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The Sun Also Sets

Just as 62% of Sun's shareholders last week approved Oracle's
takeover offer multiple stories crossed my desk, OK my screen, relating to the
combination of data deduplication technology and Sun's ZFS file system.  Add in speculation about Oracle's plans for
Sun's various product lines and what Larry Ellison will do when he controls two
unrelated storage (Sun and Pillar) companies and Sun seems to be on everyone's

Just as PC clone upstart's acquisition of DEC showed that
the minicomputer era was really and truly over Sun's demise indicates the end
of the proprietary processor/OS model even if that OS is a Unix variant. While
I'm too old, and hopefully too wise, to predict the end of the mainframe I'm
pretty sure that Intel and AMD's merchant x86 processors, and of course
scale-out architectures, have made the high performance midrange system a relic
of the 20th century.

We first heard about the combination of ZFS and
deduplication last September when Rhode Island startup GreenBytes started
showing off their Cypress integrated storage system, based on SUN's X4540
hardware as well as OpenSolaris, that used their ZFS+ file system that added
deduplication and compression to the open source ZFS.

Given ZFS's similarity to NetApp's WAFL, which has resulted
in its own set of litigation, and how cleanly NetApp added basic deduplication to
WAFL the combination of ZFS and deduplication has a lot of potential. When you
think about the hybrid storage model that allows ZFS based systems to use large
quantities of relatively low cost MLC flash memory as a read cache and deduplication
together applications like VDI/VMware View hosting start to look very

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