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Vol. 6 No. 12 February 2008

Sun gambles on open source for storage

Sun Microsystems is showing signs of life in the storage arena, and plans to strengthen its efforts in March with the release of a new version of OpenSolaris, its open-source OS. The so-called "Project Indiana" release of OpenSolaris will have a multithreaded implementation of the CIFS file-sharing protocol, allowing Windows users to store and retrieve files on an OpenSolaris system. According to Bob Porras, VP of Solaris storage software, this release is significant because CIFS is one of the two file-sharing protocols that truly matter. The other, he says, is NFS, which Sun created back in the 1980s. CIFS is Microsoft's update of the Server Message Block protocol that IBM created for PC-DOS and Microsoft perfected for file serving on Windows. But implementing CIFS on non-Windows systems has been a perpetual engineering hassle. According to Alan Wright, senior staff engineer on Sun's CIFS engineering team, Windows interoperability isn't just a case of implementing file transfer using CIFS. It also requires "that a server ...

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Features in this issue

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