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

Troy Benjegerdes hozer@hozed.org
Wed, 26 Sep 2012 11:21:26 -0500

On Tue, Sep 04, 2012 at 01:07:11PM -0400, chas williams - CONTRACTOR wrote:
> 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
> different).
> 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.

I would be quite interested negotiating with storage vendors to offer a 
TFS (OpenAFS-derived) server appliance, although I think this would 
work better in partnership with a full 501c3 foundation. The foundation
could accept donations of server appliance equipment from the storage and
OS vendors to put together a development and testing lab. It would also be
quite helpful if IBM would agree to sign over the OpenAFS trademark rights
to a legitimate charitable foundation. The FUD about trademarks is not 
helpful. It would be nice if we had some actual legal framework and a
test lab process to verify vendor claims of 'OpenAFS compatible'.