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October 2011

Open source storage users break free of vendor lock-in

Open source storage: It’s an idea that makes so much sense. After all, the storage systems most of us buy simply comprise a bunch of disks with proprietary controller software on top. Such disk systems cost people the largest chunk of their storage spending, and a proprietary system locks them into their vendor’s roadmap and support structure. Open source storage is a potential solution to this Faustian accord, however. Unlike a fully commercial product, the controller software is open source. This doesn’t mean it’s free necessarily, but it can be, or nearly so. And unless you choose to buy a preconfigured system from an open source vendor, you are free to build your storage with commodity drives. Whatever you do with open source, it’s likely to cost you far less than proprietary storage and offer some benefits of flexibility that you wouldn’t get by striking a pact with a fully commercial vendor. The fundamental concept of all open source products is that the development community produces the software and opens the source code...

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