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OpenZFS Committed To Improving Open-Source ZFS

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  • OpenZFS Committed To Improving Open-Source ZFS

    Phoronix: OpenZFS Committed To Improving Open-Source ZFS

    Last month I wrote about the launch of OpenZFS as an initiative to organize the various open-source ZFS file-system projects around Linux, BSD, OS X, and other platforms. OpenZFS is an umbrella project now for all the different ZFS implementations since the code became available during the Sun Microsystems glory days...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTQ4ODI

  • #2
    Awesome. I just wish they could plug the GPL bug in the Linux kernel to allow inclusion of CCDL licensed code (or if Oracle could re-license it to be more permissive)

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    • #3
      Originally posted by staalmannen View Post
      Awesome. I just wish they could plug the GPL bug in the Linux kernel to allow inclusion of CCDL licensed code (or if Oracle could re-license it to be more permissive)
      The GPL incompability of CDDL was obviously a deliberate decision made by Sun's management as why the hell would they want to hand over their technical advantages to the competitor (Linux) which was eating them alive in the market, same goes for DTrace. Not that it ended up doing them much good.

      Now the chance that Oracle (who know owns ZFS) would re-licence it under GPL would have been a possibility if they weren't so invested in the GPL licenced BTRFS (which they created AFAIK), and has basically put their ZFS offering on proprietary maintenance mode.

      So ZFS will remain incompatible with inclusion into Linux, which again was the whole point with it being licenced under CDDL as the licence was crafted for that very purpose.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by XorEaxEax View Post
        The GPL incompability of CDDL was obviously a deliberate decision made by Sun's management as why the hell would they want to hand over their technical advantages to the competitor (Linux) which was eating them alive in the market, same goes for DTrace. Not that it ended up doing them much good.

        Now the chance that Oracle (who know owns ZFS) would re-licence it under GPL would have been a possibility if they weren't so invested in the GPL licenced BTRFS (which they created AFAIK), and has basically put their ZFS offering on proprietary maintenance mode.

        So ZFS will remain incompatible with inclusion into Linux, which again was the whole point with it being licenced under CDDL as the licence was crafted for that very purpose.
        One can always hope for Oracle doing the right thing (they are not as attached to Solaris). They have done some effort in getting DTrace on Linux, so perhaps...

        http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/ar...x-1956556.html

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        • #5
          Originally posted by XorEaxEax View Post
          The GPL incompability of CDDL was obviously a deliberate decision made by Sun's management as why the hell would they want to hand over their technical advantages to the competitor (Linux) which was eating them alive in the market, same goes for DTrace. Not that it ended up doing them much good.

          Now the chance that Oracle (who know owns ZFS) would re-licence it under GPL would have been a possibility if they weren't so invested in the GPL licenced BTRFS (which they created AFAIK), and has basically put their ZFS offering on proprietary maintenance mode.

          So ZFS will remain incompatible with inclusion into Linux, which again was the whole point with it being licenced under CDDL as the licence was crafted for that very purpose.
          Some things I don't get:

          1. If Sun didn't want to hand out the technical merits of ZFS (which it obviously has) to competition, why did they create BTRFS? Can we imply from this that BTRFS is deliberately inferior? If not, why not just give away ZFS?

          2. Maybe this one everybody knows, but I personally fail to understand: what EXACTLY makes CDDL incompatible with GPL? What could happen if ZFS were included in the Linux kernel? Lawsuits?

          Thanks in advance.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Sergio View Post
            Some things I don't get:
            1. If Sun didn't want to hand out the technical merits of ZFS (which it obviously has) to competition, why did they create BTRFS?
            Sun had nothing to do with BTRFS, it originated at Oracle.

            Originally posted by Sergio View Post
            2. Maybe this one everybody knows, but I personally fail to understand: what EXACTLY makes CDDL incompatible with GPL?
            As I recall it had to do with attribution notices and patent retaliation causing termination of distribution rights.

            Originally posted by Sergio View Post
            What could happen if ZFS were included in the Linux kernel? Lawsuits?
            Certainly it could, not that it would ever be included in the kernel while licenced as CDDL to begin with.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by staalmannen View Post
              One can always hope for Oracle doing the right thing (they are not as attached to Solaris). They have done some effort in getting DTrace on Linux, so perhaps...

              http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/ar...x-1956556.html
              As I said, I would find this plausible (Oracle offering ZFS under GPL) if it weren't for all the resources they've invested into BTRFS.

              Comment


              • #8
                Could Oracle even re-license it as GPL? I thought they had to get permission from all the contributors?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by johnc View Post
                  Could Oracle even re-license it as GPL? I thought they had to get permission from all the contributors?
                  I assumed that Sun required copyright assignment when someone contributed to their official version of ZFS, and that since Oracle bought ZFS together with their Sun aquisition they also gained full copyright over Sun's ZFS version (they can't of course take away the right to use existing CDDL licenced code under CDDL) they could re-licence/dual licence it at will.

                  But maybe you're right and they can't re-licence it if Sun did not require copyright assignment to them, I don't know.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by XorEaxEax View Post
                    Sun had nothing to do with BTRFS, it originated at Oracle.
                    Ok, so I restate:

                    1. If ORACLE didn't want to hand out the technical merits of ZFS (which it obviously has) to competition, why did they create BTRFS? Can we imply from this that BTRFS is deliberately inferior? If not, why not just give away ZFS?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Sergio View Post
                      Ok, so I restate:

                      1. If ORACLE didn't want to hand out the technical merits of ZFS (which it obviously has) to competition, why did they create BTRFS? Can we imply from this that BTRFS is deliberately inferior? If not, why not just give away ZFS?
                      Btrfs was created by Oracle before they acquired Sun. So it was a competing technology. The question now is, what motivation do they have to push Btrfs? Maybe for their Oracle Linux solutions. But right now their primary focus seems to be Oracle Solaris.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by johnc View Post
                        So it was a competing technology. The question now is, what motivation do they have to push Btrfs? Maybe for their Oracle Linux solutions.
                        Well obviously for their Linux offerings, these days however it's not just them developing BTRFS, we have Red Hat, Intel, Fujitsu, SUSE and many other companies actively developing BTRFS.

                        Also it's doesn't have any copyright attribution and is licenced under GPL so it will remain a fully open project.

                        Originally posted by johnc View Post
                        But right now their primary focus seems to be Oracle Solaris.
                        What do you base this on? From what I've read from Solaris fans they are pissed on Oracle for not focusing on Solaris and instead pushing their Linux efforts like their repackaged RHEL distribution called Unbreakable Linux.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by johnc View Post
                          Btrfs was created by Oracle before they acquired Sun. So it was a competing technology. The question now is, what motivation do they have to push Btrfs? Maybe for their Oracle Linux solutions. But right now their primary focus seems to be Oracle Solaris.
                          I see.
                          I still fail to see why both BTRFS and ZFS are being pushed by Oracle. If both technologies are really "the same" (that is, in this case, BTRFS is not inferior to ZFS), why not just relicense ZFS and stop wasting resources on BTRFS? Unless Oracle provides BTRFS as an inferior file system for their non-Solaris solutions, and leave their best technology for Solaris solutions.
                          But, as XorEaxEax says, not only Oracle is behind BTRFS, so I doubt it is indeed an inferior solution, in which case, again, I don't see what Oracle is trying to do...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Sergio View Post
                            I see.
                            I still fail to see why both BTRFS and ZFS are being pushed by Oracle.
                            I don't see how Oracle is 'pushing' ZFS at all. They no longer open source any enhancements and from what I recall reading there's not much development going on from Oracle's side.

                            As I recall this came from a developer working on the open ZFS implementation so there might have been some bias in that reporting.

                            Overall I don't think Solaris or ZFS were any key parts in Oracle's Sun aquisition, the 'prized' Sun IP as I gather were Java (which has a strong enterprise market and Oracle also hoped for a patent shakedown on Google which failed) together with MySQL, the latter mainly as a means to kill off competition to their own Oracle database offerings, which also seems to be failing we're seeing an exodus of MySQL users towards MariaDB.

                            Originally posted by Sergio View Post
                            Unless Oracle provides BTRFS as an inferior file system for their non-Solaris solutions, and leave their best technology for Solaris solutions.
                            Again I don't see any indication that Oracle is pushing Solaris at all, but then again I must admit that I haven't been that interested in following Solaris commercial offerings.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Sergio View Post
                              I see.
                              I still fail to see why both BTRFS and ZFS are being pushed by Oracle. If both technologies are really "the same" (that is, in this case, BTRFS is not inferior to ZFS), why not just relicense ZFS and stop wasting resources on BTRFS? Unless Oracle provides BTRFS as an inferior file system for their non-Solaris solutions, and leave their best technology for Solaris solutions.
                              But, as XorEaxEax says, not only Oracle is behind BTRFS, so I doubt it is indeed an inferior solution, in which case, again, I don't see what Oracle is trying to do...
                              1. As I said countless times, licensing is not the problem people think it is; the majority of use cases are not affected at all. The real problem is that Linus is paranoid because of the Android lawsuit; he is so paranoid that I doubt he would accept ZFS even if it were under the GPL. The entire situation where people think that the GPL will magically solve things is unfortunate because the CDDL provides patent protection, which makes it a better license for fending off patent trolls than the GPL.

                              2. Oracle wants nothing to do with ZFS on Linux. My guess is that this is for product segmentation. Oracle Linux is free for business use while Oracle Solaris requires a license to use it in a business. If you want to use their best stuff, you need to pay for it. They will still happily take your money for Linux support though. This lets them be everything to everyone and make as much money in the process as possible.

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