Saturday, January 06, 2007

Is EMC affraid of ZFS?

While adding ZFS support to VCS wouldn't be hard it's not there yet and I guess it won't be there for some time. I don't think it's a good strategy to lock-in customers. Ok, this entry was supposed to be about EMC. I was looking into EMC Support Matrix today and was surprised. Look at page #698 and reference #22 (document dated 12/29/2006) or just search for ZFS and you will find: "EMC supports ZFS Version 3 or higher without Snapshot and Clone features.". Now that's really interesting. In what sense their support ZFS on DMX or Clariion boxes? Since when they care about which file system you're going to put on their arrays? Not to mention specific features of those file systems. Or maybe it's just that in many situations ZFS's snapshots and clones make similar functionalities on their hardware obsolete? And of course when using ZFS you don't have to pay another licenses fees for Time Finder, etc. and buy more disks.

I can understand they are afraid that because of ZFS in some cases people will spend less money on buying hardware and some propertiary software, and they are right. Their hardware really doesn't matter what file system you put on it and features are you going to use of that file system.

Don't get me wrong - EMC makes really good hardware and software to manage it, they have also excellent support. But putting such restrictions is just plain stupid - I understand they want to force people to pay for Time Finder even if ZFS would be good enough or better not to mention cheaper (ZFS is free).

On the other hand if vendors like EMC starts to notice ZFS just after 6 months it went into stable Solaris it is good and probably means customers are asking for it.

ps. of course ZFS's snapshots and clones work perfectly with Symmetrix boxes and Clariions

update: in latest EMC's support matrix EMC now says:

EMC supports ZFS in Solaris 10 11/06 or later. Snapshot and Clone features are supported only through Sun.
That's a good news.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm running ZFS (3TB sized pool) on DMX storage without any problems for well over 4 months now. You're right, what the h*ll does a storage vendor care about which filesystem is used. Lamest of excuses and dancing around the problem/competition. Same goes for Veritas NetBackup and Clustering.

Anonymous said...

The EMC Support Matrix (http://www.emc.com/interoperability/matrices/EMCSupportMatrix.pdf) dated March 2007 now states:

"EMC supports ZFS in Solaris 10 11/06 or later. Snapshot and Clone features are supported only through Sun."

Regards,
Dave.

alpa said...
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