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Sun Bangs OpenSolaris Drum... Again

Paul Korzeniowski, August 20, 2008, 11:50 AM

The ability to seize early momentum can be the difference between success and failure. So less than four months after its announcement, Sun Microsystems is trying to drum up more support for its OpenSolaris Storage initiative, touting its growing membership, rising customer base, and increasing number of community projects.

During the last few years, Sun has been moving down the open storage path. In 2007, for example, the company published the source code on a number of its NAS technologies, including the ZFS file system and parallel NFS. In April 2008, Sun formally announced its OpenSolaris Storage initiative, opening up Solaris code related to iSCSI device drivers, QLogic Fibre Channel HBA drivers, and Java implementations of the RPC and NFS protocols, so third parties could enhance its solutions. In addition, new developer tools and expanded professional services were designed to make it simpler for third parties to deliver OpenSolaris Storage solutions.

The moves signaled a couple of changes for the vendor. Sun has been caught in the user movement away from proprietary products to open source solutions. Hardware had been commoditized, software had been commoditized, and we knew that storage would be next,” says Bob Porras, vice president, Solaris Data, Availability, Scalability & HPC Platforms at Sun.

Another change is that the new products have a decidedly small and medium-sized business focus. “If OpenSolaris is successful, it will not be Sun’s traditional enterprise customers who will drive that movement,” explains Stephanie Balaouras, a research analyst at Forrester Research.

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