Jeff Bonwick in 2010

Jeff Bonwick invented and led development of the ZFS file system,[1] which was used in Oracle Corporation's ZFS storage products as well as startups including Nexenta, Delphix, Joyent, and Datto, Inc.[2][3] Bonwick is also the inventor of slab allocation,[4] which is used in many operating systems including MacOS and Linux, and the LZJB compression algorithm.

His roles included Sun Fellow,[5][6] Sun Storage CTO,[7] and Oracle vice president.[8]


In 2010 Bonwick co-founded a small company called DSSD with Mike Shapiro and Bill Moore, and became chief technical officer.[9] He co-invented DSSD's system hardware architecture and software. He developed DSSD's whole-system simulator, which enabled the team to explore possible hardware topologies and software algorithms.[10] DSSD was acquired by EMC Corporation in 2014,[11] which then became part of Dell Technologies in 2016. By the end of 2016, Bill Moore had left the company, while Bonwick remained as CTO.[12] The DSSD product, called D5, was cancelled in March 2017.[13]


Bonwick invented LZJB, a lossless data compression algorithm to compress crash dumps and data in ZFS. The software is CDDL license licensed. It includes a number of improvements to the LZRW1 algorithm, a member of the Lempel–Ziv family of compression algorithms.[14] The name LZJB is derived from its parent algorithm and its creator — Lempel Ziv Jeff Bonwick.


  1. ^ Stanik, John (September–October 2007). "A Conversation with Jeff Bonwick and Bill Moore". ACM Queue. 5 (6). Association for Computing Machinery: 13–19. doi:10.1145/1317394.1317400.
  2. ^ "The Birth of ZFS". OpenZFS. Retrieved October 21, 2015.
  3. ^ "Sun's ZFS Creator to Quit Oracle and Join Startup". eWeek. Retrieved September 29, 2010.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ The story behind the slab allocator, Bonwick blog, Sun Microsystems, [1]
  5. ^ "Sun Storage Guru Bonwick Named 14th Sun Fellow". Oracle. Oracle Blog. Archived from the original on 23 September 2022. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  6. ^ "Sun Engineer Jeff Bonwick is New Sun Fellow". Vol. 112, no. 4. System News, Inc. 26 June 2007. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  7. ^ Stammers, Tim. "Q&A: Jeff Bonwick, Sun's Storage CTO and Bill Moore, ZFS co-designer". Net.Work. TechNews. Archived from the original on 23 September 2022. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  8. ^ "And now, page 2".
  9. ^ Stacey Higginbotham (April 4, 2013). "Meet DSSD, Andy Bechtolsheim's secret chip startup for big data". Giga Om. Retrieved March 4, 2017.
  10. ^ Harris, Robin. "What is DSSD Building?". StorageMojo. TechnoQWAN LLC. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  11. ^ Sephen Lawson (May 5, 2014). "EMC acquires flash storage startup DSSD". Computer World. Retrieved March 4, 2017.
  12. ^ Chris Mellor (December 9, 2016). "DSSD President quits Dell EMC". The Register. Retrieved March 4, 2017.
  13. ^ Chris Mellor (March 2, 2017). "Dell kills off standalone DSSD D5, scatters remains into other gear: Blueprints and staff shifted to different projects after EMC spent '$1bn' on tech". The Register. Retrieved March 4, 2017.
  14. ^ Y. Rathore, M. Ahirwar, R. Pandey (2013). "A Brief Study of Data Compression Algorithms". Journal of Computer Science IJCSIS. 11 (10): 90.((cite journal)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)