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back to article Oracle and NetApp dismiss ZFS lawsuits

NetApp and Oracle have agreed to dismiss their respective lawsuits against each other without prejudice. ZFS-using companies such as Coraid and Nexenta can now go ahead free of the threat of NetApp interference. The dismissal terms between the two companies are confidential. NetApp CEO and president Tom Georgens said: "Moving …

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Anonymous Coward

Dismissed because...

Oracle DB needs good storage suppliers, and NetApp needs applications certified to use its expensive boxes.

Yes, Oracle has the Sun "Amber Road" product line, but where is it going? It has some fabulous features and possibilities, but has been an utterly crap implementation so far. We know this the hard way :(

Also a minor point is it was based on AMD Opteron x64 heads (Which Oracle has dropped for Intel), so more changes and uncertainty ahead...

So while Oracle has a storage line, and maybe it will be good in a few years, I think any enterprise customer is more likely to be happy with NetApp's range of proven products. Calling off an IP war and getting on with pushing your products to paying customers makes a whole lot more sense for both Oracle and NetApp.

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FUD?

"Yes, Oracle has the Sun "Amber Road" product line, but where is it going? It has some fabulous features and possibilities, but has been an utterly crap implementation so far. We know this the hard way"

How are the ZFS machines "utterly crap"? Maybe I should make an anonymous post stating that "Netapp's solutions are utterly crap and we lost data, but with Sun's ZFS machines we got 37% higher performance for less money. We also never lost data".

I remember when Suns ZFS machines were recently released, and someone posted comments that they are buggy and problematic on a review. He insisted and posted several complaints. Then a ZFS engineer posted that Sun never had any reports of that type of problems and asked for more data. The guy never posted again after the ZFS engineer's asked for details. Are you the same anonymous guy spreading FUD? Are you hired at NetApp?

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Paris Hilton

Are you serious???

You're kidding, right? You see a NetApp as an enterprise level array??? They love to go down and are horribly slow. Some genius in management here thought they'd be great because they were cheaper than the arrays we bought from other vendors (Sun included). But after seeing them go down all the time, and not being able to keep up performance wise with older arrays, the NetApp arrays are on their way out the door. You're welcome to have them if you don't mind dumpster diving...

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Pint

re: Dismissed because...

I think you may be right... but, I can't help but think that NetApp needs Oracle more than the opposite. NetApp has lost IBM as a reseller... Oracle has the ability to move Amber Road forward (it may take a couple of years as you state), where SUn may have not.

On a side note... Sun did not start the legal wrangling. STK was going after NetApp before Sun bought STK. STK could not have been pushing ZFS patents, as they did not have any ZFS patents. Even NetApp states this as fact. NetApp started the legal tussle regarding ZFS patents.

I really think this has more to do with NetApp not having a leg to stand on.

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Anonymous Coward

@Are you serious???

They were cheaper? In our case the tender responses had them around double the cost of Sun in terms of GB/£ and that was without any significant of NetApp's extra license cost features added.

Well I guess your experience shows the grass is not actually greener...

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Unhappy

@FUD?

OK, maybe I have been making too much in the way of assumptions about the NetApp being any good (particularly at higher usage levels), but we got a clustered 7410 and it took over a year to accept it, and even then it was on the basis of us getting more stuff to make the acceptance tests go away.

I think ZFS is great, and in terms of I/O performance per pound, as well as GB/£, the Sun product was way better then the rest, but its utterly crap to administer!

Maybe you have had a good experience with a non-clustered version, but our problems started when it was delivered in April 2009 and would not boot, just hanging at the joining cluster stage! WTF was the testing like?

Since then we have had almost everything imaginable happen while testing and configuring the thing. Software updates that left it unbootable and forcing a version roll-back or factory reset. Features like saving the configuration that, when tested, trash the heads on restore (another factory reset), etc, etc.

Now we are using it for real, and we simply have to leave the settings in place for fear that something trivial, such as changing ownership of a network resource, will take the system off line for the best part of a day as we have to factory restore, then reconfigure everything, then hope it is working once more.

Oh yes, and we did lose data in one of our RAID rebuild tests, they say that was fixed in one of the 2.5.x firmware updates. This guy's summary kind of agrees with our experience, the sum being less than the parts:

http://aliver.wordpress.com/2009/06/20/bad-experiences-with-sun-7410-unified-storage-appliance-filers/

We really really hope that Oracle will get it fixed properly, and soon, but fear the problems in the architecture of the akd stuff are too deep rooted to be easily fixed, and it will be dumped and a Mk2 brought out with a properly engineered version. Assuming they have not sacked all of their competent engineers by that time...

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A.C

Ok, it seems that you are not one of the normal IBM FUDers that frequent this site because you can post some credible links backing up your claims.

But there is too much FUD from IBMers here. "Ohhh I work at a large bank and I love Solaris, but now we are migrating to POWER and everyone should migrate before it is too late". There was much FUD from IBMers in the Itanium articles too. "I hear that Itanium is killed by HP executives, migrate now to POWER before it is too late", "Our Itanium boxes are too unstable and reboot all the time but our POWER boxes are stable". etc etc etc.

My apologizes to you. I dont mind complaints on ZFS or Solaris, but it has to be true complaints with bug reports and credible links, and not lies and made up stories.

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Anonymous Coward

RAIDZ still sucks

Yes, ZFS is buggy and problematic. This i a know issue, always has been, especially their RAIDZ implementation.

http://opensolaris.org/jive/thread.jspa?messageID=477512&tstart=0 is simply one recent example of it's continued suckage.

FWIW, the engineer never said he had never heard of these problems, he just asked for additional data that would take a lot of additional work to collect. I don't fault the other guy for ever posting again. WTF is the point of paying good money to Sun only to have to debug their products for them for free on a public forum.

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Happy

Matt Bryant Wrong Again: NetApp and ZFS Lawsuit Not an Issue

Matt has been crowing about the NetApp lawsuit against ZFS from the first day it was posted on The Register... some great Matty FUD comments on The Register from the past couple years:

--- ... who is going to fight the NetApp WAFL lawsuit?

--- Would you implement ZFS... leaving NetApp a clear field to come round and ask you for a licence for their plaguerised product?

--- such as ZFS's supposed superiority... not stolen from NetApp

--- (Speculation regarding Oracle buying NetApp) ... it would let Larry forget about the NetApp lawsuit against ZFS.

Guess the lawsuit is gone, NetApp is not going to come knocking on your door as Matt suggested, nothing stolen from NetApp, nothing for Larry to have to forget.

Another marketing droid bites the dust!!

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Silver badge
FAIL

RE: Matt Bryant Wrong Again: NetApp and ZFS Lawsuit Not an Issue

"Matt has been crowing about the NetApp lawsuit against ZFS from the first day....." Ah, I see one of you Sunshiners has seen fit to come out of hiding after the Sunset. I also see your comprehension capabilities have still not improved without someone to manufacture the Sunshine for you. Shall we recap, just to help you see past your blinkers?

".....Guess the lawsuit is gone.... NetApp is not going to come knocking on your door...." On 7th July, in the thread here (http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2010/07/06/netapp_coraid/), I posted:

"....Worst case for Coraid (and other small companies selling products that use ZFS) would be if NetApp agrees a low-or-no license fee for Oracle with a cross-patent agreement, which Larry might accept to save on the cost of litigation. That would leave NetApp clear to set a killer license price for the small companies like Coraid. NetApp could then legally drive their smaller competitiors out of business as long as they used ZFS." The details of the Oracle-NetApp agreement have not been made public, which does leave the high possibility that there has been a cross-licensing deal, which means NetApp can then use it as precedent to smack all the other ZFS users. Remember, Larry is in business for Larry, not anyone else, so he really couldn't care if NetApp milked the other ZFS users.

I also posted that same thread the following: "....That will allow Oracle to go on making ZFS-based storage devices, maybe with a token license payment to NetApp, and Larry can then let NetApp go out and exterminate all Oracle's smaller competitors (whom weren't paying Larry a license fee for ZFS, so why should he give two hoots about them?)...." Looks like you just didn't comprehend then either - maybe I should use shorter words?

So, until you can post details of the Oracle-NetApp settlement showing they are in the clear (which you can't), all those ZFS-users not using Oracle's ZFS on an Oracle product alone are still just as likely to be receiving letters from NetApp's lawyers, in fact they may be more likely now! Enjoy!

/SP&L

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Anonymous Coward

You've got to remember...

Matt is in a tiny shrinking world of his own making where HP is still relevant for anything other than just printer ink.

He really is misguided and blinkered.

You should feel sorry for him, give him your pity and not mock him - he's a sad case.

PHUX is a 90's OS - not OE - that has no relevance in the real world and he's running scared.

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Silver badge
FAIL

RE: You've got to remember...

You obviously failed to remember that the article and thread are about the NetApp suit against Oracle's ZFS, inherited when they bought the Sun carcass after the Sunset. I would suggest you take a break from spilling your bitterness and try focussing on something new and maybe posting something original, rather than the tired old anti-hp-ux schpiel. For instance, do you actually have a coherant opinion on where the Oracle-NetApp settlement leaves non-Oracle users of ZFS? Care to guess if it was a cross-licensing deal that leaves all the other ZFS-based storage vendors at the mercy of NetApp, or do you think Larry managed to hammer out a deal that protects all those third-party companies that are his minor competitors? Would you maybe like to imagine yourself as a customer, would you risk buying a Coraid device without some clarity about the ZFS issue? Come on, just try it, you can do it if you use a little focus.... Well, alright, you probably can't, but it would be very amusing for the rest of us to see whatever you dribbled out!

/SP&L

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Unhappy

No longer a threat....

I suggest NetApp no longer see the SS7000 series as a threat to their business which is what Open Storage promised to be.....and with the departure of key Open Storage developers it will become less so.

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FAIL

Means nothing to other companies using ZFS

Sure, NetApp and Oracle are going to dismiss their lawsuits, but that means nothing (yet) to other companies building products with ZFS. The terms of the agreement could go either way; NetApp may just agree to not sue Oracle for infringement but still be open to pursuing others. Or they may come to terms that allow CDDL licensees of ZFS full indemnification.

The Reg should know better than to jump to the conclusion that other companies like Coraid are in the clear. We still need to wait and see.

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FAIL

Actually it might be the big fish ganging up on the little'uns...

Would not be surprised at all if Coraid, Nexenta, maybe even Illumos and the other OpenSolaris / ZFS based code users, still get pursued by NTAP legal, with ORCL now sitting idly by on the sidelines. Larry is no fan of the small upstart company (unless he can buy them out cheaply and fold them into Oracle), and he has effectively put a stake in the heart of OpenSolaris, thus forking Illumos, which I'm sure he wouldn't mind squashing. I also predict that all the old Sun/StorageTek "open" storage hardware, dies slowly and quietly, in favor of ORCL pushing Exadata, or secondarily, NTAP based solutions.

Only a robust US DOJ antitrust department (which has been sadly lacking for decades), or perhaps an EU competition review, would force NTAP and ORCL to play fair with the small fry remaining, after this type of settlement. Or we can always dream, along with the rest of the OSS/Free Software folks, about software patents being invalidated entirely someday... not holding my breath there.

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Thumb Up

At Last!

An article with some links in.

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