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I use ZFS and love it. I know that BtrFS also supports checksumming. I've been told that checksumming is available in Windows 2008, but I've been unable to verify this.

Are there checksumming filesystems besides ZFS and BtrFS on any platform, especially Windows?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Windows is somewhat famous for having one and only one filesystem, NTFS. I also have been unable to dig out anything that suggests NTFS has checksumming. The closest I've come is a document describing the checksum protecting the GPT blocks on a dynamic disk. The "What's New in 2008" doc doesn't show anything like that for NTFS (link).

EXT4 uses journal checksumming, but not data checksumming.

GPFS also does journal checksumming.

The idea is new enough it isn't in a lot of file-systems yet. Btrfs is still 'experimental' in Linux, and ext4 is recently out of that state.

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I guess there's NILFS in Linux too. –  Bob Oct 2 '10 at 2:07
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Some ZFS-like features can also be had with other file systems by introducing a logical volume manager to create virtual devices. Logical volume managment on windows is referred to as dynamic disks and volumes. RAID-0, RAID-1 and RAID-5 modes are supported.

When you heard that "checksumming is supported" on windows, it probably referred to the fault tolerance of RAID-1 and RAID-5. However in reality these modes only protect against easily detectable device failures (disk missing, read errors, file system corrupted...). Checksumming all data is not supported so subtle data corruption can go undetected.

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might i also suggest that providing ZFS via iSCSI or NFS to a windows server is also a method of gaining the benefits of ZFS for a windows server? whilst not directly attached to the server, there are plenty of file-servers out there that use an iSCSI target out of a ZFS appliance as their primary storage.

for a small solution take a look at http://www.va-technologies.com/sbb

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The closest thing that windows does provide is SIS (single instance storage) - stores only 1 copy of a file - several steps away from what ZFS actually provides.

Paul

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