Solaris ZFS Administration Guide

Using Files in a ZFS Storage Pool

ZFS also allows you to use UFS files as virtual devices in your storage pool. This feature is aimed primarily at testing and enabling simple experimentation, not for production use. The reason is that any use of files relies on the underlying file system for consistency. If you create a ZFS pool backed by files on a UFS file system, then you are implicitly relying on UFS to guarantee correctness and synchronous semantics.

However, files can be quite useful when you are first trying out ZFS or experimenting with more complicated layouts when not enough physical devices are present. All files must be specified as complete paths and must be at least 64 Mbytes in size.