Six advanced-technology open source projects

These tools offer an affordable path to some of the best emerging technologies

The open source movement is fertile ground for creating advanced tools and technologies -- all at an appealing price. We've scoured the market to find six open source projects that hold promise for your New Data Center architecture. They offer automated provisioning, intrusion detection, grid storage, network-attached storage, messaging for a service-oriented architecture (SOA) and secure telephony.

1. Cleversafe Dispersed Storage

Distributed by: Cleversafe

What it is: Grid storage software and a managed service.

What it does:

Backs up data using a public grid over the Internet and managed storage facilities.

Provides data backup by slicing up each data unit (files, for example) and sending the slices to as many as 11 locales.

Increases the chances that attacks or deficiencies in data storage won't compromise enterprise data in its entirety, because information is spread across multiple locations.

What the experts say:

"There are different types of applications that can use this type of storage. However, Cleversafe founders openly admit that the public grid is not yet ready to support transaction-oriented applications, because performance may not meet the requirements of these types of applications. Those wishing to hold off on the public grid experience may opt for an internal storage grid using Cleversafe's grid client and server software," says Illuminata Analyst John Webster, who names Cleversafe as a company to watch among new storage service providers.

What you should know:

First alpha version was released in April 2005; an additional release is likely before March.

Uses information-dispersal algorithms that parse the data being backed up into data slices that are stored separately but can reunite easily.

Protects against data loss if one location goes down, because only a majority of the slices are needed to restore the data, developers say.

An API connects to applications, including open source backup tools BackupPC, Bacula and Amanda.

Integrates with commercial backup solutions, such as Symantec's Veritas BackupExec and NetBackup, and EMC's Legato Networker.

Suitable as spare storage capacity or a backup alternative.

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