Archive for January, 2009 explains open-source storage

January 31, 2009’s Carol Sliwa has recently penned a nice article on open-source storage.

"Open-source storage software is freely available, but it’s the rare IT department that’s willing to cobble it together with hardware to build a storage system.

IT organizations are typically so worried about data loss that they tend to favor storage products from established vendors. That’s why Sun Microsystems’ new Sun Storage 7000 Unified Storage Systems billed as "open storage appliances" and formerly known as Amber Road, have created a stir in the market.

The Sun stack includes the OpenSolaris operating system, with its default ZFS file system featuring simple administration, end-to-end data integrity and scalability. OpenSolaris supports not only NFS but CIFS, through an in-kernel implementation, to enable file access with Windows-based systems."

Check out the entire article here — it’s a pretty good one!


Redmond Magazine’s positive OpenOffice review!!!

January 30, 2009

Redmond Magazine Editor-in-Chief Doug Barney has compiled a number of reader opinions around various facets of 3.0 in a very positive "Reader Review" of the suite.

"The interest in this open source suite is clearly high. After I asked for comments in my Redmond Report e-mail newsletter, 18 readers quickly wrote in and shared their experiences," he noted.
Doug provided views and hands-on insights from his readers on various components of the product, including: installation, user interface, usability, stability, manageability, extensibility, innovation and performance.

Overall, the reader comments Doug shared are quite positive, especially as they relate to features and competitors.

Doug noted, "To battle OO.o and other rivals, Microsoft is turning Office into a system with tight integration with other Microsoft tools, a strategy that is in some regards working. ‘If it wasn’t for the promise of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server [MOSS], I would seriously question the expenditure on Microsoft Office within my organization,’ Anderson says. ‘I’ve frequently stated with executive staff that unless MOSS becomes an organizational strategy for our company, I see no value in spending money on upgrading Microsoft Office.‘"

That’s a pretty strong statement coming out of a Microsoft-focused publication! 🙂

Great Sun Storage Unified System (Amber Road) Review in PC Pro

January 29, 2009
Sun Storage 7110 Unified Storage System
Sun Storage 7110 Unified Storage System
The January issue of PC Pro has a very positive Amber Road review. The reviewer, Dave Mitchell, tested an entry-level Sun Storage 7110 Unified Storage System and he was quited impressed, calling it "something special."

Dave examined installation, performance and key features such as DTrace and the bevy of supported protocols. "The 7110 proved quick, with Iometer reporting a speedy 112MB/sec raw read throughput for one iSCSI target," he noted. Further, "real-world speeds for iSCSI were good, as copying a 2.52GB video returned read and write speeds of 89MB/sec and 76MB/sec. FTP was even faster with the FileZilla client reporting read and write speeds of 99MB/sec and 86MB/sec using the same test file."

In closing, the reviewer commented, "The 7110 delivers a complete network storage solution with no hidden catches. Both NAS and IP SAN are supported, performance is very good, and Sun won’t be beaten on value."

PC Pro’s final verdict: "The 7110 is the storage host with the most since it offers NAS and IP SAN support – all as standard."

Of course, the product got "PC Pro Recommended" status. 🙂

Sun SMB Virtualization Offering named one of Network World’s best products of the week

January 28, 2009

Sun’s new virtualization products aimed at small and mid-sized businesses are one of the Network World’s "Products of the Week" for the current week.

On Slide 5, Network World notes that these new offerings combine Sun’s storage and servers with hypervisor software from either VMware or Microsoft embedded in the systems. The VMware ESX configurations include Sun Fire X4150, X4250 or X4450 servers with the Sun Storage 7210 Unified Storage system. The Microsoft Hyper-V configuration includes the Sun Fire X4250 server and Sun Storage J4200 system.

Network World's "Products of the Week"

(Image Courtesy: Network World)

Recent reviews from VirtualBox users

January 28, 2009

1. VirtualBox on Linux: my new workstation virtualization setup — Dan Newcome’s Weblog, 1/14
Dan Newcome had been a longtime user of VMware but recently switched to VirtualBox. He noted that after installing the software, VirtualBox did experience occasional crashes. However, Dan admitted that irrespective of sacrificing some CPU efficiency, his user experience had definitely improved compared to his VMware VMs.

2. Developer Toolbox: VirtualBox —, 1/14
Jim Priest found VirtualBox while looking for an alternative to VMware. He highlighted some particularly novel features including simple installations, the availability of a host of easily downloadable images at the VirtualBox VDI Index, ease in sharing folders between the guest and host, and seamlessly running Windows inside the host OS. He concluded by saying, "If you haven’t yet checked out VirtualBox I’d certainly recommend giving it a try."

Sun xVM VirtualBox
3. Virtualization: VirtualBox — JJinuxLand, 1/14
Shannon Behrens had been using VMware Fusion for quite some time, but decided to give Sun’s VirtualBox a try. He was surprised to notice that though the software seemed a bit rougher around the edges, it worked faster than VMware Fusion, and was free and mostly open source. After playing around with VirtualBox for a while, Shannon stated that it was "good stuff" and the fact that it was available for free made it all the more appealing.

4. Windows 7 on the Mac Under VirtualBox —, 1/13
Hawkins Dale discussed VirtualBox – Sun’s free, open-source virtualization tool, noting, "I had some adventures, mostly stupid, getting it installed. But now it’s working and mostly correctly with some issues." On installing VirtualBox, Hawkins noted that the playback was smooth, even when Windows was performing other things in the background. However, he had difficulties with the sound card but later he found two solutions which enabled him to fix these issues.

Another Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) / Sun Ray Review in TechTarget

January 27, 2009

Sun Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Software
In a follow up to last month’s virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) review, Rick Vanover of TechTarget further examined planning a VDI implementation.

Rick outlined the main components in a VDI solution and stated, "the Sun Ray series of devices are among the more refined products in the space." Further, he noted, "for administrators who prefer to use an ESX hypervisor for their VDI, the Sun Ray server software can fill this void."

Rick explains the VDI architecture and planning involved, also noting a Sun blog that walks through the setup.

Overall he is quite pleased with Sun’s solution, concluding, "setting up a Sun Ray server software installation is not overwhelming. In fact, Sun makes it quite easy by working to simplify the process and break down the steps for administrators considering Sun Ray software."

Recent NetBeans 6.5 Reviews from Developers

January 26, 2009

1. PHP and NetBeans! — Thinking Me!, 1/18
Muhammad Usman had tried using various IDEs to get PHP driven web applications germinated. After using Eclipse for about 2 months, Muhammad stumbled across NetBeans and realized that it was far better than Eclipse. His favorite feature are intelliSense, project and task management, remote project development, function help, smarty syntax support and integrated database query editor.
2. NetBeans IDE feature I would like to see inside Visual Studio — A Developer On A Few Platforms, 1/17
Andrew Rea opened his post declaring "NetBeans is my IDE of choice at the moment for my Java development." He stated that there were two features that he wished would be included in Visual Studio out of the box; namely the ability to encapsulate a selection of fields or the ability to select the fields users would like to encapsulate inside a GUI Dialog.

3. Developing with NetBeans IDE — Useful Ubuntu, 1/15
The blogger, an avid developer, had tried out many IDEs. He likes NetBeans the most because he can continue working on his program edits in NetBeans regardless of the OS he was using. He used NetBeans on Windows, Mac and Linux, and cross-platform support of NetBeans got a big plus in his book.

4. NetBeans 6.5 review from a PHP hack — Unix Admin Corner, 1/14
NetBeans 6.5 made a big appeal to James with its excellent PHP support. Though James asserted that NetBeans needed some nips and tucks here and there, he really enjoyed the CSS module and the PHP editor since they both helped him find bugs that would otherwise have gone unnoticed. James liked quite a lot of other features in NetBeans including integration of the database explorer, jMaki, the variable/function auto completion option in PHP mode, and the HTML preview mode among others. He wrote, "I do highly recommend that all PHP coders give it a try."

5. A new PHP IDE rolls into town – NetBeans — Mad PPC, 1/13
Brad was pleasantly surprised to see that NetBeans now not only supported PHP, Ruby, JavaScript, Groovy and Python, but also boasted great HTML support. He wrote, "This IDE has the makings of something great, it’s free, and it supports the syntax of many languages." He went on to compare NetBeans with Zend IDE 5.5, and concluded that NetBeans "won hands down."

6. Kudos To The NetBeans Team — Simon’s Blog, 1/12
Simon Brocklehurst congratulated the NetBeans team for the fabulous work they had done on the NetBeans IDE. He loved NetBeans for its ability to provide a fantastic integrated environment for writing all programming and mark-up code, and for rapid deployment of services to the test environment. He noted that NetBeans handles multiple programming languages and system services easily, which is the highest test of efficiency for any IDE. Praising NetBeans Simon exclaimed, "It’s seriously impressive. I recommend it highly."

Positive JavaFX 1.0 review at eWEEK today

January 23, 2009

This afternoon eWEEK’s Chief Technology Analyst Jim Rapoza posted his JavaFX 1.0 review and noted, "the JavaFX platform shows promise of being a very important player in the burgeoning RIA category, and it compares very well with the 1.0 releases of Adobe’s and Microsoft’s RIA platforms."

Jim installed NetBeans IDE 6.5 for JavaFX 1.0, the JavaFX 1.0 Production Suite and the JavaFX 1.0 SDK to get a closer look at our new RIA solution.

"I found NetBeans IDE 6.5 for JavaFX 1.0 to be a handy tool for learning how to build and edit JavaFX applications. Working hand in hand with the included sample code and the tutorials available at, I was able to build several simple JavaFX applications," he stated.

Jim noted that he would have liked to have seen more in the area of mobile application development in this release.

He concluded, "Given the potential of the platform, it is worth evaluating for developers interested in additional ways to build and deploy RIAs, especially in areas where the more robust capabilities of Java itself will pay off."

eWEEK Labs has also published a walk-through on JavaFX. You can find this slideshow here.

Sun receives recognition from and The VAR Guy

January 22, 2009

Sun SPARC Enterprise T5440 server received SearchDataCenter’s Bronze award for 2008 server product of the year. The article notes that the T5440 server packs enough memory and CPU power to deliver up to four times higher performance per watt at about one-fifth of competitive servers, which is part of the reason the judges gave it the Bronze award for 2008 server product of the year.

One T5440 user, a massive, European-based Web hosting company called Strato, reported, "After testing the new quad-socket Sun SPARC Enterprise T5440 server, we discovered that only one T5440 is sufficient to handle the whole load and can replace 10 of our existing Sun Fire T2000 servers."

In other news, The VAR Guy looked at the top open source companies disrupting and redefining the IT channel. Their "Open Source 50" list was released recently, with Sun being ranked #2 overall. We received many recognitions from The VAR Guy: Best of the Best (Sun ranked #2 of 25), Percentage of Revenue From Partners (Sun ranked #8 of 24), Company Size Based On Employees (Sun ranked #1 of 24), Partner Ecosystem (Sun noted in comments as not providing exact figures).

SearchDataCenter Award

At A Glance: OpenSolaris, VirtualBox, NetBeans and Reviews from Last Week

January 21, 2009

Peter Wu from Windows Live noted that the Nimbus theme "looks really fantastic" and that the ZFS file system was "rock solid!"

A blogger from Linux-Hardcore tested OpenSolaris 2008.11 and said he "felt honored to write a review." He wrote, "It’s a system that works, even there are some compatibility issues which, according to the designers and developers, is in progressive solution." Calling it "clean, neat, nice, and well done," he stated that the OS looked very promising, and went on to congratulate its developers.



Sun xVM VirtualBox InfoWorld‘s David Marshall discussed the new features of VirtualBox 2.1, noting that "despite the version numbering, this update doesn’t appear to be a minor dot release of features, updates, and fixes. Instead, the product offers quite a few new enhancements." David summarized Sun’s work with VirtualBox by saying, "with an impressive 25,000 downloads a day, and downloads up 120 percent over last quarter, Sun seems to be doing a good job at breaking through the noise of the desktop virtualization market."

Hawkins Dale wrote that he used VirtualBox at work to run a relatively bulletproof Ubuntu install on his Windows laptop, and at home to run Windows XP on his Mac. He stated, "I love it."

A blogger from stated that VirtualBox is one of the best virtualization products for x86 machines, noting that was "extremely feature rich" and available in an Open Source Edition.


NetBeans received endorsements from several developer blogs, including a developer who was impressed with the ability to successfully manage USB, seamless mode, and networking all within VirtualBox.

The blogger from Panda and Python and Me (oh my!) was also impressed, noting that NetBeans "kicked the trash" out of its competitor Eclipse. He concluded by saying "Wouldn’t Eclipse benefit from an easier interface that acted a little more smartly? I declare that NetBeans has done just that."

NetBeans A blogger from Downloads described OpenOffice 3.0 as the result of over 20 years of software engineering, and its consistency could not be matched by any other product.

Jonathan from Teacher Meets Linux was especially impressed by the new Math Interface, and described the software as a "great GNU alternative."