Report: Sun Open Storage

Matt Isaacs matthew.isaacs at
Tue Nov 18 14:09:17 UTC 2008

> Thank you for sharing this with us. It's sure inspirational, but
> getting to the dissapointments you shared further down the line, I
> think to myself. Isn't easier to just build your own storage
> applience? I mean, there are so many open source project which allow
> you to setup a NFS / SAMBA / SAN / etc server within a few minutes
> from the CD, onto any hardware.
> How more difficult will it be to use SSD (which is still very
> expensive) to run & manage the OS on the device, and then also have
> all the capabilities of this Sun device?
Unfortunately a lot of the neat functionality is related to ZFS.  SSD also
has a hidden pitfall--it tends to be quite bad at random writes (there is
work being done to improve this, see newest Intel SSD's).  This is why Sun
utilizes them in between CPU and disk array on the 7000.  By using it as a
caching device, writes are contigous and written in large contigous blocks,
thus sidestepping the issue of random write speed.

The ZFS funcationality aside, there are a lot open source projects that
provide similar functionality, even the web gui.  Ubuntu server, I think, is
on its way to there, lacking mostly the management gui, which is in the
works for a later release.
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