OpenZFS is a new community founded around open-source, cross-platform ZFS projects.
ZFS is arguably the world’s most advanced file-system and has been in active development for over a decade. It is the popular and highly-advanced 128-bit file-system with enhanced error detection and correction capabilities designed for Solaris during the Sun Microsystems days.
Different projects have continued developing ZFS, such as illumos, FreeBSD and Oracle, but to avoid further fragmentation a number of companies and communities with an interest in ZFS have joined forces and set up OpenZFS.
Prior to the formation of OpenZFS there was little or no co-ordination  between the different ZFS related projects and the implementations on different operating system, but OpenZFS is to change that and to promote collaboration between cross-project developers and stakeholders.
The high-level goals of OpenZFS are:
- to raise awareness of the quality, utility, and availability of open source implementations of ZFS
- to encourage open communication about ongoing efforts to improve open source ZFS
- to ensure consistent reliability, functionality, and performance of all distributions of ZFS.
OpenZFS has been founded by members of the Linux, FreeBSD, Mac OS X, and illumos communities, including Matt Ahrens, one of the two original authors of ZFS.
The OpenZFS community brings together over a hundred software developers and companies with the aim to improve and further develop ZFS. Some well known companies taking part are iXsystem, HybridCluster, Nexenta and PogoLinux.
The notion “open” in OpenZFS should to be stressed. Oracle has further developed ZFS (e.g. v35) but hasn’t made the code changes public, but the OpenZFS project will be open, share and encourage co-operation.
“The goals of the project are to raise awareness, encourage open communication and to ensure consistent reliability, functionality and performance across multiple platforms.”
This is what Justin Gibbs, president of the FreeBSD Foundation, had to say:
This is a cross-platform effort to ensure the continued evolution of the ZFS file system. For developers and users of FreeBSD, the formation of OpenZFS clarifies the future of ZFS support for our platform. The FreeBSD project is now an equal partner in defining the course for ZFS. OpenZFS combines the man power of the FreeBSD, Illumos, Linux, and MacOS communities to provide a level of test coverage, feature development, documentation, and support that wasn’t possible with our separate efforts. Most importantly, OpenZFS will improve platform interoperability and reduce fragmentation of ZFS implementations. Today is an exciting day for ZFS and the FreeBSD platform. I encourage you to browse http://www.open-zfs.org and to get involved. You are officially invited to help make the future of OpenZFS!
Matt Ahrens will co-present with Martin Matuska a presentation on OpenZFS at the upcoming EuroBSDCon 2013: OpenZFS: Upcoming Features and Performance Enhancements with Illumos and FreeBSD joining Forces.
All in all, this is a very welcome development in the future of ZFS.
 With the exception of the illumos – FreeBSD co-operation.