I have been approached by a number of users all confused about the state and future of FlexRAID in light of the upcoming NZFS.
First, I need to do some clean up on the naming of the products.
FlexRAID is a concept and not a product in itself. The core essence of that concept is flexibility and solving many of the shortcomings that plague current storage solutions.
RAID-F: Also known as RAID over Filesystem.
RAID-F provides data protection and data pooling over existing filesystems. It does that by overlaying its own lightweight and unifying filesystem on top of any filesystem that the user’s OS can operate over.
NZFS (Next-Generation Zion File System):
Although having no commonality with ZFS, NZFS borrows a number of concepts from ZFS and its RAID suite.
NZFS has two modes of operation: RAID under filesystem and RAID within filesystem.
In essence, FlexRAID will provide:
- RAID under filesystem (NZFS)
- RAID within filesystem (NZFS)
- RAID over filesystem (RAID-F)
Each approach has it own implications (i.e., advantages and disadvantages), which we will get into once NZFS is out.