From a technology point of view, the software side is nothing new to me. Using SSDs for zfs as a read-/write-cache is something we can do (partly) already since at least Solaris 10u6 (that is the lowest Solaris 10 version we have installed here, so I can not check quickly if the ZIL can be on a separate disk in previous versions of Solaris, but I think we have to wait until we updated to Solaris 10u8 until we can have the L2ARC on a separate disk) or in FreeBSD. All other nice ZFS features available in the OpenStorage web interface are also not surprising.
But the demonstration with the Storage Simulator impressed me. The interaction with Windows via CIFS makes the older version of files in snapshots available in Windows (I assume this is the Volume Shadow Copy feature of Windows), and the statistics available via DTrace in the web interface are also impressive. All this technology seems to be well integrated into an easy to use package for heterogeneous environments. If you would like to setup something like this by hand, you would need to have a lot of knowledge about a lot of stuff (and in theFreeBSD case, you would probably need to augment the kernel with additional DTrace probes to be able to get a similar granularity of the statistics), nothing a small company is willing to pay.”
Read Alexander’s full post: Sun OpenStorage Presentation