Smoothwall Firewall project

Sunday 15 March 2009

Sun's open source storage solutions - loving aliteration

I attended the London OpenSolaris users group a few weeks ago and the main topic was their moves to include OpenSolaris into there new SAN storage solutions and how this would be open source and community driven. This appeals as a positively gauranteed future proofing of your storage, which for Enterprises and Governments can only be an exceptionally good thing. You are not tying your "Crown Jewels", the life blood of your organisation, to the proprietary whims of the current storage suppliers.

This I found very interesting, as the massive amount of money that certain large storage vendors extract from their entrapped customers can be truely eye watering, EMC2 and NetApp take a bow now.

It also started me to wonder about the future direction of OpenSolaris , as it will obviously suit some customers to continue their server solutions with Solaris rather than Linux, but it will also now be driven by the requirements to support Sun's SAN/NAS hardware products. I think the chances of it ever becoming a serious desktop operating system are shrinking into the distance, I know I have tried it.

Sun are certainly leveraging their ZFS and Dtrace in this new arena, and I have to say with some considerably success, if the figures being thrown around at the meeting were anything to go by. Dtrace is being used extensively with the storage network management tools, which are also open source and free with the product, and can offer a level of visibilty not seen on other products.This is a massive cost saving for all.

I know the buzz in the storage world at the moment is Flash Disk storage, and how this can be included in your storage hierarchy to improve performance and flexibility. I can see that Sun have this embedded into their latest offerings, and though we are at the early stages of this, it is obvious to me that this is the future direction of storage networks. This is not simply for performance , though that is compelling enough, it is for the datacentre space you will save and the amount of energy you will save. These last two points add up to some serious money savings going forward, and in these hard economic times that can't be ignored.

I think that having worked in this area for many years, that these new products from Sun truely are original and extremely useful, and you would be silly not to have them on your shortlist if you are looking for new/extra storage.

The one caveat is that currently they don't offer firbre channel until the end of this year, but with iSCSI performance I don't see this as a massive issue, but it could be for some.

If you are a Linux house you might worry about how this works within your infrastructure, but as the OpenSolaris can be as visible or invisible as you like, I see this as a benefit over other vendors proprietary offerings.

Go and have a look for yourself, and see what you think.

Suns Open Source Storage

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