Eyes Wide Open

Well this week really has been a case of eyes wide open, either the roller coast ride of the Dow or Nasdaq or the amazing IPO of VMware will do it. However, I'd argue that in these cases "eyes wide open" simply reflects the fixed gazed observer in us.

Instead, I'd argue that "eyes wide open" correctly reflects the recent Sun and IBM agreement,"IBM Expands Support for the Solaris OS on x86 Systems". In this scenario, I'd argue we are not fixed gazed observers but serious players making their moves.

Today we are releasing onto OpenSolaris, Open HA Clusters Community (OHAC), the source code for the IBM WebSphere MQ and IBM WebSphere Message Broker agents. Within Solaris Cluster and OHAC we take these IBM products seriously, ensuring high availability support for WebSphere MQ V6.0 and WebSphere Message Broker V6.0 on Solaris 10 SPARC and Solaris 10 x86-64, also within Solaris Containers.

I think it's important to try and demonstrate the purpose of OHAC. As a relatively new community, within OHAC we have already endorsed developing an agent for IBM Informix v11, please see the HA-Informix project. Once developed it is our intention to putback HA-Informix into Solaris Cluster, thereby ensuring high availability support for IBM Infomix v11 on Solaris 10 SPARC and Solaris 10 x86-64, also within Solaris Containers.

While I'm here, I also think it's worthwhile to briefly outline the steps to propose a project to the OHAC community.

1. Anyone can propose a project to the forum. Here you simply need to outline your proposal. Please see a recent proposal for an example that proposes HA-Xen.

2. The proposal then gets reviewed by anyone that's interested, but perhaps more importantly by the HA-Cluster's core contributors. Here those people will vote, either positively (+1), negatively (-1) or by abstaining (+/- 0). Please see Article VIII for the gory details although please note a consensus must be reached for the proposal to be approved.

3. If approved, you then need to submit your proposal to the OpenSolaris Governing Board (OGB). Please see an example used by the HA-Informix proposal.

4. The OGB then set you up with a project page from which you can store your design docs and general project details etc. As the sponsor of the project you will then be the project leader. Again, please look here for an example.

The next steps are then to interact with the community on the design or any open questions, develop the agent code and submit a code review, although we're in the process of providing you with a checklist of things to do.

Once all this is done, one of the HA-Cluster's core contributors will putback your code into the Open HA Cluster (OHAC) gate. Once it's there we then have the "small" task of getting it putback into Solaris Cluster. This process is not yet open and as such an internal SC committee reviews new features to be included within SC. Nevertheless, by this time most of the hard work has been done and if we believe that "the more supported agents we have then the more appealing SC is to customers" then putback into SC is just be a formality.

Finally, within Solaris Cluster we're focused on virtualization. This means working to provide solutions that use Solaris Containers (b.t.w did you know that lx type branded zones are now supported in "failover" Solaris Containers, please check out SC 3.1 patch 120590-05 on sunsolve and soon available in SC 3.2 although this is a whole new blog topic.) Other virtualization areas we're focused on in Solaris Cluster address LDOMS, VMware and Xen, although these are also further blog topics.

In fact we've recently refreshed all of our code which includes amongst many, the putback to support lx type branded zones in the failover HA-Zones agent. We believe addressing our development through OpenSolaris allows us to ensure that whatever is developed is well thought out, meets the need and ultimately gets supported in Solaris.

I'd argue most people would agree with Larry Ellison's recent quote, "Open source is not something to be feared. Open source is something to be explained. Open source wins not because it's open and not because it's free. Open source wins only when it's better."

Sounds good to me.

Neil Garthwaite
Solaris Cluster Engineering


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