Lustre's future

I’ve written here in the past about this. I have concerns as we have multiple customers using Lustre, and the official roadmap for support/releases for Lustre is anything but assuring. Moreover, it completely forecloses upon independent appliance makers using Lustre without blessing from a competitive/engaged Oracle … it is left to the reader to decide whether this will or will not happen.
As I had noted before, this throws a wrench in the works of the smaller fry like Terascala. John at InsideHPC noted the same thing, and was somewhat more blunt in his analysis. His analysis, that the letter was effectively a coat of paint, seems to be something of a consensus. Terascala is ostensibly a competitor of ours, specifically w.r.t. our siCluster product which does GlusterFS, Lustre, and soon Ceph, FhGFS, and TwistedStorage.
Terascala’s issues are different from DDN’s, as the latter has hired a number of Lustre developers and doesn’t need much support from Oracle going forward. Terascala relies upon an open source and publicly supported Lustre, where they can report errors, and get assistance from Oracle on high priority problems. I am not bashing Terascala. I am pointing out that Oracle has largely indicated that it has foreclosed on this practice for non-Sun gear going forward.
That is, Oracle will no longer actively support Lustre on gear other than its own. Terascala’s business model fundamentally rested on Sun providing this support. This is why I thought that they will have issues going forward. I am sure they disagree, but Oracle put the writing on the wall on this … they intend to leverage Lustre to drive their business. Not Terascala’s. Or any other Lustre appliance vendor.
So how do we claim our business model is not affected? First, Lustre is an option on siCluster, we have others, so if we lose the ability to offer it going forward, it isn’t a great problem (not that this would occur, I’ll explain below). Second, we are not dependent upon Oracle/Sun for support.
How is this possible?

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ZFS on Linux?

It appears that this is in process … no, not simply the ZFS on FUSE, but a full fledged kernel subsystem.
This is interesting. ZFS is of course, the Sun file system which has had an altogether ridiculous amount of hype, while having a modest set of nice features. The Solaris and OpenSolaris was released under was not compatible with GPL, hence many people considered this OSino (Open Source in name only), as it was not legally possible to intermix the code between the largest GPL project (Linux) and the OpenSolaris code base. Likely anyone doing this would be on the wrong end of some legal action.
Which is why ZFS on FUSE was born. It provided an API that did not require the license admixture. FUSE generally works well … GlusterFS sits atop FUSE and works quite nicely (one of our favorite parallel file systems, and shipped by default on siCluster).
This development is important given the announced changes from Oracle, and the significant questions over the future of OpenSolaris. That is, if ZFS were confined to the Solaris platform, I don’t see it as increasing its market or mind share. I’d see that as a circling of wagons.

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The joy of VOIP

Our VOIP provider has some significant problems. A utility provider can’t make changes and then insist that we’ve changed something in our own network (we haven’t), as to the reason why the phones enter endless reboot cycles. Their firmware updates seem not to like traversing our router anymore. But we didn’t change our router. They … Read moreThe joy of VOIP

Taking our lumps and some of our partners lumps while we are at it

We had a recent event that badly irked a customer, and rightly so. It took far too long for us to be able to get a replacement part for them. I want to talk about this a little.
I won’t name the customer or partner, or the product.
The punchline for the customer was that they got their replacement part more than a month late. For an enterprise shop. This was IMO unacceptable.
The customer is pissed at us over this … I understand and accept this, but it annoys the hell out of me, as we are taking lumps for the partner who couldn’t deliver their RMA product. The customer didn’t see any of what happened behind the scenes. So we got to take their lumps for them. Since we included them in the solution, yeah, we deserve to share some of the lumps. That was a judgement failure on our part.

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This wouldn't surprise me if true …

Financial Times reports Google is restricting Windows deployments for security reasons.
We do still run windows, but mostly in VMs at this point. Frankly, this is one of the very few ways we know that we can be safe in using Windows. We can recover from the nearly inevitable viri/trojans quickly. In part by not letting Windows touch the silicon directly. We can bottle it up, put hard restrictions on it, and if it gets infected, revert very quickly to a previous non-infected variant.

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