[OpenAFS] Proposal: OpenAFS foundation to develop AFS server appliance

chas williams - CONTRACTOR chas@cmf.nrl.navy.mil
Tue, 4 Sep 2012 13:07:11 -0400

On Sun, 02 Sep 2012 00:00:52 -0400
Jeffrey Altman <jaltman@secure-endpoints.com> wrote:

> On 9/1/2012 3:03 PM, Chas Williams (CONTRACTOR) wrote:
> > In message <50424587.6010006@your-file-system.com>,Jeffrey Altman writes:
> >> The Elders have engaged in discussions with the major operating system
> >> vendors over the years as well.  Those discussions inevitably broke down
> >> because AFS3 did not satisfy the needs of a First Class file system.
> >> (No Ext. Attributes, no alt data streams, no byte range locking, no
> >> mandatory locking, directory limitations, etc.)
> > 
> > Again, I believe this was just a polite way to say "go away".  While
> > these limitations do exist, they generally don't impact users on a 
> > day-to-day basis or there are known workarounds.  Some limitations
> > are present with any enterprise file system though.
> You are making assumptions that are completely unfounded.  I am not at
> liberty to discuss the contents of contract negotiations but discussions
> with at least two OS vendors reached that stage.
> Jeffrey Altman

Granted, I wasn't in these meetings and with your NDA you can't tell me
exactly what happened.  But, I have been enough of these meetings to
get a general idea of what happens/happened.

Regardless, at least two of the larger storage vendors are switching to
virtualization to address the the issue of "I want to run XYZ on my
storage appliance".  The intent of this feature was to allow customers
to run other enterprise filesystems (aka Lustre) and applications (like
your preferred mapreduce solution) directly on the storage itself.
There are some space and power savings to be had in this configuration
but perhaps not cost (based on a total cost it generally isnt too

So instead of asking a storage vendor to port the AFS server to their
internal operating systems, perhaps OpenAFS or YFSI could offer
supported AFS server applications for these vendors.  A customer buys
the storage appliance and YFSI (or whoever) can offer the integration.
Actually YFSI (or whoever) might actually need to act an the integrator
since some of these vendors typically go through some reseller.

Hopefully this virtualization idea gets pushed to some of the low end
storage platforms.