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Free trade: Sun cooks up open-source storage donation

Zetabyte File System code provided first to OpenSolaris storage community

By Brian Fonseca
April 10, 2007 12:00 PM ET

Looking to help users to more easily build low-cost storage options for Solaris-based systems from multiple vendors, Sun Microsystems Inc. today announced plans to donate pieces of its storage application software and hardware technology to the OpenSolaris open-source developer community.

Sun said the initiative will be rolled out over the next few months, offering incremental source code additions from Sun's storage product line, its StorageTek portfolio and other storage-related technologies to the open-source storage community at, noted Nigel Dessau, senior vice president of marketing for Sun.

According to David Young, CEO of Joyent Inc. and a member of the OpenSolaris community, the donated storage source code and technology can help developers of storage products significantly enhance their own code and perform more "automation" with fewer resources.

"We don't think [our needs] are much different than most users of storage solutions. We want the price per gigabyte to go down and the software to manage storage to the more generic rather than a proprietary to the device/vendor," said Young. "These things remove management costs."

Joyent, based in San Anselmo, Calif., provides on-demand computer software and storage solutions for Ruby-on-Rails, an open-source Web framework. The organization runs the services on OpenSolaris, Sun Fire X4100, X4200, X4500, T1000 and T2000 servers, as well as a Sun Java System Directory Server, noted Young.

With the release of the storage technology source code to the developer community, Dessau said, users should be able to drastically cut costs by having the flexibility to build and accelerate storage application development rather than relying on prepackaged offerings for Solaris-based systems.

Sun, IBM, Hewlett-Packard Co., Dell Inc. and other computer makers all build systems that run Solaris.

The first wave of storage technology already donated by Sun to includes parts of the Solaris Zetabyte File System, the 128-bit file system in Solaris 10, which provides a virtual storage pool decoupling the file system from physical storage to improve storage device efficiency. The company has also provided Network File System (NFS) v4.1 (also called parallel NFS), YANFS (formerly called WebNFS) code along with selected code from Sun partner vendors to
Over the rest of the year, members of the OpenSolaris community can expect to see Sun open source its Sun StorageTek QFS shared file system, Sun's kernel-based CIFS server, Sun StorageTek Storage Archive Manager, Sun StorageTek 5800 client interfaces and simulator/server and other storage related components, the company said.

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