Today Sun is announcing a new line of storage appliances. I haven’t been involved with this product at all, but I do have a personal angle on them. Shortly after I joined Sun this year, I took a trip to California to meet various people in person. Amongst the people that I met up with were Bryan Cantrill, Mike Shapiro, and Adam Leventhal, the inventors of DTrace. I was a graduate student at Brown when Bryan and Mike were undergraduates. I was mostly interested in talking to them about DTrace, because DTrace is an important part of your toolkit if you are building web applications using dynamic (and other languages).
During a break, Mike took me aside and asked if anybody had shown me what they were working on. I said that they hadn’t, so he took me back into a server room and showed me a prototype of the Sun Storage 7000 product. There’s lots to write about regarding this project, and there will be a veritable storm of blog posts about it today. The two things that stood out to me when I saw the prototype were:
a) the innovative use of flash memory as part of the storage hierarchy, and the work that has been done to ZFS in order to manage flash in an intelligent way. If you are interested in the science/engeineering behind this, you should look at Adam Leventhal’s article in the first issue of the revamped CACM on this topic. The impact on both cost and performance is very impressive.
b) the AJAX based UI that the Fishworks team has created for interacting with monitoring tools like DTrace.
Well done Mike, Bryan, and team!