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.
You can read Mike and Bryan‘s blogs for the full story of how the products came to be, and you can go to the launch and product pages for the details the specific product offerings.
Well done Mike, Bryan, and team!
Nice interface.. Looking forward to seeing this next week at SuperComputing in Austin (assuming they will be showing it off).
Will you be down there by chance?
Sadly, I will not be down for SuperComputing. I hope that they will be showing it off….
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Too bad that Sun Microsystems forces its employees to write PR- and marketing-blogs like that one. Ted Leung is not the only Sun-employee who gets forced to include such marketing-crap in his own personal blog. That’s pathetic!
No one force me to write this post. Bryan and Mike and I have been friends since the mid 1990’s. I didn’t make up any of that, and I appreciate the fact that their work involves some real engineering insight. There have been plenty of other Sun announcements that I haven’t bothered to write about.