packaging as a system. The open source version is used in products from other vendors but has distinct differences from the evolved version offered by Oracle.
As a new design file system, ZFS included functions that are normally separate from file systems and part of the embedded storage system. This makes ZFS very unique. ZFS includes the storage pooling function with chunk allocation and RAID protection at the chunk level. This allows for variable RAID algorithms including three-device parity protection called RAID-Z. Volume management is part of ZFS as well as dynamic load balancing and tiering between different types of storage devices. Data reduction is also done inline by ZFS software included deduplication and compression.
Oracle specific features are also included in ZS. Hyper Columnar Compression works with Oracle databases. Oracle Intelligent Storage Protocol enables communication between the storage system and Oracle database software to automatically tune operations.
Connectivity for application server access as a NAS system is through Ethernet using protocols such as NFS and CIFS/SMB (SAMBA). Block access is supported with iSCSI, Fibre Channel, and InfiniBand with the Comstar plug-in capability.