Friday Jan 30, 2009

Come to the Storage Summit

It's on!

I've just spent some time updating the agenda. We've got a huge range of talks from Cloud Storage to IO monitoring in HPC environments, Crossbow, ZFS Cache Architecture.

So come along, bring your friends and well behaved pets and learn something new about Storage and OpenSolaris for free.

Friday Jan 02, 2009

Save The Date!

We're going to have another Storage Summit. The original was held prior to the SDC event in San Jose in September. We will do the second OpenSolaris Storage Summit prior to FAST on February 23, 2009. Hope to see you all there. If you have ideas or want to participate get in touch with me.

FAST '09

Tuesday Dec 09, 2008

Baltimore is not Paris

Recently I was in Baltimore for a few days for the PASIG [Preservation and Archiving Special Interest Group] conference. This is a conference that is on roughly every 6 months. I was fortunate to visit the Paris in November last year for the conference. Admittedly in Paris there was a metro strike so I was pretty much limited to hanging around the hotel. However, we were right next to the Eiffel Tower and it definitely looked pretty good at night. Most nights were spent helping debug the upcoming 1.1 release for Honeycomb though.

PASIG in Baltimore was pretty much a fly in and fly out for me. The plan had been to meet and discuss repository architectures. James Simon presented a proposal. Unfortunately I wasn't able to see his presentation, but after I arrived we did stay up till 2am discussing it and it's implications. There is a lot of interest in the future of Object Oriented research, there are a collection of folks from PASIG who are looking into where to go next. One of the things that came out of this was a desire to look more carefully at Celeste.

I spent a bunch of time talking to some of the Honeycomb early adopters about what their needs are. I also continued to learn more about about Fedora, DSpace, Eprints and now IRODs. It seems that you can teach an old kernel dog new tricks. I still have to work on being an old, crotchety Unix dude though.

Wednesday Dec 03, 2008

Keep Austin Weird!

A few weeks ago I was in Austin for SC08. There were a number of things going on. Prior to the main event Sun organised a HPC consortium at the Airport Hilton. We managed to get a trip out to TACC, although I had to film a bunch of the presentations which meant I didn't get to view the TACC setup.

There was also a SAMQFS BOF session associated with the HPC consortium. It was really interesting to see how enthusiastic the customer base is for SAMQ. Harriet gave an overview of SAMQ 5.0 and I gave a presentation of COMSTAR and iSCSI/iSER which provides essentially a storage transport layer for SAMQ 5.0. I also had to film the event. As it turns out the tape ran out in the middle of me speaking :-/ (which I didn't notice), so I won't have to subject you to yet more video of myself.

We also had a student event that we organised at the Karma Lounge. We had a bunch of students, live music, ipods, macbooks and the occasional beverage. Much fun was had by all. Deirdre did an awesome job organising the event.

It was then on to the main event, SC08. There was a lot going on here. I spent some time walking the vendor hall, it was massive. However, I unfortunately had work to do. Dominic and I were manning the Open Storage Bar. This sounds very cool, but it really is a pub with no beer. We'd set up a demo for SAMQ 5.0 using VMWare. However, there was a lot of talk about the Unified Storage appliance with demos too. Several other folks had the VMWare image running to demo the analytics. So I presented that and talked a lot about the Hybrid Storage Pool concept and flash in general.

SC08 kept going for the rest of the week, but I had to hit the road to PASIG in Baltimore, I'll put a post up soon about what was going on there.

Tuesday Dec 02, 2008

Open Storage in Education

A while back I gave a webinar talking about Open Storage to an education group. The replay is available

It's a fairly general overview of Open Storage, the slides are here if you're interested.

Monday Dec 01, 2008

Celeste - what is it?

In my travels of late Celeste has come up under several different circumstances. I'm going to attempt to collect a few details in a place to point people at and say how cool it is here, but in the end point you at the project.

Celeste is essentially a peer-to-peer storage system. It is highly-available and scalable due to it's peer-to-peer nature. It's often compared to Honeycomb, but there are some substantial differences. Honeycomb was targeted specifically at fixed-content storage. It's reliability was built around the use of the Reed-Solomon encoding. And there was a close coupling of data and metadata in Honeycomb (providing the same failure characteristics for both).

Celeste does split an 'object' into blocks which get dispersed into the Celeste storage 'cloud'. It is possible to specify the number of copies of each object that is stored in the system. Celeste is also an application on top of the Beehive framework, but I need to spend a bunch more time looking into that before I understand how these interrelate.

There's a good article talking to Glenn Scott about Celeste which goes into a lot more details than I've mentioned above.

Friday Nov 14, 2008


Being involved with the community involves a lot of listening. Recently at the Open Storage Summit we engaged with the audience to talk about where we were at with the Storage community and what things people would like to see improve:

Take a look and let me know what you think. What is needed to help _you_ use OpenSolaris. What do _you_ need to make this a first choice storage platform. Inquiring minds want to know!

Wednesday Nov 12, 2008


So I got roped in to head down to San Diego for the LISA conference.

LISA '08

I'm going to be presenting a poster:

OpenSolaris Storage :- 10 tasks in 10 minutes or less

The poster looks like:

The pdf is also available. Essentially it is looking at some cool technologies from ZFS, COMSTAR and DTrace for storage. I've had to prepare a set of slides for this too which I'll upload too.

update: slides are here.

Open Storage Incarnate

So Monday marked the launch of the Sun Storage 7XXX series. I guess I'm a little slow to blog about it, but what's new? So what is it? This is a product that has taken a lot of the technology of Open Storage an OpenSolaris to create an appliance. What does it do well? It provides simple manageability and kick ass analytics and a few real innovations, for instance the Hybrid Storage Pool. You can test it all out in VMWare from here.

This is all very cool, but how is it possible to get involved and participate in this storage technology? The good news is that this is based fundamentally on the Open Storage technology in OpenSolaris. So if you participate in the Storage Community your technology can be part of future Open Storage appliances.

Take this for a test drive and provide some feedback about what's cool, what's missing and where you'd like to see Open Storage moving in the future.

Monday Oct 06, 2008

OpenStorage Summit + SDC

This is a little belated, but I wanted to go over some of the cool things that happened at the conference and thank all of those folks that attended the OpenStorage Summit. The summit was a tremendous success. We had a whole variety of speakers (the presentations are available from the wiki). There's too much to cover here. Next time I hope we will get even more community speakers to participate. The caricature artist at the dinner was a lot of fun too. I'll upload mine pretty soon.

SDC was also pretty interesting, I spent almost every moment of each day listening to presentations about various technologies. The highlights for me were:

  • Andy Bechtolsheim's keynote speech on Flash and storage
  • Meeting a variety of OpenSolaris luminaries (Darren Moffat, Alan Wright, etc)
  • Meeting a variety of Linux luminaries (James Bottomley, Steven French, Andrew Tridgell, Jeremy Allison, etc)
  • Having a long conversation with Martin Petersen about BTRFS
  • (and learning BTRFS is pronounced "Butter FS")

There were lots of other things that went on too. I'll try to take some time and dive down deeper into some of these topics over the coming weeks.


Peter Buckingham


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