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Who'll do a Red Hat on open-source storage?

Buy-and-build units just need a brand and a package

Storagebod Are we heading for a Linux moment in the storage world where an open-source "product" truly breaks out and causes the major vendors a headache?

I’ve had this conversation a few times recently with both vendors and end users - and the general feeling is that we are pretty close to it. What is needed is for someone to do a Red Hat: package up some of the open-source products, make them pretty and simple to use... and then give them away.

Of course, Nexenta have already done this rather successfully and if I was looking for a bog-standard traditional dual-head filer product, I’d seriously consider them against the traditional filers.

But great product that it is, it hardly breaks new ground - well, apart from price.

What I’m thinking is something which forces its way into the scalable space ... block, file and object. Ceph is probably the technology that is closest to this and although it is pretty simple to get going, it is still a bit of science project for most. I’m not sure I’d want to manage a Ceph environment at scale yet - I’d certainly be nervous about running heavy production workloads on it.

Integrating it into a traditional mixed data centre environment running Linux, Windows and a variety of virtualisation products would be a big challenge.

I’m looking at InkTank to do something but I’m not sure that they have the funding to push it to the level required.

Yet I think the storage market is ripe for this sort of disruption, especially in the object and "hyperscale" space - but the big vendors aren’t there quite yet.

Perhaps a big vendor will finally realise that it can take the open-source building blocks and use them as a weapon ... it may mean sacrificing some margin but they could guide the direction and gain some serious advantage. If I were already building commodity hardware, I’d be looking at building proper commodity storage. ®

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