Open Storage

A few months ago i´ve speculated about the death of high end storage. At the end, all storage boxes from NetApp, EMC, HDS, HP, Sun et. al.are just custom build-computers with a custom build operating system (and to a part not even that) with a bulkload of harddisks connected to it. There is not really a technological barrier, that keeps other companies out of the market. The biggest problem to build commodity storage boxes out of comodity components was the problem of having an operating system for it. Stable and with all needed features (beginning with a good filesytem and ending with the target modes for various interconnect technologies). And more important: This software has to be non-proprietary. Albeit some vendors uses a Unix derivate under the hood, the storage part is mostly closed down. Okay, yesterday Sun announced the Open Storage Platform. When you look at Opensolaris you already find several components of a storage os. So it´s quite logical to use Opensolaris as the basis for an open storage system. The basic idea of Open Storage is simple: OpenStorage = commodity industry standard hardware + OpenSolaris. When you can combine standard hardware with a standard operating system, you can build even high end storage system with standard components thus building them to a price point much lower than today. As i´ve speculated in my older article: The problems of technology commodization will hit the vendors of high storage soon. When it´s not Opensolaris, it will be one of the other operating systems. But it´s inevitable. Well, i strongly believe, that Sun has a headstart because of all components in Opensolaris like ZFS, COMSTAR, FMA and so on. Time will tell.