Damien Le Moal and Naohiro Aota led a combined storage and filesystem session at the 2019 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit (LSFMM) on filesystem work that has been done for zoned block devices. These devices have multiple zones with different characteristics; usually there are zones that can only be written in sequential order as well as conventional zones that can be written in random order. The genesis of zoned block devices is shingled magnetic recording (SMR) devices, which were created to increase the capacity of hard disks, but at the cost of some flexibility.
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Zoned block devices are quite different than the block devices most people are used to. The...Zoned block devices are quite different than the block devices most people are used to. The concept came from shingled magnetic recording (SMR) devices, which allow much higher density storage, but that extra capacity comes with a price: less flexibility. Zoned devices have regions (zones) that can only be written sequentially; there is no random access for writes to those zones. Linux already supports these devices, and filesystems are adding support as well, but some applications may want a simpler, more straightforward interface; that's what a new filesystem, zonefs, is targeting.