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Now that the Divorce is Final

by Administrator on July 6, 2006

Just took a break from my work to read a piece posted online at Infostor. It was sort of a late post mortem on the separation of Aperi from SNIA and Sun’s reasons for bailing on the effort.

Sun cites “irreconcilable differences” as the reason for the breakup, a noncommital explanation worthy of a California divorce any way you cut it.

Other themes that come across:

  • “We are more open with our open source than IBM is with their open source.”
  • A million lines of Tivoli are being contributed to the Aperi cause, but no word on how many lines of code were to be contributed by Sun. (Guess IBM had to find something to do with Tivoli. It has lately seemed like a bit of a red-headed stepchild in IBM’s storage family — a footnote in IBM’s grander “StorageTank” foo.)
  • EMC, Hitachi Data Systems, Hewlett-Packard, and Symantec are sticking with SNIA. So, Sun will too.
  • Duplessie says that SNIA is the only place for storage standards development. So, that must be where storage standards should be developed.

Really quizzical about the piece is this nifty piece of doublespeak:

Sun’s stance is that the storage industry requires a concerted and standards-based effort that can only be achieved through a governance model provided by the SNIA. Sun has subsequently been lobbying SNIA on behalf of Aperi to spur changes to its core governance model and associated documentation to accommodate open source software development projects.

So, why is Sun so intent to stick with a governance model (a behind-closed-doors oligarchy of big iron types) that it, itself, has criticized and tried to change? I guess they didn’t like IBM’s alternatives:

IBM brought several different proposals to the table, including running the Aperi initiative under organizations such as or the Eclipse Foundation. He also points out that Big Blue was “very good” about making decisions based on a democratic, majority-rules philosophy…

Oh, how the thought of IBM’s democratic alternative for governance must have made the other oligarchs wince!

Ray Dunn, vice chair of the SNIA, appears to have been mightly pleased by this turn of events. After letting the Sun guys sing the praises of SNIA, he followed up with this gem: SNIA is the right place to build standards because of its strong connection to the end-user community. SNIA is a user organization all of a sudden.

My take, for what it is worth: IBM is right to pursue Aperi elsewhere. Sun is wrong for not going along. Dunn and Duplessie don’t count. Five years out, and still storage is unmanaged.

End of line.

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