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This is a great way to build UNIX based NAS server with all goodness of ZFS.

Sun recently announced the addition of powerful developer tools and expanded professional service capabilities to help developers better leverage the growing open source communities that are fast changing the economics of the storage IT landscape. Over 3,000 members and 30+ projects within an active and growing OpenSolaris storage community demonstrate a groundswell within the storage industry for developers and enterprise companies to use open source alternatives to expensive proprietary storage offerings.

Sun further claimed that average developer will be able to set up an OpenSolaris server is about 10 minutes. You can build a OpenSolaris operating system storage server in 10 minutes or less. This how-to recipe is intended to familiarize developers with the simple commands in Solaris for performing data management tasks, i.e. ZFS, NFS, CIFS, COMSTAR etc.

Setting Up an OpenSolaris Storage Server in 10 Minutes or Less

Setting Up an OpenSolaris NAS Box: Father-Son Bonding

Now, the million dollar question - will free software able to sell Sun hardware?

Hackontest is a 24 hour programming competition between various open source software projects. The event takes place at OpenExpo on September 24/25, 2008 in Zurich, Switzerland. The contest is sponsored by Google. From the contest page:

The participating teams may win cash prizes of USD 1000, 2500 and 5000. Next to fun and competition, the elected open source developers receive a free trip to Zurich, Switzerland, including accommodation and meals from September 23 - 26, 2008 up to USD 1000 each person.

The idea of the Hackontest event is three-fold:

  • First of all, hackers (=smart programmers) of open source projects meet physically during 24h and enhance their software with a certain feature. Thus their Free Software project gets improved in terms of code and the developers have a fun time meeting in one place and competing for some nice prizes.
  • Second, users of open source software get the opportunity to file features they've missed in their favorite applications and operating systems. Therefore, during the selection process everyone who registers may file feature requests and others may vote and comment on them.
  • And third, visitors of the Hackontest event get the chance to see the commitment and team work with which open source software is created. Like this, the public becomes more aware of the creative processes and the power of collaborative effort by international open source communities.

Hackontest web site (via ./)

Microsoft has announced Open Source Interoperability Initiative. From the announcement press release :

The Open Source Interoperability Initiative exists to foster more open engagement between Microsoft and open source communities. It will encompass a broad range of facilities, events, and resources supporting interoperability, including labs, plug fests, technical content and opportunities for ongoing cooperative development. Microsoft plans to publish APIs and protocols that are used by Windows Vista (including the .NET Framework), Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008, Office 2007, Exchange Server 2007 and Office SharePoint Server 2007 -- as well as their future versions. Also Microsoft will not require developers to license or pay royalties for this information. Specifically, Microsoft is implementing four new interoperability principles and corresponding actions across its high-volume business products: (1) ensuring open connections; (2) promoting data portability; (3) enhancing support for industry standards; and (4) fostering more open engagement with customers and the industry, including open source communities.

Microsoft also agreed not to sue developers of open-source software and releasing tons of API. More information available at:
=> Microsoft Press Release

=> Annoucment about Interoperability

Project Indiana is a new project to create an OpenSolaris binary distribution. This distribution will focus on providing a single CD install with the basic core operating system and desktop environment, with the opportunity of installing additional software off network repositories just like Ubuntu Linux.

This is a new project from Sun. The main aim is make OpenSolaris an easy to use UNIX:

The distribution will showcase much of the work continuing in the OpenSolaris community and the best of breed open source software available within other open source communities. Moverover, the distribution will include work that closes the familiarity gap with existing GNU/Linux users eg. install and packaging.

Project Indiana will be a leading edge distribution with an expected adoption of OpenSolaris enthusiasts and developers on single user systems and basic server setups. It will also encourage new users coming to the platform for the first time.

According to Ian Murdock’s Weblog:

Like Linux, OpenSolaris is a kernel. Except that it’s more than a kernel. Or, rather, more than a kernel but not quite a complete operating system. Are you confused yet?

Ian is 100% right and suggests ways to improve OpenSolaris. In short Sun's new project trying to turn OpenSolaris into a practical distributions, you can download OpenSolaris just like Ubuntu and use it like a pro. Now the million dollar question ~ Can OpenSolaris make Sun shine again?

Read more: Sun's Project Indiana: turning OpenSolaris into a practical platform