ZFS Expert and OpenSolaris Leader Join Nexenta

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ZFS Expert and OpenSolaris Leader Join Nexenta

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Nexenta is no stranger to talented developers.  The company was founded by the same developers who wrote the iSCSI stack for Linux in 2003.  When Sun released open source Solaris, Nexenta decided to build a distribution using the Solaris kernel with Debian wrapped around it and Sun's ZFS file system/volume manager at the core.  The result was NexentaStor.  Nexenta CEO Evan Powell spoke with DZone about two more talented developers that have recently joined Nexenta: Richard Elling, a notable ZFS expert, and Garrett D'Amore, a former Sun engineer and OpenSolaris project leader.

Garrett D'Amore remains a leading member of the PSARC committee, which determines the changes that get committed to the OpenSolaris kernel.  He has also made a substantial number of contributions to the Solaris and OpenSolaris kernel which included key initiatives such as SDcard support  and next generation audio features.  Nexenta's release also said, "D'Amore has also architected Solaris support for platforms ranging from million-dollar enterprise servers to desktop and laptop platforms, and technologies ranging from high-availability features to record-breaking cryptographic and network acceleration."

D'Amore, now the senior director of engineering at Nexenta, said, “Nexenta represents an ideal opportunity and challenge for me to continue my work of driving the development and direction of OpenSolaris."  Evan Powell told DZone that we can expect Nexenta to put more resources back into the OpenSolaris community.

The other new hire, Richard Elling, is now the senior director of solutions engineering at Nexenta.  Prior to joining Nexenta, Elling worked at his own consulting firm where he helped companies like Nexenta enhance their solutions and train users with his ZFS expertise. Elling had a 16 year run as an employee at Sun Microsystems after he left last year.  He developed appliance product solutions that incorporated hardware and software from Sun and third party suppliers.  Elling was also a performance and availability engineer for Sun's entire product line, including software and hardware systems integration.

Powell answered a few questions about the recent concern and confusion surrounding Oracle's handling of the OpenSolaris project.  "Everything that we have heard Oracle announce on future of OpenSolaris has been reflected in the reality of the code contributions and in the ongoing support for the developers; our developers specifically."  Powell argues that maybe one reason why there's so much speculation and confusion around OpenSolaris is Oracle's modus operandi for project roadmaps.  "Oracle, for a variety of reasons, is relatively less open to projecting on the future of products and communities (in general) than Sun historically was.  That absence leads to speculation."  Powell says that what Oracle has done from a code standpoint has been reassuring.  He clearly isn't worried about the future security of the OpenSolaris community.

The co-founder of ZFS, Bill Moore, is a member of Nexenta's advisory board.

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