Although not discussed in today’s keynote, Apple is adding a new “universal” filesystem to iOS and macOS. Apple File System (APFS) will likely replace HFS+ as the default filesystem for Macintosh computers, iPads, and iPhones and brings a wealth of modern features. But judging from the initial developer documentation, that’s not going to happen for a few more years. And there’s still much confusion about how APFS and CoreStorage, introduced in Mac OS X 10.7, will interact.
Since most MacBooks are SSD-only, one would think Apple would be careful about leaving junk around on the drive. But many people are finding 5 GB wasted for a years-old leftover Mac OS X install image! Here’s how to reclaim that space if you’re missing it…
Hard disk drives keep getting bigger, meaning capacity just keeps getting cheaper. But storage capacity is like money: The more you have, the more you use. And this growth in capacity means that data is at risk from a very old nemesis: Unrecoverable Read Errors (URE).
The Four Horsemen of storage system performance cannot be denied, but they do offer a clear path forward. Storage systems must improve in many different areas, from spindles and drives to caching and I/O bottlenecks. But above all else, storage systems must become smarter in order to become faster, and this requires greater insight into the true nature of the data stream being stored. All storage performance developments, from the laptop to the enterprise, boiled down to adaptations to the demands of the Four Horsemen.
Apple is not in enterprise storage company to be sure, and news from WWDC dashes any hopes we had for ZFS and iSCSI support. USB 3.0 seems a foregone conclusion, but Apple seems intent on ignoring it as long as possible. Although I welcome the new storage features included in Lion, it is disappointing that these were left out.
Apple’s not an enterprise company or a storage company, but Apple does have enterprise storage features in their operating systems. And Mac OS X 10.7 “Lion” is a great case in point. From Versions to Time Machine Local Snapshots to AirDrop, Lion brings some storage love, and NFS, SMB, and Xsan are there, too. Let’s look at what’s new and key in terms of storage in the latest version of Mac OS X.
Storage protocols continue to mimic direct attached storage, with the concepts of block and file at its core. No amount of virtualization, and no new protocol, will fix this – we need a storage revolution.
I began by introducing the core problem: Storage isn’t getting any cheaper due to storage utilization and provisioning problems. Thin provisioning isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, since the telephone game makes de-allocation a challenge. So now let’s talk about how to make thin provisioning actually work.
Microsoft already gave the world FAT and NTFS, and both have become common in the non-Windows world thanks to flash drives, SD cards, and portable disks. But the folks from Redmond are now introducing a new filesystem, exFAT. Do we really need a new filesystem?
The Tech Field Day events I organize generate a massive amount of HD video content, and moving half a terabyte or more of data is a real issue. We had been using luggable desktop drives from Western Digital and Seagate, but preferred a smaller, lighter, USB bus-powered portable solution. The Seagate Expansion Portable USB drive we bought this week packs an amazing 1 TB of capacity, but our experience with the product was mixed at best.