During the testing of Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server the much hyped file system ZFS did make a brief appearance, as it did with Mac OS X Leopard client and server. Neither of these operating systems actually shipped with ZFS read or writing capabilities this is partly due to a licensing issue says data storage expert Robin Harris.

Sun prefers the CDDL and may have asked for some extra protections, including Appleā€™s promise not seek damages should Sun lose the ZFS patent infringement suits initiated by NetApp, that caused Apple to reconsider the business risk of ZFS.

Harris goes onto explain that Sun could release ZFS under a GNU General Public License (GPL) but that would allow its conclusion in other environments, Harris continues saying that Oracle’s imminent acquisition of Sun could bring the ZFS licensing issues to light again.