Sun Microsystems (Quote) today said it has donated
data-storage technologies to the OpenSolaris community, a move that will
allow developers to run the software on storage arrays from Sun competitors
IBM, HP and Dell.
The systems vendor is donating management features from Solaris ZFS, the
dynamic file system in the Solaris 10 operating system that makes it easier
for storage administrators to manage corporate files such as e-mail,
spreadsheets, PDFs and images.
Sun will offer the ZFS Clone Promotion, which allows storage users to turn a
clone back into the active file system, and the Recursive Snapshots feature,
which creates snapshots for descendent file systems.
Other contributed features include Double Parity RAIDZ, which ensures that
no data will be lost if up to two storage devices fail, and Hot Spares for
ZFS Storage Pool Devices, which are basically data protection disks that can
replace failed devices.
Sun will also donate point-in-time copy and remote-mirror data services to
allow volumes and their snapshots to be replicated between servers from
different vendors; NFS v4.1 for parallel access to files distributed among
multiple servers; and an iSCSI device drivers to let the SCSI protocol work over
Sun also has plans to open source technologies from its StorageTek assets
later this year. These will include Sun StorageTek QFS shared file system,
Sun StorageTek Storage Archive Manager, Sun’s kernel-based CIFS server and
Sun StorageTek 5800 client interfaces and server.
Nigel Dessau, senior vice president of storage marketing and business
operations at Sun, said Sun donated the file system and copying services
because storage is still largely controlled by proprietary operating systems
and expensive upgrades, with customers having solutions dictated to them by
“We’ve seen a wave of general purpose and open source sweep through the
systems business in the last five or 10 years,” Dessau said. “It’s really
changed the economics forever… but we’ve not seen that go through
the storage world yet.”
Dessau said the new storage community on
OpenSolaris.org includes developers adding data management tools and
customizing the storage stack for new applications and platforms, as well as
system admins installing Solaris technology in data centers.
Donating storage technologies is a continuation of Sun’s plan to open source
its software portfolio through the OpenSolaris community, which launched
in January 2005.