People often ask me what Im most excited about technology-wise and
I have to be honest that this week its two things: ZFS and Joyent.
Theyre at different levels in the grand scheme of server things but
whenever I find myself idle, my mind drifts to them and then buzz buzz
buzzes. And I can actually see myself being excited about these for
quite sometime (so excuse the use of this week).
ZFS is Suns 128
bit file system (most file systems now are 32 or 64 bit, its what
limits their size and number of possible files). It was announced about
a year ago, has been in development for over 4 years and then this last
Halloween found it put into Solaris Express. So it looks like it should be available via there in the next couple of weeks.
is a file system that among other things has a copy-on-write design
with abilities like relatively unlimited and instantaneous read/write
snapshots. Because of this plus other things it is very much like
Netapps WAFL (Write Anywhere File Layout; there is a pdf here ; and our grand systems emperor Jan
looooooooooooooves netapp). When you add its additional features and a
size limit that in order to reach youd have to comsume all the silicon
on the planet Earth, then its far to call it a solid advance.
does ZFS do for us and others? Well, we have a large number of SCSI
drives (TBs and TBs worth), SCSI enclosures that can direct connect to
several other servers and it then becomes relatively easy to then put
together a solid, solid NAS, effectively a poor mans netapp. OK, ok,
a frugal mans Netapp at an entry level price of about
1/10th-1/50th. And thats the entry level price, when you can
reconfigure things that you already have, then its even better.
Now joyent. Oh nice clean wonderful joyent.
I was lucky enough to get a demo yesterday from David, the CEO and
Founder, in the lobby of the Hilton San Francisco. And I can tell you
that after professionally using (literally) ever application like this
over the last decade, this is was the first time that I was done trying
something out and really, seriously had no issues with it. Nothing but
love. I think 4 minutes into it, my mouth was permanently open and I
was siezed by nothing but the desire to start using it even in place of
things like Mail.app. And it looks great. Great great great. And what
really struck me (as an executive) is that this team if anything must
be amazingly disciplined and well lead, they had obviously and
successfully resisted every little thing that has ended up being
irritants in software like this (even at their stage). If they can keep
that going as they come up to releasing it then . Wow.
other things, this app is one that finally gets that it has a
relational database as a backend (umm for example, when you access
files via WebDAV on your computer, it auto-creates a normal looking
file hierarchy from how you tag a file. You dont have to create
folders or decide whether a file should be here or there).
And its a Rails app