Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Progress on FISHworks?

Very little has been publicly announced by Sun about the FISHworks project.
After some initial news in early 2007, it seemed to go quiet.

Based on those reports, I would speculate that FISHworks appears to be a project to create a NAS/SAN appliance, based on existing OpenSolaris source code for ZFS, CIFS server, NFS server and the iScsi target, using DTrace observability to instrument under the hood.

At the start of September 2008, some more details about FISHworks emerged
when one of Sun's top engineers Mike Shapiro gave a video interview, bizarrely, on the noisy streets of San Francisco! It's a pity that this interview was conducted outside of a bar, as the background noise is somewhat distracting!

So when can we expect a proper announcement from Sun on FISHworks. Well according to the New York Time, that will be in November.

So do you want to know what progress is being made?

Then I suggest you check out the OpenSolaris bugs database.
This link shows bug activity in the iScsi target code for the last 30 days.

In the 'Reported Against' field, you will often see things like fw_36. This I believe is referring to FISHworks build 36.

Looking at the bugs for the last 30 days, there seems to be extensive & intensive testing happening of the OpenSolaris iScsi target, using various iScsi initiators and various operating systems, like Vista & Linux.

Some of the bugs looks quite obscure, occurring in relatively complex scenarios. Many of the bug comments refer to 'GRITS' and 'Diskomizer'. These seem to be Sun's internals tools for stress testing storage systems. Again, there does not seem to be much public information on these tools, but I googled and found these snippets on GRITS and Diskomizer.

It's good to see that in GRITS and Diskomizer, Sun seems to have the tools that
can expose these bugs. It's also good that these bugs are being fixed quickly.
Sun's Tim Szeto looks to have been particularly busy, and making good progress.

Some of the bug descriptions mention the 'Iwashi NAS appliance'
-So what it that? I would speculate maybe the code name for a Sun appliance?