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Linux-Powered Enterprise Storage: Openfiler - page 2

High-Powered Open Source Storage

  • June 24, 2009
  • By Jennifer Schiff

Indeed, open source has taken off to such an extent that even traditional, proprietary storage vendors are taking a serious look, and some are even developing their own open source solutions.

"If you look at some of the guys who are doing storage right now, even the proprietary guys, you will find that the vast majority of them are actually using Linux as the base for their storage offerings," he said. "And the reason they're doing that is because there is all this stuff in place, based on the Linux kernel, and these big name vendors - IBM, NEC, Oracle with its BTRFS file system, Sun Microsystems with OpenSolaris - have a vested interest in making sure that their products continue to work in those enterprises. So they've completely changed their philosophy.

"They're, like, if you can't beat them, then join them."

The big difference between the big-name vendors' network storage operating systems and Openfiler? The price. Would you rather spend $30,000 to get the functionality you need, or would you rather spend a tenth as much, or less, with full support? asked Fakunle.

Speaking of support, while it costs users nothing to download Openfiler software, support comes with a price tag, albeit a reasonable one. For small and mid-sized businesses, the per node support subscription fee is approximately $1,100 per year. For enterprise support subscriptions, which include high availability and block replication support, the annual fee is approximately $2,550 per node for a single-node configuration, or $5,950 for a two-node clustered configuration. For additional information on Openfiler support, visit openfiler.com/products/support-comparison.

Coming Soon: Open Source for the Cloud

Recently, in an effort to reach more customers, Openfiler has been working with LINBIT, another open source software vendor that does block-level replication, to develop a cloud computing solution.

According to Fakunle, the new solution will give users the ability "to not only do replication between two nodes within the enterprise, but actually store or export those blocks that are being replicated to a cloud computing environment, such as Amazon or any other cloud vendor who has a Linux offering."

So if an enterprise's local storage "happens to get kicked in the proverbial you know what, you'd be able to 'quickly and easily' restore your data," he said.

Openfiler is also "firming up" its iSCSI offering. "Right now, the iSCSI target software within Openfiler allows you to deploy your VMs and what have you and is compatible with earlier versions of Windows clustering on the client side," he said. "The new release of Openfiler for iSCSI is going to support persistent reservations, which is part of the SCSI-3 specification. And that will allow you to run Windows 2008 clusters with Openfiler. That brings Openfiler up to date with the offerings from the big guys."

Jennifer Lonoff Schiff writes about IT issues and is a regular contributor to EnterpriseStorageForum.com.

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Article courtesy of Enterprise Storage Forum

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