On 01/21/2013 02:28 PM, Edward Ned Harvey
(opensolarisisdeadlongliveopensolaris) wrote:
>> From: Richard Elling [mailto:richard.ell...@gmail.com]
>> I disagree the ZFS is developmentally challenged. 
> As an IT consultant, 8 years ago before I heard of ZFS, it was always easy
> to sell Ontap, as long as it fit into the budget.  5 years ago, whenever I
> told customers about ZFS, it was always a quick easy sell.  Nowadays,
> anybody who's heard of it says they don't want it, because they believe
> it's a dying product, and they're putting their bets on linux instead. I
> try to convince them otherwise, but I'm trying to buck the word on the street.
> They don't listen, however much sense I make. I can only sell ZFS to
> customers nowadays, who have still never heard of it.

Yes, Oracle did some serious damage to ZFS' and its own reputation. My
former employer used to be an almost exclusive Sun-shop. The moment
Oracle took over and decided to tank the products aimed at our segment,
we waved our beloved Sun hardware goodbye. Larry has clearly delineated
his marketing strategy: either you're a Fortune500, or you can fuck
right off.

> "Developmentally challenged" doesn't mean there is no development taking 
> place.
> It means the largest development effort is working closed-source, and not
> available for free (except some purposes), so some consumers are going to
> follow their path,

I would contest that point. Besides encryption (which I think was
already well underway by the time Oracle took over), AFAIK nothing much
improved in Oracle ZFS. Oracle only considers Sun a vehicle to sell its
software products on (DB, ERP, CRM, etc.). Anything that doesn't fit
into that strategy (e.g. Thumper) got butchered and thrown to the side.

> while others are going to follow the open source branch illumos path, which
> means both disunity amongst developers and disunity amongst consumers, and
> incompatibility amongst products.

I can't talk about "disunity" among devs (how would that manifest
itself?), but as far as incompatibility among products, I've yet to come
across it. In fact, thanks to ZFS feature flags, different feature sets
can coexist peacefully and give admins unprecedented control over their
storage pools. Version control in ZFS used to be a "take it or leave it"
approach, now you can selectively enable and use only features you want to.

> So far, in the illumos branch, I've only seen bugfixes introduced since
> zpool 28, no significant introduction of new features.

I've had #3035 LZ4 compression for ZFS and GRUB integrated just a few
days back and I've got #3137 L2ARC compression up for review as we
speak. Waiting for #3137 to integrate, I'm looking to focus on multi-MB
record sizes next, and then perhaps taking a long hard look at reducing
the in-memory DDT footprint.

> (Unlike the oracle branch, which is just as easy to sell as ontap).

Again, what significant features did they add besides encryption? I'm
not saying they didn't, I'm just not aware of that many.

> Which presents a challenge.  Hence the term, "challenged."

Agreed, it is a challenge and needs to be taken seriously. We are up
against a lot of money and man-hours invested by big-name companies, so
I fully agree there. We need to rally ourselves as a community hold
together tightly.

> Right now, ZFS is the leading product as far as I'm concerned.  Better
> than MS VSS, better than Ontap, better than BTRFS.  It is my personal
> opinion that one day BTRFS will eclipse ZFS due to oracle's unsupportive
> strategy causing disparity and lowering consumer demand for zfs, but of
> course, that's just a personal opinion prediction for the future, which
> has yet to be seen.  So far, every time I evaluate BTRFS, it fails
> spectacularly, but the last time I did, was about a year ago.  I'm due
> for a BTRFS re-evaluation now.

Let us know at z...@lists.illumos.org how that goes, perhaps write a blog
post about your observations. I'm sure the BTRFS folks came up with some
neat ideas which we might learn from.

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