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Versatility

In lacrosse, it’s important to be versatile.   For attack, it’s important to be able to move both ways, left or right, using either hand to pass and catch.  It’s normal to favor one hand or direction over another, but the good players can use both.  

For me, I was a right-handed player with little offense on my left hand.  This limited my ability to score or pass when split-second plays developed and the ball was in my off hand.  My son and I practice this a great deal in the backyard, making sure he can shoot and pass with either hand – it shows, he averages a couple of goals and assists a game.

Storage Software is no different - it’s rare when the tools come together to allow ease of development and configuration for multiple products.  A recent addition (Build 90) to allows multiple products, protocols and device types to be supported by any Solaris Server with a common framework - COMSTAR.

COMSTAR is software that allows any Solaris-based server to become a block-based storage device.  The Acronym stands for COmmon Multiprotocol SCSI TARget.  The project is the world’s first open source enterprise-class target framework.  The framework allows all SCSI device types (tape, disk, SES, etc.) connected to any transport (Fibre Channel, iSCSI, iSER, SAS, FCoE, etc.) with concurrent access to all LUNs (Logical Unit Numbers) and a single point of management.

The COMSTAR project concepts in of itself are not revolutionary, block-based storage is prevalent on the market today, what is revolutionary is that the software allows Solaris to be used as microcode using ZFS as the backing store file-system, using common off the shelf components to build a storage array.  A key objective of COMSTAR is to provide a simple framework for users to add transport protocols and device types to build new block storage devices.  This allows the user to quickly start adding new features to differentiate these new storage devices without spending time on the fundamental building blocks.

This allows any block storage device to be built from one common framework.  No other commercially available operating system allows this type of flexibility or coordination.  There are in fact block-based targets in other OS’s, but each are built independently which doesn’t allow for

•    Ease of maintenance – Fixing common bugs or adding RFE’s in one place
•    Concurrent access – Using different transports (FC, iSCSI, iSER, etc.) accessing a common LUN

Additionally, COMSTAR allows for different device types to be defined and provided by the plug-in architecture surrounding logical units or LU Providers.  This allows quick block-based support for Disk, Tape – any SCSI device type.  In this release, direct access support is included, but feel free to invent and contribute your own!

Versatility - that’s what it’s all about.  Reducing cost of ownership, increasing time to market and creating multiple products.   COMSTAR is ready to support your block-based needs.  Power your next storage products with COMSTAR.



Shoot, score, hat-trick!!

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