OpenZFS Summit highlights Fast Dedup and RAIDZ Expansion

TrueNAS uses OpenZFS as the foundation for its data management layer, and TrueNAS is the deployment vehicle for the majority of OpenZFS storage systems used today. We love OpenZFS and it continues to get better!

The 11th annual OpenZFS Developer Summit for 2023 started today Monday, October 16th in San Francisco. Among the very exciting projects being developed, two of these projects have significant contributions and investments from iXsystems.

Fast Dedup is on the Horizon

One of the primary issues with traditional dedup with ZFS has been the need to keep the dedup tables in memory at all times to avoid massive performance penalties. This existing functionality was not very performant and led to usability issues during operation. With the update for Fast Dedup, the size of metadata is now constrained to fit in either RAM or flash to avoid hitting the performance penalty wall. The metadata structure for Fast Dedup has been completely re-engineered to enable efficient updates as well as the ability to evict non-dedup blocks. Combining metadata improvements with properly configured storage will improve dedup performance by an order of magnitude for larger systems.

Allan Jude will be presenting on the new Fast Dedup project for which iX has been the major sponsor. Together with engineers from iX, we’ve designed a completely new model for dedup which focuses on performance.

This Fast Dedup project started earlier this year and has been making tremendously rapid progress. We are working to ensure it will have the quality needed to be included in OpenZFS 2.3.

RAIDZ Expansion is Entering its Final QA cycle

RAIDZ expansion allows a small pool with as few as two drives to be gradually expanded with one drive at a time. Existing data is preserved with its original parity and the administrative process for small systems has been simplified. New data is written with the new parity. The same technology works for Z1, Z2 or Z3.

Don Brady and Matt Ahrens will be presenting the latest on RAIDZ expansion. Matt developed the initial software and Don, representing iX, has been completing this herculean task. This project has taken a few years but is now entering the final stretch and will be included in OpenZFS 2.3.

OpenZFS 2.2 is in TrueNAS SCALE 23.10

OpenZFS 2.2 is the current release and has been integrated into TrueNAS SCALE 23.10 (“Cobia”). The Cobia RC.1 version (which includes dRAID) has been successfully provided to the community with over 3,000 testers and the formal release planned in the coming weeks.

In early 2024, TrueNAS CORE 13.1 will be released with  OpenZFS 2.2. TrueNAS Enterprise appliances will also use OpenZFS 2.2 in its respective software versions.

OpenZFS 2.3 (or potentially 3.0) will take most of the next 12 months to mature and reach release quality and status. These RAIDZ expansion and Fast Dedup features will be integrated with TrueNAS then. Early availability via Nightlies and BETA software is expected in mid-2024 for TrueNAS SCALE.

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