I like the idea of a Free NAS solution, especially for the SMB market. Buy some cheap drives, put free software on a cheap server, and invest the money for corporate growth! I know that logic makes sense for my dentist, and my buddies with small businesses around the country. They love these projects. Storage commoditization is coming, are you ready? Here are some interesting projects to keep an eye on.
First is a project that might help demonstrate that all storage devices don’t have to be proprietary. The openfiler efforts are quite fascinating and I wonder if they had any reason to name it the way they did?
If you are a systems administrator looking for a way to take control of your storage resources without having to pull off the modern equivalent of The Great Train Robbery in order to afford it, Openfiler is the answer to your prayers. Openfiler is a serious tool meant for professional systems administrators with a keen desire for the ability manage network storage in an efficient and cost-effective manner.
Second is the project for a Free NAS solution based on Free BSD. I seem to remember hearing that Network Appliance Corporation’s Dave Hitz started with a FreeBSD kernal when they started working on their software after they left Auspex.
Everything old is new again!
By the way Dave Hitz wrote to me a while ago, but I mis-moderated I guess – here are his comments. Posted by Dave Hitz to Zerowait High Availability at 5/21/2006 08:16:55 PM
People who are interested in verifying these TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) claims might be interested in looking at the detailed report from Mercer, which is the management consulting company that did the study for us. (See http://www.netapp.com/library/ar/ar1038.pdf)
They identified three categories of cost:
(1) Product Acquisition & Ongoing Vendor Costs (hardware, software, implementation, training, service, support)
(2) Internal Operational Costs (labor, facilities, environmental)
(3) Quantifiable Business Cost of Downtime
So it looks like they were trying to be pretty thorough when it comes to capturing all the costs you have.
In their summary of why NetApp is lower, they point to several factors. For the same size DB, people tend to use less storage with NetApp, because of features like snapshots and cloning. NetApp tends to take fewer people to manage. And snapshots let you recover from errors faster.
Posted by Dave Hitz to Zerowait High Availability at 5/21/2006 08:16:55 PM