There’s been a bit of confusion recently about FlexRAID and NZFS. Brahim, the main developer, is aware and tried to explain the differences:
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, provides data protection and data pooling over existing file systems It does that by overlaying its own lightweight and unifying filesystem on top of any file system that the user’s OS can operate over.
NZFS (“Not ZFS”) borrows a number of concepts from ZFS and its RAID suite. NZFS has two modes of operation: RAID under file system and RAID within file system.
In essence, FlexRAID will provide:
- RAID under filesystem (NZFS)
- RAID within filesystem (NZFS)
- RAID over filesystem (RAID-F)
The current FlexRAID implementation of storage pooling has several key advantages over everything else on the market or planned including:
- Better power saving features (only the disk where the data resides needs to be active)
- Support for drives with existing data (FlexRAID never format any drive)
- A drive taken from a FlexRAID pool is fully readable outside of the pool and on any other computer
- Snapshot RAID when real-time parity synchronization is not necessary
- Real-time RAID
- Ability to restore specific files instead of the whole disk
- Support for network drives in the storage pool
- Disk spanning for better protection level and utilization
- Multiple RAID engines including support for RAID∞
NZFS takes a different approach and provides pooling below the filesystem and each NZFS storage pool will need to be formatted with your preferred filesystem be it NTFS, FAT, EXT, etc.
It’s called NZFS because it is not ZFS but will bring many of the ZFS features such as checksum, ZIL, de-dup, copy-on-write, etc. to both Windows and Linux. And, it will be powered by the FlexRAID’s RAID∞ engine.