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Sun brings open source to the world of digital archiving

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Sun Microsystems has released the code for its StorageTek 5800 System – the world’s first integrated archive storage solution to be built using open source.

The Sun StorageTek 5800 digital archiving system is the first product of its kind to be powered by the Solaris Operating System and built using open source software. Developers can freely download the Sun StorageTek 5800 binary code that runs on virtually any x86 system for free at http://www.opensolaris.org/os/project/honeycomb.
“The market for integrated digital archiving has always been challenged with a lack of applications,” says Manfred Gramlich, storage lead for Sun Microsystems South Africa. “Sun has tackled this problem head on by providing an open source API for the StorageTek 5800 which will drive application development for the solution.”
Previously known as ‘Project Honeycomb’, the code for the 5800 has been donated to the OpenSolaris storage and Java.net communities. It has also been submitted to the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) and is currently being considered by them. The Fedora Commons open source group will also contribute its software into OpenSolaris. Java.net uses the Sun StorageTek 5800 source code for its development efforts.
“The open edition of the 5800 code can be downloaded for free and used by developers to unlock simple and effective storage and retrieval of fixed content data and metadata,” explains Gramlich. “While purchasing the StorageTek 5800 system provides greater enhanced reliability, availability and serviceability (RAS) and includes extreme data protection against corruption and loss.
“Another challenge facing the storage market is the increasing need to digitise and preserve business data in the form of digital content, e-science work and high-performance computing data,” he adds. “The long periods of time the data must be kept for is pushing at the limits of file-based data and the management of storage assets. By releasing the highly resilient and easy-to-manage Sun StorageTek 5800 source code, Sun believes it is offering a powerful alternative to closed, proprietary offerings that are expensive and leave customers vulnerable to vendor lock-in.”
Sun believes that by donating the source code for this next-generation technology to help create communities that will effectively drive answers to fixed-content data storage issues and save customers money.
"Data is fast becoming the most important asset for all organisations, including businesses and educational institutions,” says Gramlich. “With exponentially greater amounts of data being generated each year the demand for effective storage is greater than ever. Sun is committed to meeting these challenges by enabling the open source community to develop solutions with us.
"By releasing the ‘Honeycomb’ source code and creating new digital archiving communities, Sun is driving better economics and enabling quicker and more efficient development of these solutions," he concludes.