Re: Matt Bryant
ZFS doesn't use the extra resources for nothing, because it provides end-to-end data integrity, so it can provide the reliability similar to a EMC/NetApp box using all standard components at a fraction of the cost. Since you don't understand ZFS at all, let alone how file-systems work, you should have already known that performance on a single disk is not ZFS's focal point, the bigger the number of disks, the scaling and reliability of ZFS shines.
I meant NetApp approached StorageTek to buy StorageTek patents, but you very well knew what I meant. So try another route. The facts are clear, when NetApp couldn't get access to StorageTek patents, they sued Sun in the pretext of ZFS, hoping Sun would simply hand over the StorageTek patents for free. Sun as a company never initiated any patent conversation with Sun.
"Sun have NEVER made any such statement I have seen" - Nice try. That's the reason I said ignorance reins supreme in you. If you didn't see something, how are you confident enough to proclaim your lies !!
I think you are a real anti-Sun fanatic. Did you actually see what those 1600 patents are - before claiming they are related to solaris x86 code ? No, most of them are related to fundamentals in computing. And Sun did make the statement that they made them available to any open source code. At least these patents are way more valuable than IBM's patent publicity stunts that even included patents related to screwdrivers!! Again, the fact is that Sun has never sued any open source product, NetApp did. So keep your conspiracy theories to yourself until you show evidence as of today.
"but happily signed up to allow M$ to sue open source users of the Open Office code in future?" - Oh... sure you seem to have been the third party verifier for that agreement. Care to provide reference, keep invent lies after lies.
"using high-speed memory as cache in front of disk arrays has been around for years, long before ZFS was even created" - I think someone should really ask you not to try to crack something that's beyond your area of expertise. A flash is not a high speed memory like RAM, and secondly it's persistent memory, unlike RAM. There is a different functionality and economics involved because you can add 32GB of flash cache at almost negligible relative cost addition and ZFS can speed up the read/write transactions by an order of magnitude. It's not something Sun had to invent, the fact is that the architecture in ZFS allows this speedup with no changes in it's architecture. BTW, can you care to do some research and provide reference here who is trying to use SSD as disk cache, try hiding behind those kind of pretexts. It's one thing putting SSD in place of disks and another thing to have an architecture in place that can use SSD where it really shines.
"NetApp see a company copying the core code from their product, then open-sourcing it, and then that same company tries to rip them off with a dodgy patent mugging, and you suggest they just ignore it?" - as I said earlier, the real reason NetApp sued is to get free access to StorageTek patents. And what core code ? The court says otherwise. The patent office is not sure the so called 'core code' has plenty of prior art, and now those patents are on their way to oblivion.
Ohhh, so you did seem to be finding time to actually look for what Linux is saying, and oh my !! He seems to find ZFS interesting enough for Linux - doesn't that contradict what you have been saying so far. I am sure he made that statement before the Sun/NetApp lawsuit, because if he knew, he wouldn't have made that statement. A company like NetApp would only open source code relevant to their products, not their proprietary WAFL code, because Dave Hitz has now declared in court that doing so would jeopardize their existence because it would allow smaller vendors to offer the same features at much cheaper entry point. So now you feel the frustration Linus has ? He can't get ZFS, and WAFL is a far far cry.
Your quite large commercial enterprise must be happy with you for saving them money I am sure - you must be a religious follower of the pledge - nobody gets fired for buying IBM. The companies I mostly work are not so rich they don't even have money to buy NetApp or EMC or Hitachi.