Ashlee Vance about Fishworks

Ashlee Vance blogs at his new employer about our FISHworks concept. I really think, there is a common misunderstanding about FISHworks. Most people still doesn´t get the idea behind FISHworks. Ashlee writes, that we are too secret about the stuff and that we didn´t show off something. At first - Fishwork isn´t a filer. Period. It´s an important part of the filer project. Fishwork is more like a way to build appliances, it´s a way to make appliances out of Solaris.
In regard of the file software: There are no secrets about the filer software. Well … you can even get the source code of the stuff. Just go to and all the fine thing we do will find their way into the appliance. There is an lively commmunity around storage at the Opensolaris website. When you look at the storage software stack of solaris you will see, that Sun has pretty much all a storage system needs and offers even more.

Technically speaking you could build the Sun filer today. As the features of Opensolaris evolve and stabilize, they will find their way into the filer. So … no secrets there. But as most people doesn´t like command lines and want fully integrated appliances with GUIs and management interfaces, we started a project to build such appliances from. Basically this is the essential thought behind FISHworks. Regarding to the claims of this NetApp Vice President. Of course NFS or CIFS is nothing new, but at first his filers are just servers in a shiny casing at a hefty price point. NetApp will experience the same with their storage, as we did with our servers. If we don´t do it, others will do it . But we will not make the mistakes we did with NFS twice. At second: Essentially a filer at Sun could be an M9000 with hordes of 9990V or just a X2250 dual socket xeon server. From 2 threads to 512 threads and from two disks to multiples of 1152 disks. The operating system and the GUI stays the same. This isn´t something NetApp can do. At third to reply to Mr. Olds (why do the media always ask this guy, sometimes i believe they just ask him to act as an hired gun, when you need something negative for Sun) i don´t believe, that IBM or HP could do this as easy as Sun. They simply don´t have the operating system for that. Kudos to the accomplishments of Linux, but this operating system isn´t ready for enterprise usage as a storage server (i don´t talk about a small soho fileserver). Multipathing in Linux is just a pain, no filesystem with equivalent features to ZFS (no L2ARC, no seperated ZIL, no ensured data validity, no unlimited snapshots etc). I´m sure Linux will be there within a few years … but this gives us a nice advantage in the market .