Enterprises are always looking for ways to achieve greater control, flexibility, and scalability from their storage investments. Many have also turned to software to reduce reliance on traditional storage systems vendors.

Software-defined storage, as agreed upon by the industry’s leading vendors, provides provisioning, orchestration, monitoring, management and automation across a heterogeneous federation of hardware components. Software-defined storage helps to reduce or eliminate dependence on specialized storage hardware and the associated licensing, maintenance and support costs.

While POSIX-compliance has been the de facto standard for file systems, many organizations have started to look to advanced file systems such as ZFS as an alternative as it provides extensibility that would give the cloud service provider competitive advantages.

But, outside of Oracle, there are limited options for mature implementations of ZFS. GreenBytes is one of those options. The file system used by GreenBytes is derived from ZFS. GreenBytes has enhanced it with data deduplication, deduplicated replication, proprietary flash focused RAID and other enterprise ready features and performance enhancements. In its own words, GreenBytes describes their systems as being a “highly available, cloud ready, enterprise quality file system deployable on white box hardware platforms.”

Recently, Dell recognized this technology leadership by announcing a technical partnership with GreenBytes, and began offering GreenBytes software on certain Dell platforms for virtual environments.

Now it seems cloud service providers are also taking notice.  It has come to my attention that

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GreenBytes may be in discussion with a certain major public-listed cloud service provider that is interested in the benefits of a ‘ready for prime time’ ZFS-based file system. The benefits for cloud service providers are endless, but includes the ability to provide custom extensions to the file systems that would include object based storage capabilities, REST interface, etc.

It would make perfect sense for a cloud service provider to adopt ZFS. The technology has proven itself at Oracle. It is mature, reliable, and highly extensible. It is open-source, which has the benefit of any interested party joining the cause. This allows developers to take whatever extensions this cloud service provider decides to offer and integrated into data management platforms and applications.

In the interest of full disclosure, I sit on the Advisory Board for GreenBytes. Therefore, this kind of activity certainly garners a lot of attention and interest on my part. So stay tuned!