OpenZFS 2.1 is out—let’s talk about its brand-new dRAID vdevs

OpenZFS added distributed RAID topologies to its toolkit with today's 2.1.0 release.

Enlarge / OpenZFS added distributed RAID topologies to its toolkit with today’s 2.1.0 release. (credit: Aurich Lawson)

Friday afternoon, the OpenZFS project released version 2.1.0 of our perennial favorite “it’s complicated but it’s worth it” filesystem. The new release is compatible with FreeBSD 12.2-RELEASE and up, and Linux kernels 3.10-5.13. This release offers several general performance improvements, as well as a few entirely new features—mostly targeting enterprise and other extremely advanced use cases.

Today, we’re going to focus on arguably the biggest feature OpenZFS 2.1.0 adds—the dRAID vdev topology. dRAID has been under active development since at least 2015, and reached beta status when merged into OpenZFS master in November 2020. Since then, it’s been heavily tested in several major OpenZFS development shops—meaning today’s release is “new” to production status, not “new” as in untested.

Distributed RAID (dRAID) overview

If you already thought ZFS topology was a complex topic, get ready to have your mind blown. Distributed RAID (dRAID) is an entirely new vdev topology we first encountered in a presentation at the 2016 OpenZFS Dev Summit.

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