Welcome To A Startup, Again

It feels a lot like a startup again at Sun these days, so my friends from Cluster File Systems should feel right at home in a few weeks when our latest acquisition is scheduled to close. So what exactly is Sun going to do with Lustre, one of the most widely used parallel file systems for high performance computing? For one, exactly what we are doing with it today, selling it as part of our storage server solution for high performance computing to customers like Tokyo Tech (1.5 PetaBytes of Lustre running on x4500 storage servers) and TACC (1.7 PetaBytes of Lustre running on x4500 storage servers). I expect the Cluster File Systems team will also be joining the OpenSolaris Storage Community, given their previously announced plans to build future versions of Lustre on top of ZFS.

So what about our other file systems, like SAM-FS, QFS, and our work on implementations of the emerging pNFS standard? What will our acquisition of Cluster File Systems and the Lustre file system mean to those? They will just get better. Just like our partnerships with AMD and Intel helped us to focus and advance our UltraSPARC processor design, adding Lustre to our file system portfolio only helps make our other offerings better. Nearly all our HPC customers, and many customers who buy HPC compute nodes from other hardware vendors use Sun's StorageTek tape silos and SAM-FS to archive those PetaBytes of data they store on spinning disk. QFS, originally a file system for direct attached or SAN based storage, is being enhanced through the OpenSolaris storage community to support iSCSI and InfiniBand based storage and is optimized today for HPC clusters of up to several hundred nodes. Finally, as you would expect, Sun continues to be a key driver of the emerging pNFS standard and we really look forward to having Cluster File Systems' talented engineers joining Sun and applying their experience in highly scalable file systems to our pNFS work.

But how does a transaction that our lawyers make us say is, "immaterial to Sun's earnings per share" make Sun feel like a startup, again. It isn't just the Lustre deal, but everything going on. We launched our Virtual Desktop Initiative at VMworld this week, and I hear it has been nominated for one of the "best in show" awards. We launched the latest update of Solaris 10 this week, with great new virtualization features like Solaris Containers for Linux Applications and all of a sudden a bunch of real startups running Linux want to talk to us about running their Linux apps on Solaris. And not to be outdone by Solaris, Sun's system division today announced an OEM agreement with Microsoft. "How do you feel about that?", my friends in systems asked during lunch in the cafeteria today. Great! We are working closely with Microsoft to ensure Solaris runs as a great guest OS on their virtualization solutions and vica versa to ensure Windows runs great on Solaris xVM. And these are all just things you have heard about this week. Across the Solaris organization, across Sun software, across Sun, there are hundreds of startup-like projects driving both organic and inorganic growth. It is definitely a great time to be working at Sun!

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