OpenSolaris ported to ARM chips
ZFS for netbooks?
Sun Microsystems' OpenSolaris project has quietly announced the operating system that just added support for Sparc has now been ported to ARM - commonly used in embedded devices, handhelds and, increasingly, netbooks.
It is perhaps an indication of how just stressful things are at Sun these days, with the $5.6bn acquisition by Oracle hanging over it combined with what's shaping up as terrible fiscal fourth-quarter results coming ahead of the crucial July 16 vote by shareholders on the Oracle deal, that no one at Sun or OpenSolaris mentioned the ARM port was coming when announcing OpenSolaris 2009.06 last week.
The leader for the ARM port of OpenSolaris is William Kucharski, who leads the PowerPC and container development efforts for Solaris and who is also the leader of the port to IBM's System z mainframes.
IBM and Sun made some noise about this mainframe port last November when IBM finally and officially sanctioned the deployment of OpenSolaris on mainframe engines configured originally to run Linux. Since then, this Sirius variant of OpenSolaris has gone about as far as the Polaris port for Power iron: just this side of nowhere.
Late last year, Sun announced that OpenSolaris was supported on Intel's Atom processors.
It is hard to imagine there is a lot of room for OpenSolaris on the kinds of devices served bv Atom-based processors, a market where Linux is finding a home and Windows could extend its existing PC hegemony. Linux is being customized by many different projects - there's Google's Android and Intel's Moblin for netbooks and possibly for so-called "smartbooks" - plus the question of whether Microsoft will port the Windows client operating system commonly found on laptops and desktops to ARM. Windows Mobile already runs on ARM-based phones.
Then again, a good device can drive the operating systems’ sale. Look at the iPhone. End users and consumers buying these new classes of computers don't really care what the operating system is, even if the vendor does. And that means OpenSolaris might have a better chance on netbooks and smartbooks and other devices than it does on the desktop.
Of course, this would have to be true by definition, since OpenSolaris has very little chance on desktops outside of the Solaris developer community.
One problem with OpenSolaris on ARM-based machines is the relative lack of applications. OpenSolaris 2009.06 has 1,700 applications, as this review of the operating system at Ars Technica correctly pointed out, a lot lower than the 26,000 packages in the Ubuntu repository, for example.
While the OpenSolaris repository has most of what developers need to create code as part of their day jobs or hobbies, ARM-based machines are all about end-user applications.
The OpenSolaris ARM port, as you can see from the updated OpenSolaris 2008.05 release notes, is actually based on the initial 2008.05 Project Indiana release of OpenSolaris, which is now two releases behind.
The ARM port is specifically for NEC's NaviEngine 1 multicore system-on-chip ARM processor and a reference board outlined in the release notes. There’s no word on when the ARM port will catch up and be part of the standard releases, or when other ARM chips and products will get support. ®
spreader of fud still can't spell
matt bryant ~ if they go with Slowaris then they have all the fun of a pretend-open license and the possibility of NetApp slapping a lawsuit on them if they use ZFS.
sounds like FUD again, from the unemployed poster who claimed to not post FUD
by the way, you spelled Solaris incorrectly matt - but then again, you could not spell Oracle's Linux product correctly, either!
HA HA HA!
matt bryant ~ Slowaris and ZFS will work for the hobbyist community, especially the Sunshienrs, but that won't make it a commercial success.
more FUD from the guy who can't spell - can't even spell spell his famous coined word "sunshiners" correctly in his own posting!
what a riot!
OpenSlowaris ZFS NAS?
Whilst it might sound good, the reality is it would be trapped between two existing markets. On the low end we have a plethora of Linux-based NAS devices, from single disk home-NAS to multi-disk SOHO products all with embedded Linux on ARM or similar chips, and all available at a cheap price. As well as serving up NAS, many of these devices are plug-and-play and also add value by providing embedded print servers (and with a much larger range of print drivers than Slowaris). Their makers can take advantage of the open nature of real Linux, whereas if they go with Slowaris then they have all the fun of a pretend-open license and the possibility of NetApp slapping a lawsuit on them if they use ZFS. Until OpenSlowaris adopts a real open licence and the WAFL courtcase is resolved I can't see much use in the low end.
If you look higher up the chain then you meet a large array (pun unintended) or commercial multi-disk NAS devices which come from reputable companies with established channels and sound support services. Here Slowaris and ZFS do stand a chance as licencing costs can be hidden away in support charges. Problem here is there is already not just a host of Linux-based devices, but cheap Windows Storage Server offerings whch don't require the Slowaris skills most SOHOs don't have. At this level the majority of offerings have simple, polished point-and-click GUIs. And again, NetApp is keen to protect their ownership of the commercial NAS market and will more than likely clobber any vendor going to market with a product with ZFS. Probably the only chance for a real, commercial NAS is Oracle badging the current Sun storage kit, as Oracle may have the will to go toe-to-toe with NetApp, but that also makes it less likely for another vendor to pick it up as they then have to compete with Oracle.
The problems for ZFS are not largely technical, more legal. Until the purchase of Sun goes through, Larry can't make a real move on clearing up the ZFS/WAFL courtcase. Until the purchase goes through, the courtcase is likely to remain stalled. And with a fair few people lining up in attempts to block the purchase (Sun shareholders as well as rival companies), it looks like the whole deal may get spun out for a while longer. By the time it all gets cleared up - if it all goes Larry's way - it may be several years down the road, and by then tools like BTRFS will have gained market and mind share.
Slowaris and ZFS will work for the hobbyist community, especially the Sunshienrs, but that won't make it a commercial success.
@TeeCee, back to the kindergarten!
In case you ever bought a "thing" from a store, after you buy it you refer to it as "The Store's thing" or "My thing"?
Virtual BOX is a Sun product and every Sun shareholder owns a piece of it! Get over it!