The Wall Street Journal today has a short article on the Sun ZFS solution. We have some customers who have switched to the Sun Thumper solution and for their smaller storage applications they seem to like it. Other customers are working with home brewed ZFS on BSD solutions and finding a few places where it fits into their infrastructure.
With budgets tightening more customers are looking at ways to cut their storage acquisition and maintenance costs and the Sun solution seems to fit for a portion of these customers.
I think the following points from the article are the most interesting:
1) Sun Monday is introducing its latest family of hardware based on a concept it calls “open storage,” which avoids proprietary technology in favor of standard components and open-source software that can be modified by users. Sun says the “open” approach, among other things, makes its products less expensive and more flexible than competing offerings.
2) Sun’s storage hardware relies heavily on what it calls the Zettabyte file system, which is software that manages how data files are named and stored. By offering ZFS as a free open-source program, Sun hopes to build a community of companies and developers, such as exists for the open-source Linux operating system.
3) Sun earns revenue by selling services around it’s open-source software, which is free to download and use, as well as by selling related hardware.
Time will tell what the marketplace thinks of the solution. Based on customer comments that we have heard over the last year about ZFS, I think there is a market for a commodity based solution for enterprise storage.