In an effort to make good on a promise to open-source its storage offerings, Sun Microsystems last week announced that it has teamed with California-based Linuxcare to create a Linux failover driver which supports the Sun StorEdge T3 array.
Businesses running Linux-powered servers can use the failover driver to attach storage subsystems comprised of two or more T3 arrays, said David Sifry, co-founder and chief technology officer of Linuxcare. If one T3 fails, operations are transferred to the working T3 with zero downtime.
The open-sourced failover driver will be available for download, free of charge, in mid-August, said Sifry. The download port is located at www.open-projects.linuxcare.com/t3.
"Linuxcare will be supporting the Sun/Linux port, and we are offering more than the drivers," said Sifry. "There is a whole community around this, so if changes or upgrades are made to the drivers, they can be returned to the community so everybody can take advantage of the improvements."
Sun's modular T3 arrays, the first attached storage products from the company, have been on the market for less than two months. But according to Steve Duplessie, a senior analyst-with the US-based Enterprise Storage Group, Sun's move toward making the units available to the Linux community had less to do with opening up new markets than it had with making good on an old promise.
"This is Sun's first actual effort to put Sun-branded hardware in a third-party operating system," said Duplessie. "Sun has always said it would go open source, and this is the first attempt at doing it. They want to be a real open storage player, but it's one thing to say you'll be, and another to actually plug in to a third-party box."