[OpenAFS-announce] Why I Have Stepped Down as OpenAFS Elder

Jeffrey Altman openafs-info@openafs.org
Fri, 07 Sep 2012 12:20:27 -0400

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Earlier this month I resigned from the OpenAFS Elders.  I want to
briefly explain the reasons why I felt the need to step down.

After the OpenAFS Gatekeepers presented the unfunded OpenAFS Wish List
at the Spring 2007 HEPiX meeting, the OpenAFS Elders realized that it
would be impossible for OpenAFS to make headway in the current
environment.  Lustre would soon be purchased by Sun Microsystems for
$250 million.  NFSv4 was far behind AFS in capabilities but was backed
by dozens of companies that were devoting significant resources and a
IETF working group had been formed to standardize it.  Various operating
system vendors indicated that they would contribute to funding the
development of missing first class file system functionality such as
alternate data streams, extended attributes, byte range locking, etc.
but only if we could clarify the trademark issues with IBM and that was
not forthcoming.  If OpenAFS was going to have a stable future it needed
a technology company that was dependent on its functionality but sold a
service that was not itself a file system.

In October 2007, with the support of the OpenAFS Elders I founded Your
File System, Inc. (YFSI) to create a services business on top of a next
generation successor to AFS3.  YFSI's long term goal is to supply a file
storage ecosystem that permits individuals and organizations to stretch
their storage across internally managed data centers, external host
providers such as Rackspace and Cloud IAAS systems such as Azure and
EC2.  On top of the ecosystem YFSI will sell a secure federated file
sharing service that will knock the socks off DropBox, Box, and other
copy-and-sync services.

For more than six years I have fulfilled the fiduciary responsibilities
required of an OpenAFS Elder and placed OpenAFS ahead of my other
responsibilities.  YFSI has funded the gatekeepers and their roles as
bug fixers of last resort, release managers, code reviewers, and code
integrators.  YFSI has sponsored various AFS workshops, given
presentations at AFS Workshops and HEPiX on its progress, and directly
contributed significant quantities of code to OpenAFS across the entire
code base.  This included the majority of the Windows native client
work, RX stability and performance improvements, corrections to the use
of pthreads, and much more.

In order for YFSI to meet the critical needs of the community,  YFSI
must accelerate its growth and product development cycle.  I have
resigned as OpenAFS Elder because I can no longer put OpenAFS first.  I
believe that I am best able to serve the needs of the OpenAFS community
by making Your File System, Inc. a success.  I look forward to
continuing my participation in the community in my role as OpenAFS

Jeffrey Altman

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